Taylor Harris - Medical essay | Pacific Medical Training

Submitted 2022-10-14

Performing emergency medical treatment on a patient is something you never fully get used to. Hello, my name is Taylor Harris, and I have been a licensed practical nurse for the department of corrections for the last three years. Working with the department of corrections, we see it all. With some correctional facilities having up to 2500 inmates, you are bound to gain a broad range of experience. I’ve worked with a large county jail for a year now, and with it being the jail, it is more complex than the prison. Mostly, by the time people get to prison, they have detoxed off their drug of choice, and are settled into their new, daily routine. Most of what you will see in the prison are chronic health conditions, cancer, and dialysis. Of course they can still find a way to get ahold of, or make, their own drugs, which can cause them to overdose and die. It is not impossible, but less likely in a prison setting. When working at a county jail, we have people coming in fresh from the street. We have a detox program set in place, and depending on the patient’s drug of choice, will determine which protocol we place them on. We monitor our patients daily, provide them with seizure medication, and hope for the best. Now, getting into providing emergency medicine. One thing you should be, is prepared. Before I had run my fair share of codes, I was watching YouTube videos, reading articles on best practices, and running plays through my head over and over, trying to mentally prepare myself. The last thing you want to do is find yourself in the middle of a code, and no one wants to take the lead, people are fumbling for supplies, and there is no order. We have people’s lives in our hands, and we need to be prepared. That is my first recommendation for anyone entering the healthcare field. Run scenarios through your mind. Know the basics. We’re assessing the scene, checking for a pulse, and beginning cpr. If no one takes the lead on assigning jobs, be prepared to step up. Someone should be applying the AED pads, providing oxygen immediately, checking blood sugar, and starting an IV, all while cpr is being performed. The prisons I have worked in have a crash cart. So a provider should be available to run the code. They can make the call to push emergency medications, such as epinephrine and atropine. Proper cpr is another practice that should be perfected. I was working one day, and I walked into the clinic, and a few of our nurses were performing cpr on a man who had coded during an X-ray. They had him on a soft exam table, which was tall, and immediately I could tell they were not providing adequate compressions. I yelled out, “get him on the floor!” Quickly he was placed on the floor, and within the first two pumps to his chest he was back! It can be an intense feeling. Personally, I always tear up a bit. Especially when we have a case, where the patient was found too late. If the officers had just found them sooner. We had a young male, who had been in jail for about a month. He had finished detoxing, had been seen by providers, and was fine. As I mentioned previously, if they want to, they can get ahold of drugs. Makeshift drugs, made by inmates, desperate for a high. This particular patient was found while he was cold. We ran the code, but it was just too late. Another thing you should possess is the ability to care. Too many times have I seen healthcare professionals with a “don’t care” attitude. It is easy to speak about drug addicts, but someone loved him. The last thing I would recommend someone to prepare for, is to tell your team they did a great job. Everyone did the best they could, everyone did a great job. The reason I am applying for this scholarship is because I am starting my RN bridge program on November 14th. While I don’t know everything, I feel I have a lot to offer. Advancing myself in my career will allow me to help in a bigger way than what I am able to do now. I love educating, I feel it is the best part of my job, and I love what I do. I would like to continue with my career, and open more doors for myself, so that I can continue to touch the lives of others. Thank you.