Ninapintasantamaria's Blog

{December 27, 2008}   I scare people.

Not on purpose.  I mean, I don’t go around and jump out at them, or anything.  Although, if you’re not expecting the volume and content that comes out of my mouth, I guess that is arguable.  Remember I told you about the security guard I scared once?  That’s a funny story.  I was working in a teeeeeeeny tiny hospital in New Mexico.  It was only 50 beds, and located on an indian reservation.  It was one 13 week assignment during which I learned that I hated travel nursing and would never leave home again.  I came from a city, you know, with cell phones, coffee houses, and basic requirements of civilization.  This place, you ask?  Not so much.  Out in east bumfuck, to put it politely, and I drove through 100 miles of no cell phone signal, no telephone poles, no farms, no people.  I was out there with elk, coyotes, and rattle snakes.  I could have been dead out there for days and no one would have known the difference.  This was unnerving to say the least.  Now, the culture out here was interesting.  No one colored their hair, no one got manicures, they didn’t cut up and joke, and in general weren’t a friendly bunch.  I found it very strange.   They just weren’t used to short, spunky, loud go-getters like me who expected some hustle out of people who worked at what was (and questionably so, at that) considered a hospital.  So one night, I got a patient in who had a history of domestic violence. Her 15 year old son had hit her!  I couldn’t believe it.  I thought I knew what would fix that problem, but as nurses we aren’t allowed to give our opinions on things like that unless asked. (A good beating with the end of a hose pipe, in case you’re wondering, but I’m not picky.  A ball bat would do.  Also snatching him up by the hair and tossing him out on his ass till he could apologize and mind his manners might get his attention, too.)   I got her all checked out and settled in for the time being, and set about setting up the security protocol so as to protect her from any future assaults, at least, in my care.  I couldn’t find the procedure book, and no one had any idea what I was talking about.  I couldn’t believe that on a reservation, where, unfortunately they deal with this a lot, no one had any idea what to do about keeping this woman safe from her family.  So.  I called the nursing supervisor, to which I received this reply: “Well I guess you could call security.”  I was aghast, by this point.  But, hoping against hope, I called anyway.  I think I woke the guy up from a nap.  I repeated my story for approximately the 4th time and gave him my request.  He says, (get this) “What do you want me to do about it?”  I saw red.  I totally lost it, and bellowed into the phone “You people better get it together before we all end up on the gott-damn news!!!!  You ever heard of Columbine?  I don’t know where these kids get these uzi’s but they do!  You find that kid and you get him out of here, now!!  Then you patrol around and try to create some semblance of protecting my patient, not to mention the rest of the employees of this hospital!”  and slammed down the phone.  Yes, all of that had been said in one breath.  I have amazing lung capacity.  Well, in a 50 bed hospital, everybody knows who everybody is.  And I was one of about 3 in the whole place that wasn’t native american, so I stood out, including the colored hair and other such markers.  This story went like wildfire.  The guy got up apparently, and did what I told him to do, bless him.  He came and found me later, and let me know that they had found the kid, and sent him to another relative’s house.  Then he shrunk away from desk and begged not to be hollered at anymore!  How funny.  I didn’t get it.  He had to know that was coming.  I don’t know, I guess he thought he had a gravy job.  However, after that, every night I worked, I saw them making rounds on the floor and outside the building.  I guess I did some good, after all.  I left that place soon after, and came directly back to Tennessee.  They didn’t have sweet tea and biscuits, so I had to come home.  I’ve been teased about that a lot, but I told you about the picky eater thing.  You know I lost 20 lbs out there cause I couldn’t find food to eat?  I gained it all back when I got home and had real food again, though.  Oh, well.  What do you do?   I’ve always wondered, since I left there, if they weren’t glad to see the back of me.  Probably.


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