About a week ago, there was a horribly tragic story in the New Orleans Times Picayune about a home health care nurse who was brutally gang raped while on her way to see a patient. The news shook the community, and the healthcare community in particular.
While there is really no positive way of looking at the crime that took place when that poor woman was victimized, there is one small bit of good news to the story.
The NOPD (New Orleans Police Department) has made an arrest in conjunction with the case, and appears to be hot on the trail of the others suspected to have been involved in the crime. All I can say is that I sincerely hope they catch every single one of them, and that they (if found guilty) never see the light of day again.
Home health care nurses routinely make visits directly to the homes of patients, where they do things like change wound dressings, bathe immobile patients, clean wounds and so forth. They are different from home health aids, which are more like babysitters for the elderly than an actual skilled RN.
Growing up in a household with two healthcare professionals as my parents, I can definitely relate to this poor woman's agony in a way not everyone can.
I hope the DA assigns his best prosecutors to the case, and I hope the defense lawyers aren't any better than they have to be, as if these guys actually did what they are accused of, they need not be allowed to interact with normal society again - every again.
For more on the arrest that was made, there's a pretty good article at the Nursing Ethics Network: http://www.nursingethicsnetwork.org/arrest-made-in-gang-rape-of-home-health-care-nurse.html.
Author's Note: The nurse who was victimized was not employed nor affiliated with my family's respective businesses in any way, although our hearts do go out to her and she is nonetheless in our prayers. Nobody should ever have to endure that. Ever.