I (and the other nurse I work with) began working for a Correctional Health Company a few months ago. The detention center I work at has 2 RN's working evenings. Both of us alternate evenings working. The dayshift person is a deputy employed by the detention center with no real medical background. The physician assigned to us is the same one that worked there previously and decided to come aboard when the contracts were signed. We thought what a great setup they had when we came to do an orientation of the facility...things seemed to go so smooth.
Now the problem I'm not sure how to handle. We have both noticed that there are orders for meds entered into the system with no written or verbal/telephone orders, inmates are denied being able to see the physician when asking for TRUE sick call needs, there has been a few occasions in which inmates have been placed in isolation and were told "If you hadn't listened to that stupid nurse you wouldn't be here." Along with a few other words that are not fit for reading. If this were solely coming from the inmates, I may not be so upset. But these reports have been coming from correctional officers and by the other RN I work with. Apparently her and the Medical Officer had a lengthy discussion about me and why I insist on calling the physician or charting H & P's as per our company protocol and that the physician is becoming upset about all the paperwork.
There are medications that adpparently this Med Officer refills for the inmates...I don't mean gets them from the pharmacy. I mean the packs are empty and instead of calling the refill into the pharmacy, he uses meds that he has saved from previous inmates and goodness only knows how old those meds are or if they are eventhe correct medications.
I talked with the other RN today and what I got is she is afraid to call the doctor, chart assessments, or even follow company protocol for fear that "We will be out of a job if we don't run it like he wants." She was referring to the medical officer that used to run the medical department alone. So because of her not following the job description that was laid out by our company, I, the part-time nurse, ends up with anywhere from 20 to 30 H & P's to do, follow-up on all chronic condidtions, etc...
I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle! I don't want to lose my job anymore than anyone else, but isn't there something that canbe done for safety??? They are inmates, not animals! And in no way shape or form will I compromise my license or professionalism just because I am afraid of this person! Isn't there any governing body that inspects these facilities? They just had a jail inspection and I'm guessing they passed. I just don't understand how.
Any thoughts, suggestions, or prayers?