“Why are you here? That’s not an emergency!” exclaimed one of the nurses inside the Clinic as I prepared the vital sign machine prior to letting the female inmate walked in so I could assess her further.
“You know that’s not an emergency! That could have waited until tomorrow!” she yelled at me as she saw my shadow emerging behind the door.
“It might not be an emergency but it necessitated to be examined! Like now!” I replied.
“No, it’s not! Who sent her down here?”
“Is that important to know? I was the one who got the phone call from the unit and it was me who decided to see this inmate. Why are you upset about it anyway? I’m the one seeing her?”
I glanced at the Charge Nurse who was keeping quiet, minding her own business as she heard the two of us argued. It wasn’t the right time for me to go up to her. The female inmate holding her right hand heard everything because she was just right behind me. With a worried look and concerned about what she heard, she worried more about being charged $3.00, the amount they had to pay if they requested to be seen by the medical staff.
“Nurse, am I gonna’ be charged?”
“Don’t worry about it! Just relax,” I reassured.
That particular female inmate was just treated for some abscess few days prior to that time she was in front of me. She was barely done taking her full course of a 7-days worth antibiotics issued to her by the doctor. She worked in the prison’s laundry and that day, she noticed her 5th finger on her right hand getting inflamed and red by the knuckle area. The deputy from their unit got concerned and had asked me if I didn’t mind seeing her to make sure that the infection was not spreading.
“Keep taking the antibiotics they gave you if they are helping with what you had before,” I uttered softly.
“This looks more like a local irritation maybe from soap or some other substance you deal with in laundry. I want you to start paying attention to see if there’s anything in particular that you come across with in laundry that aggravates this every time. If you do, or any time your symptom worsens, you can always ask to be seen anyway,” I explained.
Giving her some topical medication for a possible allergy with instruction, I gave her yellow pass and called her concerned deputy.
I saw the other nurse who got upset just stepped out to go get something to drink from our Dining Area, away from the Clinic. I approached the Charge Nurse and had asked her if she heard everything and I told her that was a very inappropriate action on that nurse’s part to talk about everything where the inmate could hear our conversation, too. She told me to relax and just do what I needed to do. I gathered her lack of interest to say something to that nurse.
“I did what I had to do. I took care of the inmate’s problem despite her being against that.”
“I’m surprised to see her be upset like that. There were times when she overly-cared for others which I knew did not need any special attention,” I added.
In a little higher volume, I told the Charge Nurse, “By the way, I am relaxed!”
Like what I always believe in: “Actions speak louder than words…”
In other words, “Walk the talk!!!”
“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” – Proverbs 14:23 (NIV)
Just a little laugh but may we be serious in loving others without hypocrisy!