Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Vignette 3: What Would You Do?

Juanita, a disoriented student

Background: Juanita has had her head on her desk throughout class.  She appears to be napping.  She is disoriented with slurred speech.  It is not clear if she is intoxicated or not.

Scene: Her professor approaches her desk after class.

Dr. Jones: Juanita class is over.  (No response)  Juanita?

Juanita: (Stirring around a little) Mmmmm?

Dr. Jones: Class is over, time to go.

Juanita: (Speech is slurred) Time to go where?

Dr. Jones: The class is over.  You can leave now.

Juanita: Books are at home.  Left them with my papers.  Be here tomorrow though.  (Giggles)

Dr. Jones: Look, it’s time to go.  What are you doing next?

Juanita: (Slurred) The big question.  No one really knows, do they?  Big planet, you know.  Time to go you say, so say you.

Dr. Jones: (More alarmed) Juanita, are you OK?  Where are you supposed to be?

Juanita: No worries, chief.  Doin’ okee dokee.  Gotta get to formica, need the ruzzle from there.

Dr. Jones: (Worriedly) What is your name?

Juanita: The one who shall not be named, in Madrid.

Dr. Jones: What is today?

Juanita: Today what?

Suggestions: Such behavior is generally an indication of a serious condition, which could be anything from intoxication, psychosis, or another medical crisis.  Consider a swift transport to the emergency department of a local hospital, or summoning paramedics.