Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Nurses: The Untouchables

One of our sales people recently did a tour of a defunct West Virginia prison and came back with some interesting insight into the medical care that existed between 1876 and 1995, especially the role of nurses at the facility.

While doctors came and go to treat inmates as needed, nurses regularly lived in their own dorms within the prison. That way, inmates had access to 24 hour medical care - all standard procedures, wound care and preventative care typically handled by those women who were constantly on call.

In a maximum security facility with nearly 2,000 imprisoned men, it was rare to see women. Some of the men in that prison were locked away for rape, murder, etc. However, the nurses on staff never had to worry about their safety, because apparently they were revered among the prison population. Even during a 1986 riot during which 12 guards were taken hostage and brutally tortured, the nurses were able to come and go through the rioting population with ease - the fighting always parted for the women to drag injured men to medical care. Not only were they protected, but inmates often fought over who would provide the most aggressive protection of the nurses in sight. They knew that if ta nurse identified them as a protector, they may be one of the first to be treated should multiple injuries happen at once (which was fairly common in a prison with so many violent offenders).

We here at EHR Tutor respect our nurses greatly. However, we find it fascinating that even in a population where violence and crime rule, these women were untouchable. They were treated with respect and kindness.

We'd like to remind everyone out there to take a page from that prison's book. The women who work day in and day out in our hospitals and medical care facilities are often working thankless jobs. Let's all try to remember to give them a little bit more gratitude, just like those prisoners in West Virginia.