Saturday, February 13, 2010

Jazz the Q Dog


Today I was covering the "Q" pager for my coworker. When kids are physically restrained, staff have to page the "Q" to receive authorization for the restraint and to ensure the safety of all involved. I learned early with Ross that having my puppy with me when I arrive on scene calms the children immediately, and typically results in an immediate deescalation. Today, as Jazz and I walked across campus to respond to a call, we passed one of my coworkers who greeted us with a smile, "Hi Q Dog."

Later we responded to a call from the hospital unit. As Jazz and I walked onto the unit, we saw a girl outside the door on the patio, yelling at and verbally threatening staff outside with her. Having worked with her many times before, I knew she would be immediately distracted and calmed by Jazz's presence. I knocked on the full-length plexi-glass door to get her attention, then pointed down towards Jazz. To my surprise, she responded by flipping me off and continued to yell at staff. I realized that she didn't see Jazz was there. I then cracked the door enough to tell her that he was. A look of surprise came across her face, and she immediately stopped yelling and stepped back from the door. Without me saying another word, she exclaimed, "I'll be on track!" and she backed away further from the door. True to her word, she followed directions, and calmly sat down and petted Jazz. Within minutes, she debriefed with staff and moved on with her day. Crisis diverted.

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