CORRECTIONAL NURSING - page 3

I am considering a position as a correction nurse in a male facility. Want to know the pros and cons of this type of nursing. Thanks for any info you can provide... Read More

  1. by   tjazzy31
    Quote from PrisonrNurs
    Hey there,

    I'm an LPN and got into Corrections with only 6 months experience, to boot! It was scary at first, but I have to admit, I absolutely love it! It's true about what they say. Never the same, never boring! It can be scary though, especially when you're new. Inmates will ask you all sorts of questions, and will try to see how far they can go in getting what they want, so watch out! I was a big softie at first, but I'm learning to weed out the lies from the truth (your assessment skills have to be good) and to be tough when they want something and can't have it. They rant and rave and throw tantrums that would put any two-year old to shame. The fact is, when they do ask, they know already, what the answer is.

    If you do get into corrections, best of luck! You'll love it and it will be an exciting experience, and a great learning experience, even if you learn that Corrections isn't for you.
    Hi My name is Tonya . I have only 6 months experience on a med/surg oncology floor too. I just accepted a job with a county jail inmy area. I start on Monday. Are you still there? I am eager to start. I would love to hear any pointers to give me. you may email me at tbalthop73@juno.com

    any and all advice is welcome
    Eager to learn
  2. by   PrisonrNurs
    Hello Tonya,

    Well congratulations on your prison nursing position! Correctional nursing does offer some unique challenges, but can also be somewhat frustrating at times. Here are a few tips that might help you through this.


    1. First and foremost, SAFETY is the most important aspect of your
    job. You need to be ever-vigilant of the population you are dealing with. No sweet elderly grandmothers here. You are dealing with drug addicts, rapists, and molesters now. The vast majority of the inmates you deal with will be very nice, charming and friendly, but you have to be careful. They teach us to treat each inmate as if they were someone waiting to stab you in the back the minute they got the chance. This is of course, not true, but it helps keep you aware of any potential danger.

    2. Try (and this can be difficult) to maintain a non-judgmental
    attitude about your patients. Look at them as human beings, deserving of dignity and respect. If you label them according to the crime they committed, it will make it much harder for you to provide quality care.

    3. Be careful not to disclose personal information about yourself.
    When inmates see a new face, they will try to find out things about you. "Are you married? Are you from here?" Only share with them things they need to know. Your personal life is none of their concern.

    4. USE YOUR NURSING SKILLS when assessing a patient. An inmate may
    come down saying he's (I'm assuming this is a men's facility) having a lot of pain and wants something for it. Don't trust him at his word. He could be a drug seeker. Use your skills as a nurse to see if he's really in pain. Is he pale, diaphoretic? Are his BP, respirations and heart rate elevated? Many times I've run into patients who have complained of pain, only to get a lay-in from work, or some extra medication. Rely on the inmates non-verbal skills to tell you if he is in pain. They'll tell you more than his words.

    5. Don't fall into the "giving trap" as we call it. You will find
    that inmates will test you in terms of what they can get from you. If a medication is scheduled for 0600 and they come down at 0630 wanting their medications because they slept in, refuse them and tell them to be at Medline on time. It seems harsh but they will know that they can't get away with things. If you give in easily, they may come down at 0640, then 0650, just to see how far they can push you. You need to maintain a "fair but tough" attitude with inmates. Don't worry, if you don't have this, you will learn to be. :-)

    6. Remember those silly little safety and precaution techniques you
    learned in nursing school? Well they can literally save your life here. Remember to glove up at all times, and WASH YOUR HANDS!!! Blood borne diseases are rampant in the prison population. Within our facility, 30% of the population has hepatitis. Many have STD's and many more are being treated for exposure to TB. The sad fact is that some inmates are willing to use bodily fluids as a weapon.

    7. If you do a Medline, you'll have to do a mouth check to make sure
    inmates don't cheek their meds. If they are on psychotropic medications
    like Seroquel, Paxil or Wellbutrin, they may try to cheek their medications so they can either crush and snort it, or sell it to another inmate. Don't be afraid to have an inmate lift up his tongue and pull his cheeks apart so you can check in between his cheeks and gums for medications. It's a lot less work than having to respond to an emergency if he tries to kill himself by overdosing on stocked up medications.

