Do The Right Thing

“Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;” – Psalm 26:2 [NIV]

“Nurse, excuse me….”

One of the Intake Deputies disrupted my attention as I was trying to get caught up with my charting on those inmates I had screened that had medical or mental problems. I needed to start a chart so they could be seen by either the medical doctor or Psychiatrist, depending on their needs.

“Do you mind taking a look at this guy? He doesn’t look good.”

He motioned for me to go with him to the Search and Hold area, where they search all the arriving arrestees from the streets.

“Wait deputy! Let me just get the vital signs machine so I am not wasting my time. If his vitals are okay, and my assessment on him is okay, he can be booked. But if not, we are not going to waste time asking him questions.”

“Okay. Thank you, Nurse.”

He was talking rapidly. His nose was covered with dried-up blood and some bruising had already started. He was a heavy set man, tall but had disheveled look.

“What happened to you?” I queried as I started the electronic blood pressure cuff on his left arm.

“I smashed my nose but I’m okay, Nurse. Don’t worry about me.”

The din of the inflating cuff of the blood pressure monitor stopped.

“160/110”…….His pulse was 120 and erratic. Sometimes falling to 100, then would go back up to 125.

The arresting officer was already filling out the health screen form for his arrestee. Glancing at my direction, I interrupted him.

“Sorry, Sir. I can’t admit him. You have to bring him to our county’s ER so he can be evaluated because his blood pressure is way high and his pulse is going all over the place.”

His calm but weary face was painted with annoyance.

“No! How about if I let go of the handcuff, can you try taking it again?” he requested.

Arresting officers usually get disappointed when Intake Nurses can’t admit their arrestees for any medical or mental issue that warrants an immediate attention. The process is long as they wait with the arrestees in ER and then, bring them back to the jail, once they are cleared by the ER doctor for booking.

Our Intake Deputy silently talked with me using his eyes.

“It’s okay. Go ahead! I’ll re-check his bp again,” I reassured, sure that nothing would change upon seeing the behavior that was unusual somewhat.

The bp monitor started running and then stopped again: “158/110…His pulse still the same.”I hollered to the watchful eye of the officer.

The officer didn’t say anything. He started packing his paper works. He knew he would not be able to change my mind. A policy is a policy. He knew I was determined not to break that knowing it would be risky for the inmate’s health and most of all, it wouldn’t be the right thing to do.

How true with my faith. I want to know where I stand sometimes. Who better to ask than God Who alone can see my heart? I know I have Jesus in me. But how many times I still tend to stray away from what I know? From what He told me?

“Encourage us to do the right thing,” my husband always utters in our daily morning prayers before he goes to work, leaving while it’s still dark, to meet up with other officers. A daily task they have to do to maintain order and peace in this land.

And now that I ponder about his words, “Encourage us to do the right thing…” Paul’s words echoed at the back of my mind:

“Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:7 [NIV] -[emphasis is mine]

“For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.” – 2 Corinthians 13:8 [NIV]
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