My First Day
For as long as i can remember i have wanted to be nurse. After going through the nursing school i was happy to get job as trainee in one of the biggest hospital's in my area Pennhurst state school and hospital.
With the letter in my hand i stood in the yard of it and was amazed of its size. I felt this shiver when i heard sounds of people screaming that echoed from the falls of this building.
Screams reminded me of the lost souls screaming from the depths of hell and little voice in my mind started saying "run..."
I shake that voice and feeling from my mind and entered the building. What i was faced with effects me even this day. People wondering around stopping only when wall or window stops them and then do the same over and over again.
People explaining things that no one could understand, at the times laughing and then suddenly having tears in their eyes .
More disturbing than that was the smell..oh god.. the smell that was from all the waste that people walked on. That sight touched my heart and i felt so sorry for those people. They obviously did not get good enough care in here even not to be wet and dirty on their own feces.
I was interrupted by head nurse that appeared next to me. " we don't have enough staff and time to deal with that " she sight " and anyways i don't think they mind, it is not like they know of anything better"
Words of head nurse made me feel rising anger but given it was my first day i dared to say anything.
" hi my name is Florence and i am starting here today " i gathered enough energy to but smile on my face while looking at the head nurse.
She looked at me " welcome to He... i mean Pennhurst . i am head nurse Mcgreen" I looked at her, something of what she said made me wonder but then she moved her hand as sign that i should follow her .
After walking couple of minutes in silence she turned around and smiled " Florence? as in Florence Nightingale? " sound in her voice was ironical and amused.
Oh how i hated people saying that , but with all my energy i gathered up again smile on my face and said " yes . i think i was named after her"
After walking through many corridors we arrived on door. It was different from others by having big lock on it and guard outside and the door was steel not wood as others.
" I heard from your teacher that you have big heart and right mind. only god knows that you need have those with these people." she shook her head and started opening the doors.
I swallowed and asked " what is this place? i thought that my job was to work at the open ward "
She turned around and looked at me " we have no need for people in that ward and this place...there ain't big numbers of nurses wanting to work here and it takes special kind of one to work with these...people..."
I felt annoyed cause my question was so clearly left unanswered .
Head nurse noticed the look on my face and said " this is the ward for those that have no hope. Those that are too dangerous, too disturbed and too far gone beyond any help to with any other patients in this hospital "
Before i could continue by asking any more questions she took hold on my shoulders and said " what ever you do, don't go close to the doors just follow the red line on the wards floor and do not start to think too much what they are saying. it is highly dangerous "
Then without giving me time to respond she left me there standing my mouth open. When i turned to face the doors i almost had heart attack when i saw all the hands reaching me through the holes of the door and people shouting to me something that i could not understand . I walked backwards away from the hands and felt other one on my hair pulling it . I screamed and my scream did cause the guard to run from his spot to help me and get the hands of my hair.
" what do you think you are doing ?? " he yelled. " these people are dangerous " he continued and took something from his pocket and touched the man with it . Man yelled from the pain and went into corner and started to swing back and forward.
I looked at the guard anger rising " i am glad for your help, but it was completely my fault and you had no reason to hurt him" i managed to say between my teeth without yelling.
He looked at me and then man in the room. " they have to learn respect, you know " he said and hit the door with his hand causing the man in the room to start yelling again.
"i don't think that is the right way to do it" i said trying still to keep myself under control by not slapping him.
He laughed in sarcastic way " you feel sorry for them? oh you will get over it soon i promise " he said and walked back to his spot outside of the door.
I looked after him and then silently walked to the door of the man and saw him in the corner still rocking himself. I wanted to say something but no words come to my mind.
My day in the ward followed rules that was written on paper that was left for me on nurses table. Rules that i had to obey by every single word.
In the afternoon it was time for drugs . I put water to small paper cups and handed them to patients and large numbers of pills to every one.
Everyone except the man scared by the guard . The man stayed at the corner and did not do anything when i told him it was time for his pills
I felt nervous cause pills had to be given at the certain time and he was not responding to anything i said .
I looked at the door where guard was and silently took the keys from my pocket and opened the door.
I knew it was highly against the rules but i had to give the pills to him cause i did not want him to suffer more than he already did.
I walked towards him slowly and stopped shaking when man looked at me and said " not crazy ..." Looking the man's face i did not see the mad man that i saw earlier , what i saw was the eyes of scared man.
" What did you say?" i asked . " i am not the one that is crazy" he said now standing up and walking towards me. Suddenly he stopped and his eyes were wide and he raised his hand
Before i could react i heard him saying " behind you..." and i felt the sting of the needle on my neck.
Before everything went dark i heard the words " you just could not obey the rules..."