Advice Needed for New Corrections Nurse! - page 2

by WhirlyGirl 7,260 Views | 10 Comments

Hello Everyone! I am a new graduate RN. I applied to several hospitals and other avenues of employment, and receieved and accepted a job offer in correctional nursing. I am hoping for some good advice of any sort. While I... Read More


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    I have worked in corrections for over a year and this is what I have found to be true. First and foremost, keep your officers on your side. You ALWAYS need to be able to trust your officers in every situation imaginable. Another tip... nursing is completely different in a correctional setting. Some things may happen and you just need to turn a blind eye to it... again, that goes back to keeping your officers on your side. There is corruption in the facilities. I know that as nurses we want to be sure that our pts are well taken care of and such, but it's different on the inside. There must be boundaries, and correctional nursing is much like vet nursing... you have to know what your s/s are for what they are telling you is wrong. They like to BS... a lot of times, they just want to get out of their cell so they make up something to come down to triage. For instance, one biggie is "chest pain." Ask all the pertinent questions, when did it start, how long does it last, what brings it on... and don't use big words. Many of these people are un-educated and they don't understand our words. Dumb it down, par say. Almost on a kid level. They may complain of something that is completely unrelated to the s/s that they are telling you. That's when you know they are full of it. Another thing they like to do is fake seizures. Oh that's a fun one! My advice... take 2 ammonia sticks, shove one up each nostril. Sounds bad, but if they are faking, they WILL react. You need to know all your s/s of a REAL sz. If you don't, they will get you every time and then once they are in the infirmary, then you have the practioner jumping on you because there is no need for them to be there. Another tip, always keep it professional. Don't let your guard down for a minute. Don't worry about what they say to you and if it bothers you that much, send them to the tank, slap a DR on them... when they get charged for sexual harrassment, they tend to shut their mouths a bit. Don't let them get to you. Correctional nursing is a different kind of nursing. Not all nurses can handle it. You have to have a backbone and be strict and stern or they will take advantage of you. That's the last thing you want, then you get no respect and that's the ONE THING that you have to have in a place like that. Respect. They are all about that. You can be nice but stern. You will have to learn what works for you. Never show emotion to them either. Like I said, you can't let them know that what they say and do affects you.. that shows you are weak and then they spread it around to other I/Ms and then they play on that. Like I said, not all nurses are cut out for this type of work. I loved it and I miss it. I was laid off (along with 5 others) due to budget cuts. I really want to go back... Good luck on your endeavor and I hope that you enjoy it. It does have it's rewarding moments.
    Aviationurse likes this.


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