changing gears at 46 to County Jail? - page 3

Hi All. I am putting my application in for the county jail. I was contracting out my services independently but my husband wants to start his own business and I need to have benefits for both of... Read More

  1. by   nurseT
    The sherriff is my immediate supervisor, he was in the room when the commander told me I must clock in and work 40 hrs because it would cause resentment with the secretaries and the CO's. Sherriff and commander came into my office the first day I was there and started out by saying "let's get a few things straight right off the bat". I am the only nurse and have no coworkers. I'm in the process of checking out if what they're doing to me is legal. It's my understanding that an exempt employee is not to be treated as an hourly employee or they would lose the exempt status on me. I've been checking HR sites as well as the dept of labor but it could be that they may get away with it. I called the nurse who was there before me and she said "that's why I quit" she may take them to court but is still investigating with a labor atty. I may just wait and see what happens with her case. I'm sure it will affect me. I guess it all started when the other employees who are not professional became jealous and thought the grass was greener on the other side of the fence. The real problem, the way I see it, is the commander doesn't have enough balls to tell the other employees if they want a management position then go back to school. I would really like to end the problem. I guess this thread has quickly turned into another issue. Sorry. I look forward to hearing from anyone as like I said, I have no coworkers. Thanks
  2. by   jailDON
    Ok, I'm getting a clearer picture. You are in a very SMALL jail.......how many inmates are you responsible for? You are medicating and doing everything. How do your inmates get their HS meds? Who medicates on the weekends?
    I'm suspecting it is trained officers?

    Maybe I would start with a job description. Do you have one?

    Who supervises you? The jail commander should not have the ability to judge your nursing care. He's not qualified.

    I don't clock in but I work at least 40-50 hours/week AND I'm on call 24/7.

    Can you get comp time?

    You aren't being treated like the manager of a department at all. I ran a small-scale department of only 3 employees and now I have 20 employees but the responsibilities are the same and you deserve the same respect.
    I would demand it.
  3. by   nurseT
    Small county jail, just under 200 inmates. Only about 25 are on meds. Most only take the occasional tylenol or IB. The officers pass meds QID. If I passed the meds all the inmates would suddenly be sick. I did not get a job description. I don't think they know what one is!
  4. by   mattsmom81
    Wow, sounds like you are being bullied and are kind of on your own with it all to boot.

    It's also frustrating to work with jealous coworkers who want to dictate your job to you.

    You will have to decide whether this is worth it for you or not, sounds like you will have to be very assertive or you will get run over here.

    I have no jail experience but I can sense something of what you're feeling and wish you luck.

    Best wishes.
  5. by   jailDON
    The jail I mentioned in which I had 3 employees, there were 120 inmates. You need more help really with 200 inmates. It's acceptable for "health-trained officers" to perform some duties such as Intake screenings and give meds if they have appropriate training.

    I wrote my own job description once! Everyone must have a job description.
    I agree with the last writer who said you are going to have to be assertive or they will run over you. I suggest communicating with written memos and attending meetings as a department head. Once, I was asked to leave a meeting in which I belonged and I refused and stayed!! You have a tough road ahead but you will be a stronger person because of it. You will make your jail safer for your community.
  6. by   nurseT
    update: Last night I called the county commissioner and left a messege. He called me back. I told him I was a trained medical professional and new the difference between an hourly employee and an exempt employee, and then I told hime my story about how they are treating me like an hourly employee. I was simply assertive and not aggressive or accusatory at all. I simply wanted clarification as to how I was to be treated as a professional exempt employee. He said that "No, they cannot tell me to clock in nor can they insist I stay 8hrs for the purposes of decreasing anxiety for the nonprofessional employees". " Esp since I am on call 24/7 without compensation and the fact that my education requires independant judgement, I should be able to decide when my work was done and just leave". He said he was going to bring the issue to the commissioner's hearing that they hold every monday and clarify and that he would also call the sherriff and make sure they understood how to treat an exempt employee. But in the meantime I was to try to get the sherriff alone without his bulldog the commander and clarify the issue and see what he says. I tried to get a chance to talk to him today but he cut out at 1030 am, imagine that. So when I left today it was about 45 min. short of the 8hrs and all the officers were making the usual rude remarks " God I wish I could go home, that's not fair". I turned around and said " Well go to college and learn how to do something, maybe you can have my job". I guess tommorrow I'll find out just how much trouble I'm in for not letting them beat me up. I have never been confrontational in my life, but the older I get, the less tolerant I am. And I am not invited to the meetings either. But I still stay on top of all the reports that should be turned in anyway. They probably through them away. I did tell the medical director today during his visit for sick call and he thought what they were doing to me was atrocious. He also plans on calling the sherriff after I've had a chance to talk to him myself, and he wants me to tell him how the conversation goes so he can plan how he will approach the sherriff. He said he was really tired of them trying to railroad the medical staff. So hopefully I really do have some help, we'll see. I'll let you know what happens.
  7. by   mattsmom81
    Good for you NurseT!! Sounds like you've got what it takes to make this into a decent job for you and hope your persistence pays off for you...getting people in high places involved and seeing your POV is always a good move.

    Love the idea of creating your own job description!

    Your posts remind me a lot of my sister..who is very kind and easygoing but when enough is enough nobody pushes her around. You go girl!

