So when I first started at my new job they did say that occasionally there would be prisoners that would be patients. Being the University hospital and really the big community hospital there is always a variety when it comes to the patient population.
I have taken care of one prisoner before but he was just a thief who stole a car. He didn't really count. I mean he just had an officer outside of his room at the hospital waiting to take him to jail once he was healthy enough.
But yesterday I had my first real prisoner patient. I mean stereotypical, tatted up head to toe, in shackles chained to the hospital bed, and with not one but two armed guards with real guns watching his every move.
I work in such an interesting profession. I am sure it is very hard for some people to have true compassion for someone like this patient. To not have preconceived bias toward him, to treat him differently because of knowing where he comes from.
But for some reason (gift or flaw) I can't believe how easy it is for me to have compassion for someone that I know nothing about or that I know too much about (something as scary as how his home is prison). I didn't know why he was in prison initially and I really didn't care. I just wanted to make sure his pain was under control and I wanted to do my job in a caring way.
It's interesting how a physical appearance and some guards can really change the mood and tone in the room. People were scared of him for sure, the guards were very scary themselves.
But after 2 hours caring for him, I knew I did what I am best at. I advocated for him, prisoner or not and made sure he was comfortable. It has to take an real angel to work in the prison as a nurse. I just did it for 2 hours and it was difficult, let alone full time. However, if I change my mind....I did see the California prison is hiring online:) I love my current job very much at the moment...and it's looking better and better everyday.