Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

I Heart Swamps Nurse

February 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Certified Nursing Assistant

They call me swamp nurse. I work with men aged 14 to 18 juvenile offenders.

Ochopee in Florida, where alligators around us and the loss of marsh boys serve their sentences .. A place that is free from hatred of the street. Big Cypress Wilderness is a place of learning and repair and make better choices. Choices that will determine the rest of their lives.

My experience in pediatric nursing and nursing education and camp helped me get there. I am an LPN since 1996 and have been accepted to the RN program this fall. I hope to learn new things in school, but really can not imagine ever want to return to work in a building with walls and fluorescent lighting, I prefer the Florida sun, even if more than 80 percent humidity on some days.How I can help these children?

I cleaned their skinned knees, after a rough game of basketball.
I doctor and dentist, some have never seen a dentist.I often keep their hands when they have to overcome a painful procedure.
These are the hands that:
Lock Picked and broke into the house
It was a strange family and
The hands that hit and hit, sometimes walls, sometimes people …

Angry kids at times and broken homes Broken Dreams
It’s my job to lift them “up” to help “cure”.
It is easy to love the “right” people. I can also see the “good” in these boys.
When the company decides that they are around children. It’s my job to give them a second opportunity, and maybe even third or fourth.
The swamp is my job as a nurse to help and guide them in becoming law-abiding citizens of the trip sometime.

My days consist of passing medications, performing medical advice and make appointments with different doctors. All kids have different personalities and different needs. I can make my business to know everyone by name, know what clicked. I even know a bit about his past. A young man was convicted of selling cocaine to support his younger brother when her mother was dying of cancer. Another youth has been in and out of prison for 10 years, both parents are incarcerated.

I also teach health issues boys, first aid and safety, nutrition and hygiene and other teen issues. Each month, a couple of students earn the right to graduates of our program and return to their families. It’s always a bittersweet day knowing that you helped grow if the roots, but also wings. Many go on to do good, and some stumble and fall, I hope the best for these boys.