    Let us know how things go...we're pullin' for ya!
  8. by   jailDON
    Great job....you have some good people behind you. Keep the medical director involved. He can sign your job description.

    I've learned that respect starts at the top and trickles down. Officers that are disrespectful to nurses are allowed to be that way. They have no idea what it is like to be on call 24/7.
  9. by   nurseT
    update: This is going to take a little time. I did get to talk to the sheriff. I was going to hold off but he approaches me and says,"Are you sure there's nothing else you need to talk about. I'm beginning to wonder if they've got me bugged. So I did tell him I was uncomfortable with the way he and the commander had marched in and told me what they expected, the 40hrs, the clocking in and the purpose of avoiding anxiety for the other staff. And I siad you shouldn't treat me like an hourly employee if I'm exempt. Otherwise make me an hourly employee. All he kept coming back with was, "Don't you want to work 40hrs?, and I can't make you hourly, you're a professional,and The other nurse we had took advantage of us" and on and on. He just doesn't get it and I doubt if he's suddenly going to have a revelation. I think they think everyone is a criminal and should be monitored. So I made my feelings clear, I won't waste any more time trying to convince them of labor laws. The only thing he did agree to do was try to get the medical dept a private fax in my office and let me have an let me have equall time back if I worked overtime. And he wants me to record my time and give that to the jail matron so if the other girls see me leaving they can't upset everybody. The matron will be able to look at my time and see if I have it coming. They acted like they were doing me a big favor. Well I'm not going to do that, they can call up my time on the computer if they want. I don't know where all this will lead. This will be a huge challenge. I've never seen so much hatred for a medical dept. I am going to call the Dr today and let him know how my conversation went with the sheriff. Will keep you updated. Thanks!
  10. by   mattsmom81
    Quote from nurseT
    update: This is going to take a little time. I did get to talk to the sheriff. I was going to hold off but he approaches me and says,"Are you sure there's nothing else you need to talk about. I'm beginning to wonder if they've got me bugged. So I did tell him I was uncomfortable with the way he and the commander had marched in and told me what they expected, the 40hrs, the clocking in and the purpose of avoiding anxiety for the other staff. And I siad you shouldn't treat me like an hourly employee if I'm exempt. Otherwise make me an hourly employee. All he kept coming back with was, "Don't you want to work 40hrs?, and I can't make you hourly, you're a professional,and The other nurse we had took advantage of us" and on and on. He just doesn't get it and I doubt if he's suddenly going to have a revelation. I think they think everyone is a criminal and should be monitored. So I made my feelings clear, I won't waste any more time trying to convince them of labor laws. The only thing he did agree to do was try to get the medical dept a private fax in my office and let me have an let me have equall time back if I worked overtime. And he wants me to record my time and give that to the jail matron so if the other girls see me leaving they can't upset everybody. The matron will be able to look at my time and see if I have it coming. They acted like they were doing me a big favor. Well I'm not going to do that, they can call up my time on the computer if they want. I don't know where all this will lead. This will be a huge challenge. I've never seen so much hatred for a medical dept. I am going to call the Dr today and let him know how my conversation went with the sheriff. Will keep you updated. Thanks!
    Uggh. How aggravating. Can you go at it with the angle YOU are not his or his staff's dept and things are different...and you and the doc are your own dept, etc.. so your business is not the busines of the clerical /jail matron and staff? They need to respect your oncall duties.

    I did some agency work in a day spa for the very rich once and the spa staff were also very jealous and controlling towards the nurse...it wasn't fun. they had no idea what I was doing but were jealous I made more $$ than them and thats where it was coming from. Very hostile conditions.

    My job right now I am working with very unprofessional people who are also very critical and backstabbing...its a tough atmosphere. I try to go in and do my job but the negativity and 'out to get ya' attitude is prevalent. <sigh>

    Good luck to you and we're pulling for ya.
  11. by   jailDON
    "I'm beginning to wonder if they've got me bugged."

    It's very possible. At my jail, every call that lasts over 3 minutes is recorded. Listening to the recordings is done randomly and only a small percentage is monitored UNLESS they suspect something or are out to get you. Once at my facility they caught a nurse having a relationship with a former inmate/felon that returned frequently. I wouldn't be surprised at all if they are listening to you. Over the years there are times when I have had to go to my car and talk on my cell phone rather than use the jail phone. It's a weird feeling when you have to do that.

    Their concerns are really ridiculous. You are your own department as Mattsmom suggested and the doctor could be the one that determines what hours you work. Which of you is considered the Health Services Administrator? In my facility it's an RN with that title and he is the supervisor over the MD, monitors contract compliance and ACA/NCCHC compliance.
  12. by   nurseT
    update: I called the Dr yesterday to tell him how my conversation went with the sheriff. We decided if he had a talk with the sheriff that the sheriff wasn't going to suddenly have a revelation either. So, I've been researching the dept of labor web site. Some of the answers to the frequently asked questions start out by saying, "unless you are working in the public sector", and I have not been able to find labor laws that specifically adress the public sector. I want to locate that information before I call the commissioner back.Anybody know of this information?
  13. by   jailDON
    What state are you in? I think the laws are different state by state but I could be wrong.

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