A Very Secure Argument

, , , | Healthy | July 19, 2018

(I work in a children’s hospital. Like most hospitals, we have a code system for emergencies. In our hospital, Code Pink is missing child — either patient, or sibling or friend visitor. We are responding to a Code Pink involving a teenager girl — here after an attempted suicide — who has gone missing from her room. Part of the response is that everyone needs to stay where they are when the code is issued, while the nurses search every room in their unit and allied health professionals man the doors between units. I’m an allied health professional, so I’m guarding the door between two units. It’s also right before visitors are supposed to leave for the night. Several visitors come to me, trying to leave to go home.)

Me: “We’re searching for a missing child at the moment, so please return to your child’s room until we notify you that our search is completed.”

Most People: “Oh, absolutely. I hope you find them quickly.”

Man: “Well, I’m tired, and I’m going home.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but you cannot leave right now.”

Man: “Well, I’m leaving.”

Me: “With all due respect, no, you aren’t. Even if you get past me, no one is coming in or out of the hospital right now.”

Man: *starts to push past me* “I’m leaving.”

Me: “You will be stopped at the main door by security, anyway. We need everyone to stay where they are.”

Man: “I’ll get through security, too.”

Me: “May I remind you that security has pepper spray and tasers? Sir, I’m sure you can imagine that we take a missing child very seriously, and security is not going to play games with you.”

(He dejectedly went back to his room. For those worried, it turns out that the girl’s “friends” were trying to break her out of the hospital. She was 17. They were 18. They made it to the train station outside. They got charged with kidnapping.)

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