Tuesday, May 23, 2006

In Memoriam

[Posted by ClinkShrink]

I lost a great officer last week and I'm sad.

Correctional Officer X** was assigned to work in the psychiatric infirmary. He had been there for years and he was good at it. CO ("Correctional Officer") X was build like a sumo wrestler, only bigger. He had a soothing, mellow, story-telling voice like Garrison Keillor. I swear he could have hypnotized a rabid dog with that voice. Whenever any situation came up on the unit that looked like it could have gotten out of control, he was there. If any of my patients got loud during rounds, he'd poke his head in: "You OK in there, doc?" When he moved down the unit it was like watching an ocean swell move toward a tropical beach. But more than his size, his demeanor set the tone for the milieu. He approached patients in a way that made them feel safe.

He was the ideal physician recruiter. Whenever I brought applicants through the unit I'd introduce them to X. "In case you're nervous about working here," I'd tell them. "Don't you worry," X would say. "You come work here, I got your back."

He was a big (pardon the pun) reason why we never needed to use physical restraints.

And now he's gone.

He got promoted to sargeant and moved to a different tier. Gotcha!

But I'm still sad.


**Not his real name. Duh.