From its first issue in 1900 through to the present day, AJN has unparalleled archives detailing nurses’ work and lives over more than a century. These articles not only chronicle nursing's growth as a profession within the context of the events of the day, but they also reveal prevailing societal attitudes about women, health care, and human rights. Today's nursing school curricula rarely include nursing's history, but it's a history worth knowing. To this end, From the AJN Archives will be a frequent column, containing articles selected to fit today's topics and times.
In this month's article, originally published in our May 2006 Reflections column, a corrections nurse assesses a man arrested for public alcohol intoxication. The encounter becomes unexpectedly poignant, and the nurse's response to this man's distress illustrates both the challenges and the rewards of working in this setting. To read more about providing care to prisoners, see this month's CE feature, “End-of-Life Care Behind Bars: A Systematic Review.”