Monday, November 29, 2010

Days 331 to 333: Psych. Nurse Solidarity

Friday, after observing that our checking account has fewer dollars in it than years I have lived, I called work to see if I could get a few extra shifts.

"Can you be here by 3 pm?" The House Supervisor said.

"Nope, but I can be there by four".

So I hurriedly packed a few things and drove to the Napa Valley. I managed to get three extra shifts--helping out the old Christmas fund. The unit has been a rather nasty place; filled with some people who come out of mean existences and are trying to impose that meanness on others. Our hospital has a policy about what you can write about on the internet. And I hesitate to write about these sorts of things at length. Someday I will. Someday soon.

Yesterday, a psychiatric nurse was killed in Napa. This is the third area psychiatric nurse to die violently in the last month. Another psychiatric nurse was killed just across the bay in Martinez two weeks ago. A mental health prisoner smashed her head in with a lamp. Another psychiatric nurse was killed in Napa while she took a break at work. A patient pushed her into a courtyard and strangled her to death. Three psych nurses dead within a month. Two were killed by patients. The last psychiatric nurse was killed while on leave for work related PTSD and was shot by the Napa Police while he was in a suicidal crises.

So that is three members of my profession killed within 60 miles of where I sit. Where is the outrage? Where are the half mast flags? Where are the processions of nurses from around the State to be in solidarity with those who have fallen? When police officers are killed we rightly pause to thank them for their service. We should do the same for psych. nurses.

The past three days I have had my life threatened at work. Not to be dramatic, but such threats should not be ignored. The situation was handled in a decent fashion. It was handled in a way that protects psych nurses. About time.

So what does this have to do with being outside? Nothing. It has been cold. Both cold outside and cold on the unit. I await some warmth.

1 comment:

greentangle said...

Yikes. Watch your back, buddy.