I am also in Mobile, Alabama. I didn't realize there are so many options for nurses. I started the ADN program this past spring.
I have worked for two years in Texas Mental Health Hospital. I loved it!!! You would not believe the abuse the patients are subjected to!
It makes me so angry.
Here is my story: There was a woman that had spent seven years in this hospital after trying to commit suicide by driving her truck into a power pole. This woman was tube feed, wouldn't walk, or sit up, or talk since her attempt.
I had worked there for about three months when I went into her room to get her ready for her day when I heard her, 'The birds are singing'. Remember she had not spoken in seven years. I looked around the room, we were the only two in there. I left confused.
The next morning, I heard, 'Goodmorning'. I WAS NOT CRAZY, SHE DID TALK.
I walked over and asked this silent woman if she told me Goodmorning and she shook her head, yes. Slowly, I backed out of the room actually scared of her and ran down the hall and out of breath at the nurses station. 'SHE'S TALKING!!, SHE SAID GOODMORNING TO ME'. Oh, course no one believed me. I got strange looks from the staff as well as the Charge Nurse who rolled her eyes.
I went back down that hall and walked up to her bedside, 'Please talk to me'. She began telling me that I was the only person that had not pushed, tugged, or hit her when she did not cooperate. Some workers had dropped her on the floor, slapped her, and called her horrible names, and worse exposed her without regards to her privacy to humiliate her.
For the next six months, she participated in her treatment and accomplished alot. I would talk to her as often as I could. She had so much to say! (Her childhood, her failed marriage, her children, and her feelings about why she wanted to die.) My gosh, she bottled up seven years of life and to hear her now, she was ready to live again.
I want to be there for many more people, like this woman. She taught me so much about compassion and life. Those people become my family. Are we that different from them? Don't they deserve the same respect you do? Maybe they are 'crazy', but aren't we all 'crazy'?