Friday, May 2, 2008

Really, I can do this laundry

Tonight was my first evening shift, and my first time working in our "Chemical Detoxification Unit" (Detox). It was...interesting, to say the least. The work itself is easy and fairly self explanatory complete with it's multiple redundant sets of paper. The staff I worked with tonight though...not sure I really quite fit in with them...

Detox is a fairly basis service. We're none medical detox, which means we don't have any medical professionals on staff and anyone who needs medical supervision has to detox at the hospital, not with us. We do accept people with a wide variety of disorders and on a wide variety of meds though.

Clients make appointments for intakes through our front desk. We usually do four a day (based on the number of beds available and expected discharges). The clients much be medically cleared and have all their current medications with them, in the correct bottles and on their medical clearance forms. Clients usually enter within 24 hours of their inquiry, space and forms permitting. If there's something wonky with their meds, we can't let them in. Clients fill out and intake form which gets brought to their intake interview.

As a crisis worker I get to do intakes. We have a form to fill out (as I said, the job is very self explanatory), and then we take their vital signs, search their stuff and go over the rules. The person I was with tonight did what I would consider to be a bare bones intake. I mean, it was pretty basic and if I was the client I would not have felt heard or understood. But, each staff has their own style. The other staff I was with tonight did a really long intake; I wasn't in with her though, so I can't judge the clients feelings. We get the final decision, based on this interview, about whether the client gets to come in our not.

The detox area is made up of three dormitories. There are 15 mens beds (all in one room), 6 women's beds and 4 "assessment" beds. These beds can be used as extra women's beds (or extra mens) or for people with special needs of some sort. My orientation day they were using that room for a couple people with seizure disorders so they could keep an eye on them. The clients have to attend to groups a day, one is a group run by the transition team and one is either AA/CA/NA (I think there's a couple days when there's two 12 step meetings...I'm not sure). Other than that though, their time is theirs. There's a couple computers, a TV, and tons of board games, and a lot of people sleep, especially at the beginning.

Each crisis worker gets half the files and is responsible to check in with those clients. We don't need to do much, just make sure they're doing okay and see if there's any pressing concerns. One cw is in charge of meds and gets the keys to the med cabinet, they're held responsible if anythings missing at the end of shift. (The shift coordinators have to count all narcotics and mood altering drugs at the end/beginning of each shift). The other cw does laundry; fun, fun...

The best thing perhaps, is that they drive you home at the end of the evening shift because it doesn't end till 12 or should I say 2400 hours. That was REALLY nice at the end of the day!

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