The nurses who help keep inmates healthy at the Morris County Correctional Facility were recognized for their service on May 6 – National Nurses Day – with gifts of backpacks, mugs and pins that emphasize their caregiving roles.
“I love it!” Nurse Lynn Petrucci said of the insulated backpack with the message “Nurses, The Heartbeat of Healthcare” emblazoned across it and the pin with the inscription “Nurses, An Essential Piece Of Our Team.”.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, Morris County Correctional Facility Undersheriff Alan J. Robinson and Bureau of Corrections Sergeant Andrew Bileci appeared early Monday in the facility’s Medical Department to start handing out the wrapped gifts of appreciation.
Monday specifically is referred to as National Nurses Day but the entire week – May 6 through May 12 – is celebrated as National Nurses Week and promoted by the American Nurses Association. The week ends May 12, which would be nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale’s 199th birthday.
“You really keep people moving in the right direction and we’re very appreciative of that,” Sheriff Gannon told some of the 14 full and part-time nurses who were on duty early Monday at the Correctional Facility.
Undersheriff Robinson said the career offers a challenging clientele, as many of the inmates are struggling with substance use or mental health disorders and may have medical ailments.
“They literally see conditions from A to Z, between mental health, behavioral health and chemical disorders. They see it all and treat them all with compassion and very professionally,” Undersheriff Robinson said.
The Correctional Facility nurses work with other medical professionals, including Dr. Elmer Gilo and Psychiatrist Dr. John Bascara.
Nurse Petrucci said she regards her co-workers as family.
“I love working here. There’s very little turnover. It’s my home away from home, and there’s always something new,” she said.
Nurse Natasha Woodard called the job “a pleasure” that never fails to teach her something new. Nurse Laura Wood echoed her colleagues, saying she, too, loves her position.
The nursing staff includes Alk A. Patel, Elizabeth Law, John M. McCusker, Laura K. Wood, Jessica Marhevka, Lynn A. Petrucci, Natasha Woodard, Melinda M. Wulff, Jean M. Clauss, Rowena M. Castro, Manisha Patel, Edmundo Orendain, Erin Yeager, and Donna L. Backes.