Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Nurse Follies: Our Defense Mechanisms

Tony of TKC posted a video of local activist and KC's very own fame whore, Alonzo "Al Sharpton Lite" Washington doing what he likes to do best...incite racism where there is none.

In a nutshell, he plays an audio recording between a police officer and a reporter at a homicide scene. The tone is jovial, light, one could say there are flirtatious undertones between the officer and the reporter.

I can't speculate on the reporter because she was more than likely trying to fish a hot angle for her story by acting more news model than news reporter. Instead, I'm going to offer defense to the officer for being so light about the situation. Alonzo speculates that the tone would be more somber had the crime been committed in a more affluent (i.e. white) neighborhood.

I'm here to say with authority, that it would have made zero difference.

Police came upon a scene with three dead adults, and one dead child. All were murdered. Now, I've never had to come into a murder scene, but I have been engaged in situations with dying patients that evolved in such a matter that doesn't constitute a "normal death process". To be more specific, exsanguination. I've also had the misfortune of seeing a child die during my nursing school rotation. I'm here to tell you, both things can leave someone scarred forever if they have no good way of coping with it.

A lot of times, we use humor to do it. Okay, so it's not your average David Letterman humor. Hell, it's not even humor no comic would dare touch. It's dark. It's dry. It puts our minds in a safe place so we don't go insane with the reality that screams, "OH MY GOD, AM I REALLY SEEING THIS! IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?? JESUS, HOW CAN I STOP IT? I CAN'T STOP IT!!"

From the outside looking in, an observer may think people like us as cold, callous, uncaring, but the truth is that we need our tools for coping so we don't go home and put a gun to our heads later. Sadly, not everyone who works in health care, law enforcement, first responders has developed these defense mechanisms. They either hit burnout and suffer a breakdown, harm themselves, or adopt a nasty addiction.

So, this cops flirts. Big deal. I'm sure it was a much welcome distraction from the fact that he had just seen a murdered 3 year old and 3 murdered adults. These are the things that stay with you, much like the face of that dead child from my nursing school days stays with me so many years after the fact.

We need to disassociate or we go insane.

In conclusion, Alonzo can just shut his pie hole about something he clearly knows nothing about and go back to what he does best: looking like a cheesey douche nozzle in front of a camera.


Xavier Onassis said...

Very well stated!

bobbie said...


Faith said...

Agreed with the others...even I deal with death in my own life through the assistance of humor. You can only cry so much before your head starts to hurt. And that's what the laughter/lightness can help alleviate.

Shicho said...

anyone who's seen combat will tell you exactly the same. in fact, the more ghoulish the action, the more outlandish the humor.

MoxieMamaKC said...

My sister and mother in law are both nurses and both of them having similar coping mechanisms and they are both relatively sane because of it. Your last sentence is spot on!

PlazaJen said...

I'm with ya - I spent a semester studying and volunteering at a counseling center for rape and violent crime victims, and we joked all the time about those wacky rape victims, bringing things on themselves and wearing the wrong clothes. Otherwise you would go out of your everloving mind with the pain and grief of seeing what one human being can inflict on another. If you absorb the everyday horrors, they will kill you, whether it comes in the form of suicide, or alcoholism, or stress. Gallows humor is definitely a coping skill & Mr. Pay Attention To Me definitely needs to STFU or start doing more ride-alongs with the people who are on the front lines.

Midtown Miscreant said...

he claims he never mentioned race. Me thinks he should go back and listen to what he said. I still honestly cant understand hardly a word on his recording. The funny thing in this, is that he just pissed off the last news station that would even put him in front of aa camera.

Hound Doggy said...

I, too, agree. I worked for a service that had the contract with the Jackson Co. Medical Examiner. One of the things we did was pick up said bodies and take them back to the ME office. Even some of the cops were freaked out. You never knew what someone would say. It sure doesn't do anybody any good to have a camera shoved in your face...(or audio).
You can't huddle off in the corner and have a job to do.
I think unless you don't know.
I was known for my iron stomach...they sent me on all the "bad" calls. I could disassociate...some of the details I don't remember.

Like it or not these jobs are jobs...some people file paperwork....others don't.
Like you would find joking and laughing at the office will probably find it at other jobs too. Things happen.

SmedRock said...

Alonzo has always been a whore. He thinks he knows about the human condition, when all he does is put his foot in his mouth. I have have had the unfortunate timing to see what humans are capable of doing to each other, and yes, gallows humor is the most common defense.

Alonzo can go kiss a dick. A child was killed. FOR NO REASON. Go point that out and quit worrying about WHERE it was in relation to a cop's behavior. Ass Hat.