Monday, March 19, 2012

The Last Straw by TMFS786

By far the most asked question I am asked is why would I choose to go from police officer to nurse? It's a legitimate question, because some people have see NYPD blue and think we get to throw people around and why would anyone want to leave that. The truth is a series of events in stories that are way to long to put into one blog. I have been able to isolate what may be the three biggest facets of my decision: 1) the justice system sucks, 2) aspects of the jobs themselves, and 3) specific events that happened as a police officer. Before we go any further I think it should be said that I love being a police officer (I still do it part-time) and the officers are great people. Nothing said should be seen as a reflection of the people wearing the uniform and doing their job.

The justice system is broken. I hear a lot of complaints about the health care system and everything that is wrong with it. Well, it looks like a diamond shinning in the sun compared to the justice system. Health care is flawed and I doubt there is a good way to fix it that will satisfy everyone. The justice system just seems to be screwing over most people involved with it. Health care still essentially does it job. If you are sick, most likely, you will be fixed. Yes, there are tragic stories of insurance companies turning down people that need an operation or procedure. Do I feel for those people, of course I do and it sucks. The difference is those are isolated scenarios that need fixed. The justice system has a systemic infection that can't be corrected easily. The joke is lawyers are to blame and in essence that's not a joke. It is heart breaking to stand in court and the suspect say he is guilty and the judge tell him to reverse his plea, because he may be able to get a better deal. Especially when you have put in back breaking hours and manpower into finding a thief, then you have to go to court and then that happens. Afterwards the family inevitably blames the police even though they know we arrested them. When I take care of a patient they get better or they get worse. I get to see it and I can deal with that, but to have a win taken because a judge doesn't care is just heartbreaking. Defense attorneys are another breed of slime that's hard to deal with on a daily basis. They are doing their jobs…blah, blah, blah. A person that can defend another person who admits to molesting children by trying to insinuate that the police officers were wrong is pretty disgusting. Imagine a person that just stood in a room and every time you went to start an IV moved the persons arm.

People hate cops. It's a fact of life any police officer will likely tell you depending on how much complaining he wants to deal with after they are honest. People want us out busting crime, enforcing traffic laws and making society safe. That is until we start asking them questions then we are nothing but worthless and harassing someone. It always has to be that they are black or a woman or they drive an expensive car. Nobody has ever said “I realize you stopped me because I match the description of the person robbing houses and I happened to drop my wallet in their house” or “I know I was in the wrong going fifteen miles over the speed limit.” In the end it's always our fault that they did something wrong. A nurse is seen as something in society that represents what people aspire to be. We are trusted and thought of as capable by the public. I want to do my job and do it the best as I can without people hating me for doing it. Another officer and I responded to a child drowning. It was at a house party and accidents happen. The officer and I arrived to find the girl and began doing life saving measures and actually got the young lady to begin breathing again even it wasn't pretty. The party however never stopped and I yelled for the music to be turned down and people to step back, because silly me I wanted to let EMS know what was going on and to have room to work. After the incident several family members came up to me and demanded an apology. I wasn't expecting a thank you, but I certainly didn't see this coming. They said it was obvious since I was the only white person there that the reason I yelled for the music to be turned down was because it was rap music and I was racist. It never occurred to them I guess that I wanted to relay information to the paramedics who were on their way to get the daughter. That was a hell of a way to end that call. The other day, working as a nurse, a parent thanked me profusely for saving their kids life, even after I told them repeatedly that I only helped and I really didn't do that much. That everyone else around me had done much more. It's hard to argue with an appreciative mother with tears in her eyes. That is another reason to leave being a cop and become a nurse. Not only was I thanked, but I was thanked for just being there.

I have been in way worse situations as a police officer then I will ever be as a nurse. That doesn't mean there isn't stress, there is a ton of stress as a nurse, but it's not the same in the field when you are involved in the action. One of the boring but safe reasons for being a nurse over a cop is there is dramatic drop in the safety of being at work. Never has a room burst into flames while passing meds. Nobody has pulled a gun on me while adjusting them in bed. I have seen a lot of things that have made me different than I was before them. Some things can not be unseen or changed in your memory no matter what you do. Trust me I tried and tried. I don't know how I became so unlucky but I had a habit of being at the wrong place, at the wrong time, a lot as a police officer. Over time these incidents wore on me and they still place a weight on my shoulders. It is expected and it hasn't inhibited me in any real sense of measure. A lot of times I am asked essentially “what straw broke the camel's back?” A story that I will keep brief and I have been told may be too graphic for many is the answer. A structure fire was reported and then it was dispatched that children may be in the house. If I had drove to that house any faster I would have went back in time. I had been in some tough situations before, but anything involving kids always seems to hit harder. The house was hot…real hot when we arrived and I knew it was going to be bad. The flames had busted out the front and sides of the house and were extending pretty far into the air. It's something I don't know if I can explain with a thermometer but looked like something out of a movie. I just didn't think it could be real. Eventually we were able to get one child out of the house and into the hands of paramedics who took the child away. One was still reported in the house. I screamed and inhaled black smoke at an alarming rate something I am sure my lungs will repay me for in the future. In the end we got the other one out but it wasn't enough. At the hospital helping the coroner, I saw all the nurses standing there. They were upset but they had done everything possible to help both children which was way more than I had felt I had done. I was envious of the feeling of being able to help and I wanted to feel it more than anything else I could imagine. Hopelessness is the absolute worst feeling in the world. So I made the decision pretty much right then and there. As nurses we affect lives directly and indirectly and we do so from the moment we clock in till the moment we clock out. I am proud to be a police officer and I would never trade this time for anything, but I look forward to the time spent helping others and maybe someday someone will remember that one murse that helped them.

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