I am part of the professional community that is able to place patients on a psychiatric hold against their will for up to 72 hours. To qualify for the free stay in a hard bed with shitty-ass food, they need to be a danger to themselves or others. A few years back I worked for a nursing home and the administrator wanted me to send a woman with dementia out to the psych hospital so that they could hold her for three days. After that, she would qualify for Medicare to pay $800 per day for her to receive physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. It didn't matter that she lacked the cognitive ability to retain anything that she might have learned and that the therapies wouldn't make a bit of difference because they weren't at all necessary... so I refused to sign the forms. She yelled at me, then threatened me with my job. She also threatened to file a report against my professional license. She insisted that the patient might wander out the front door into traffic - which doesn't constitute a "danger to herself or others," (although it did say a lot about a nursing home that admitted a patient who wandered without the ability to monitor her whereabouts). But I digress - her threats didn't work.

For those of you who are movie buffs,,. think of the bank scene from "Leaving Las Vegas." I simply couldn't sign the forms.

The Administrator got a nurse to sign the forms, sentencing the patient to 3 days in a psych ward, and in appreciation she suspended me a couple of weeks later. She was fired soon after that, after I reported her both to the company and to the State for her behaviors.  But she still works in the industry, ruining people's lives and controlling the elderly by ignoring their rights and treating them subhumanely.  It just ain't right.



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