Psychiatric RN here….I worked in an acute care adult unit, but was sent to work with the kids one evening shift. It was after 10pm, all patients were in their rooms and in bed. I heard a child screaming and a psych tech trying to calm him. I ran to the room, the 7 year old boy was hysterical. He was crying, sweating, and shaking. He said he saw ‘something’. After he settled down, he told me that he saw a white man with gray hair in a hospital gown in his room. While we discussed what he saw, the child froze in fear, tears rolling down his face….he said “Ms., whoawhoawhoathere, be still. Oh my God he’s right behind you.”
We decided to address ‘the man’ and tell him that the little boy was scared…the boy said the man turned around and left after that. The only thing anyone in the unit would have heard was the boy screaming at the beginning…all other discussion was in his room and quiet.
Not even 3 minutes later, a 17 year old male at the end of the hall started screaming. I ran to his room…he was standing on his bed trying to get away from a white man in a hospital gown.