Monday, July 25, 2011

And then my night went off the rails...

I was all set for work today; I went to bed early last night and slept in late today, so I was finally rested for the first time in days. I showered, did my hair, watched the news.

And then I got to work and one of the two coworkers I was sharing the wing of the facility with was clearly high out of her damn mind. Ugh. She's been showing symptoms of drug use for a while now, and one of our charge nurses has been trying to figure out how to get her in for a drug test. This coworker, "Calliope" (her real first name is weird too) is always screwy after our paydays, then exhausted in between them.

Today it was just beyond obvious. A few of our more alert residents asked what was wrong with her, even. She was twitching, scratching, chewing on her lips, forgetting what she was doing mid-action, dropping things, smelled like burning ass and hair, and then to top it all off she fell asleep at the table when she was supposed to be feeding a resident. Dude. That's horrible. Let's pause to think about that and take a look at some faces of meth, shall we?

So my poor charge nurse got the honors of being the one to say "Hey, you need to leave right now. Don't come back until you have a clean UA. Here's the paperwork for that." Chances of that ever happening? Very, very slim. I'd be kind of surprised if she ever shows up at the facility again. But you never know. I think we should have taken her keys, but whatever.

So then after all that delightful excitement, me and my remaining sober coworker had 3.5 hours to give 5 showers and put 30 people to bed. Awesome. Thanks to other sober coworkers from the other wing who hurried over to help, we got it done.

And I'll be coming in to cover Calliope's shift tomorrow, I'm sure.

Here's the part where I need advice, dear readers: I want to call child protective services, because Calliope has three kiddos under the age of six. And it's not their fault that their Mom is a mess. Another sober coworker lives in the same neighborhood as Calliope and has seen her husband out and about, and reports that he seems to have a drug problem too. I don't have Calliope's home address or recall her children's names. I miiiiiiiight be able to get that from work, though probably not without breaking some rules. Which would be worth it, because there's no freaking way that these people are decent parents.

What info do I need to have before I call CPS? Is there another agency/route I should try instead or along with this?

Tell me, what have you all done in that kind of situation?


  1. This is a tough one for sure. I don't have any advice to give other than to maybe have a talk with a social worker and decide what to do after that. Sorry dude.

  2. You know, you and I are considered "mandated reporters" because of the licensure we hold. That means that we're required to report all SUSPECTED (suspected being the key word) instances of abuse on minors, the elderly, and other vunerable populations.

    So you're covered there...the state would rather you report a non-crime than to not report a true crime. The accused really has no way to retaliate against you because you're following the law and requirements of your license.

    You don't need her address, either, to make a complaint. I'm assuming that she, like you, is registered or licensed through your state. Just go to your state DOH website (If you live in washington, that would be, click on Provider Credentials, put in her name & get her license number. Provide that when you make your complaint. They'd be able to find her anyways, but every bit of info helps.

    I fully support you making a call. I have had to do so several times in my careers when either social workers or MD's wouldn't, or when I was dealing with co-workers who were diverting drugs and coming to work inebriated. It's a tough thing to do, but you're in the right to do it.

    good luck!