Crazy Jobs ~ Patient Attendant

Over the years I have had some crazy jobs. Some I’ve liked and most I have not. I’m pretty easy going when it comes to work as long as I have been given a clear guideline of my duties and I receive a decent check. I am a hard worker and always respectful of my superiors. I have never been fired or reprimanded. I just do my job and try to keep my sense of humor in tact to help me through the rough times. Easier said than done. Through the years I have tried many different sorts of employment. I’ve been a horse stall cleaner, hostess, house keeper, sales woman in a children’s dress shop, pizza maker, sous chef, medical receptionist, pharmacy tech and more. One of the jobs I have hated the most was as a Patient Attendant.

As a Patient Attendant at the old Josephine Memorial Hospital in Grants Pass, Oregon, my job was to sit in a room with mentally ill or elderly patients to make sure they stayed in bed, ate or stayed calm. If anything got out of hand and a patient became abusive, out of control or was in danger of harming anyone or anything, I was to yell out at the top of my lungs “Dr. Armstrong, calling Dr. Armstrong”. Or if I had time use the intercom system to page Dr. Armstrong over head. This would cause a herd of hospital employees to come crashing through the door and make everything better. Also usually meant more meds to the patient.

One night I had to watch 2 mentally ill patients. One was quite and reserved, obviously on meds, the other wired and anxious. He was about 6ft and 250 pounds. This patient was in a bed next to the window of the second story of the hospital. He would climb out of bed and try and open the blinds to see out. My job was to keep him in bed and keep him as calm as possible.

As the morning flew by, I must have put this guy back in his bed at least 20 times. As the sun came around to our side of the building, the guy became more and more agitated. His attempts to open the blinds became aggressive. No one told me his condition or gave me an other rules to go by other then keeping him in bed. After much thought I decided to open the dang blinds. I figured at least it would calm him down a bit. WRONG! As I pulled up the blinds and turned to sit back down, he flew out of bed, tore off his gown, pressed his body to the window and screamed something inaudible about the sun.

I screamed DR. ARMSTRONG at the top of my lungs. Three large dudes came flying in and settled the guy down. We tucked him back into bed. Of course no one thought to close the blinds.

About 15 minutes later the guy starts getting agitated again. He flew out of bed, tore off his second gown and this time ran past me faster than lightning. I yelled Dr. Armstrong again and picked up the intercom to do the same hoping for more backup. As I hung up the phone I saw the guy out of the corner of my eye, stop in the middle of the hall. He turned around and faced me nakeder then a jay bird and started running for the window. Stupid me, I stepped in front of the window with my hands out to stop him. He crashed full force into me and we both flew into the window. My head smacked glass and I became instantly dizzy and petrified. The guy pushed me aside and started out the door into the hall way again for a second attempt. Fortunately, the half the hospital staff came flying down the hallway. This startled the poor guy. He panicked and ran smack onto another person who suffered more injuries than I. A broken arm. The hospital staff finally got him pinned down, medicated and back to bed. The staff looked me over, and as they were walking out the door I realized that the second guy I was watching, the quite reserved guy, snuck out of the room and took off while all this was going on. The hospital staff found him safe and sound.

I quit my job that night.

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Amber said,

    WOW! LMAO I was looking for Medical Assisting jobs and I came across a “Patient Attendant” posting on careerlink. The posting had virtually no information as to what the job required, and the requirements were only to be a high-school graduate. So I googled this job and came across this…I think I’ll reconsider! Sorry to hear about your misfortune with the job. Thanks for sharing.

  2. 2

    maria bentley said,

    ..i have been unemployed for the last two and one half years.i have tried everything myself,even jobs for which i did not qualify,but took,just to keep my head above water.i live in Montreal,Canada.there are all kinds of hospitals being built-everybody i meet would tell me that i should take the PAB Course,which you described..now,i am having second thoughts,because i am really,really afraid of mentally challenged people-and do not think that i could have coped as you did.i would probably would have been calling out for help much more than you did,even with the slightest movement of the patient-i am really,realy going to consider this one,at my stage in life,i just not think that i want to be injured or killed-just trying to make a decent living.thanks for your story.

  3. 3

    Damien Otis said,

    That sounds like a shitty deal but thanks because now I know what a patient attendant is.


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