To the Nurse held Hostage yesterday

  1. Whoever you are, I don't know if you come on the forums here, but I hope you are ok.

    To those who don't know, there was a prisoner being treated at a hospital in Illinois yesterday. The inmate somehow grabbed hold of the security guards gun and held a nurse hostage. This nurse was eventually let go and he somehow managed to get a second hostage, also a nurse.


    SWAT team eventually moved in, killing the suspect with the hostage present in the room.


    If either of you can see this, I really hope you're ok. This is such an emotional thing to go through. I can't even imagine the post trauma this has caused you. From my ER to yours, we have always treated prisoners along side everyone else, and I'm so so sorry this happened to you. God Bless you and I hope you as well as the other RN get through this emotional roller coaster.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   PrincessElleRN
    I can't even imagine. We treat prisoners all the time and if any of them ever had a chance to make a break for it, they would take it. God bless those nurses and I hope they can heal peacefully from this horrifying incident.
  4. by   RN>20yr
    HUGS to you my RN colleague.

    I have cared for a few prisoners handcuffed to the bed. I remember my empathy battling with my sense of safety.
    I almost always gave the prisoner the benefit of the doubt. I see my role as being a patient advocate and wanted to create a safe space for them no matter what their life circumstances.
    I can't imagine what the breach of that trust would feel like.
    My heart goes out to you.
  5. by   Daisy4RN
    I am so glad that both nurses are safe. Working with inmates is usually not a problem but this reminds all of us that we need to be vigilant at all times because inmates, like anyone else, can have mental issues as well as be very manipulative. (note: I am not saying these 2 nurses were not being vigilant). I have also been the nurse to inmates, some who were and some who were not handcuffed to the bed, I will always (now) question why they are not!
    Again, sooo glad that the nurses are safe and hopefully dealing well with the emotional distress/trauma that this has caused them.
  6. by   Orca
    Quote from RN>20yr
    I almost always gave the prisoner the benefit of the doubt. I see my role as being a patient advocate and wanted to create a safe space for them no matter what their life circumstances.
    I work in corrections, and I don't. Inmates use this kind of thinking to create the chaos and confusion that led to the hostage incident. (I am relieved to see that you used past tense in referring to this.) Many are master manipulators, and to the untrained ear they can have you believing that they are purely victims of circumstance. Every man or woman shackled to the bed has earned that status in one way or another. I still advocate for them when it is appropriate, and I do my best to make sure that my staff delivers good care to them. However, giving an inmate a "safe space" is asking for major problems. Inmates seize on opportunity, and getting you to let your guard down by developing your trust or cultivating your sympathy is the first step in that process.
  7. by   Non Sequitir
    Quote from Orca
    I work in corrections, and I don't. Inmates use this kind of thinking to create the chaos and confusion that led to the hostage incident. (I am relieved to see that you used past tense in referring to this.) Many are master manipulators, and to the untrained ear they can have you believing that they are purely victims of circumstance. Every man or woman shackled to the bed has earned that status in one way or another. I still advocate for them when it is appropriate, and I do my best to make sure that my staff delivers good care to them. However, giving an inmate a "safe space" is asking for major problems. Inmates seize on opportunity, and getting you to let your guard down by developing your trust or cultivating your sympathy is the first step in that process.
    Agree 100%. In my current non-nursing role, I work very closely with providers and nurses in an ER, including when law enforcement is called on scene for patients with active warrants. Some of our nurses - as awesome as they are otherwise - have taken it upon themselves to become a patient advocate and do things like cite HIPPA when officers come in to make a move on the accused. This always ends up impeding the officers an inevitably creates an environment which does not belong in the hospital. It is not a healthcare provider's place to pass judgment - good or bad - on an accused or charged patient.
  8. by   Orca
    We have had hospital nurses complain to administration about officers being mean or uncooperative, when further investigation revealed that the officers were simply following established protocols for hospital duty and maintaining safety. I work inside the fences rather than in a hospital, but I have become very adept at performing a number of procedures on inmates in handcuffs, leg irons and belly chains, and even meatball physical assessments through steel doors when safety dictates that it wouldn't be a good idea to attempt a normal physical assessment.

    Prison is a different world, and we understand that hospital nurses don't have the benefit of our experience with inmates, or the realization of just how high the stakes can become if we aren't vigilant. Having done both, I see a definite dichotomy. In my world, physical comforting and terms of endearment, commonly used on hospital floors, simply should not happen. They can be misconstrued as signs of romantic interest (and no, the sex of the inmate and staff doesn't matter in that context). We have to be mindful of things that hospital staff wouldn't give a second thought to. Inmates can take advantage of that relative naiveté and manipulate hospital staff - or gain an advantage and take hostages.
  9. by   kakamegamama
    My son is a corrections officer. His experience with inmates reinforces what some of the posters have said about inmates.....they can manipulate, play the victim, use a perceived or real weakness of the officer/nurse to their benefit, thus endangering those involved. What's the saying (may apply here?): "Keep you friends close and your enemies closer." In other words---don't buy into their tales of woe. As to those who complain to admin about LEOs--folks---they are there to PROTECT you and the others in the ER/floor/clinic/wherever. That may mean gruffness on their part or a perceived "meanness" just to show the inmate who is in charge. Let them do their jobs while you do yours.
  10. by   FranEMTnurse
    Dear hostage nurses, I truly hope you were released. What a horrible experience. Nurses are in such danger every day helping the sick and injured.I realize you will suffer from the trauma, and I truly hope you will heal from it soon. God bless you.
  11. by   TakuRN
    Quote from RN>20yr
    HUGS to you my RN colleague.

    I have cared for a few prisoners handcuffed to the bed. I remember my empathy battling with my sense of safety.
    I almost always gave the prisoner the benefit of the doubt. I see my role as being a patient advocate and wanted to create a safe space for them no matter what their life circumstances.
    I can't imagine what the breach of that trust would feel like.
    My heart goes out to you.
    I never ask the officer why the prisoner was incarcerated because I don't want that affecting my emotions while providing patient care. I DO treat all prisoners with the same respect and courtesy I would all other patients, but I am much more cautious. I never have objects in my pockets they can easily grab, I never wear my stethoscope around my neck when I'm with a prisoner. You have to think like a criminal. Even if yhey're only in jail for theft, it doesn't mean they haven't done something far more sinister in their life, they just haven't gotten caught. You also need to be especially careful of the real "charming" and "charasmatic" prisoners. You need to protect yourself. I say this because my partner did two years in prison when he was a young man, and he told me to be especially vigilant around ALL prisoners.

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