T WAS MY SECOND DAY working as a security officer
at CHRISTUS St. Mary Hospital in Port Arthur. I had been working
three months as a housekeeper and had just transferred to Security.
I received a call from the psychiatric unit. A patient had removed
his restraint jacket and had pulled the phone out of the wall. In
those days, the rooms had a little window that could be opened.
My supervisor asked me to stay outside the room and start a conversation
with the patient. “Talk to him about anything,” he said. “You
may speak English or Spanish, but just keep talking to him.”
So, I did, but I stayed some distance from the door, because earlier,
one of the sisters had approached the door and the patient tried
to push her.
supervisor arrived with the patients nurse and the two policemen.
They told me we had to go in. I was afraid, but I prayed and told
the Lord that I was abandoning myself in his hands. I went in and
sat by the patients bed. By this time, we were friends in
a way. The others came in and the nurse gave the patient a shot.
He calmed down and we kept talking. Finally, he was feeling so comfortable
with me that he said he was going to come to the hospital some day
and visit. He never did.
At the end of my second day on the job, the thought
came to mind that I should go back to Housekeeping. After all, one
of my supervisors had said earlier that I might not be the right
person for the job. This patient proved to me that we are all stronger
than we think. Eighteen years later, I am still serving as a security
officer at CHRISTUS St. Mary. Thanks be to God.
CHRISTUS St. Mary Hospital
Port Arthur, Texas