    8. When men are housed together, whether it be an army camp, summer
    camp or in a prison, levels of cortisol and testosterone will rise. This is a natural response and many men's bodies will revert to a pubescent stage, so expect to see a lot of acne, rashes, and a number of other skin conditions.


    I hope these pointers are helpful to you. You will find that Correctional nursing is never dull, never the same, and you will see things behind those walls that you've never seen before! Please keep me updated on your
    experiences. I'd love to hear how well it works out for you. Best of
    luck, Tonya and if I can be of any more help, please don't hesitate to ask!

    Sincerely,

    George a.k.a. PrisonrNurs
  3. by   renerian
    Cavity searches do not sound like fun..................ugh. Everyone has posted good information and insight here.

    renerian
  4. by   PrisonrNurs
    Quote from renerian
    Cavity searches do not sound like fun..................ugh. Everyone has posted good information and insight here.

    renerian
    No worries Renerian, cavity searches are a physican intervention, not a nursing one, although, it's fun to "threaten" an inmate with one if he's acting silly. "I have really long arms. I can do a cavity search and a throat culture at the same time!"
  5. by   renerian
    OMG what a funny post! LOL.

    renerian
  6. by   tjazzy31
    Quote from PrisonrNurs
    Hello Tonya,

    Well congratulations on your prison nursing position! Correctional nursing does offer some unique challenges, but can also be somewhat frustrating at times. Here are a few tips that might help you through this.


    1. First and foremost, SAFETY is the most important aspect of your
    job. You need to be ever-vigilant of the population you are dealing with. No sweet elderly grandmothers here. You are dealing with drug addicts, rapists, and molesters now. The vast majority of the inmates you deal with will be very nice, charming and friendly, but you have to be careful. They teach us to treat each inmate as if they were someone waiting to stab you in the back the minute they got the chance. This is of course, not true, but it helps keep you aware of any potential danger.

    2. Try (and this can be difficult) to maintain a non-judgmental
    attitude about your patients. Look at them as human beings, deserving of dignity and respect. If you label them according to the crime they committed, it will make it much harder for you to provide quality care.

    3. Be careful not to disclose personal information about yourself.
    When inmates see a new face, they will try to find out things about you. "Are you married? Are you from here?" Only share with them things they need to know. Your personal life is none of their concern.

    4. USE YOUR NURSING SKILLS when assessing a patient. An inmate may
    come down saying he's (I'm assuming this is a men's facility) having a lot of pain and wants something for it. Don't trust him at his word. He could be a drug seeker. Use your skills as a nurse to see if he's really in pain. Is he pale, diaphoretic? Are his BP, respirations and heart rate elevated? Many times I've run into patients who have complained of pain, only to get a lay-in from work, or some extra medication. Rely on the inmates non-verbal skills to tell you if he is in pain. They'll tell you more than his words.

    5. Don't fall into the "giving trap" as we call it. You will find
    that inmates will test you in terms of what they can get from you. If a medication is scheduled for 0600 and they come down at 0630 wanting their medications because they slept in, refuse them and tell them to be at Medline on time. It seems harsh but they will know that they can't get away with things. If you give in easily, they may come down at 0640, then 0650, just to see how far they can push you. You need to maintain a "fair but tough" attitude with inmates. Don't worry, if you don't have this, you will learn to be. :-)

    6. Remember those silly little safety and precaution techniques you
    learned in nursing school? Well they can literally save your life here. Remember to glove up at all times, and WASH YOUR HANDS!!! Blood borne diseases are rampant in the prison population. Within our facility, 30% of the population has hepatitis. Many have STD's and many more are being treated for exposure to TB. The sad fact is that some inmates are willing to use bodily fluids as a weapon.

    7. If you do a Medline, you'll have to do a mouth check to make sure
    inmates don't cheek their meds. If they are on psychotropic medications
    like Seroquel, Paxil or Wellbutrin, they may try to cheek their medications so they can either crush and snort it, or sell it to another inmate. Don't be afraid to have an inmate lift up his tongue and pull his cheeks apart so you can check in between his cheeks and gums for medications. It's a lot less work than having to respond to an emergency if he tries to kill himself by overdosing on stocked up medications.

    8. When men are housed together, whether it be an army camp, summer
    camp or in a prison, levels of cortisol and testosterone will rise. This is a natural response and many men's bodies will revert to a pubescent stage, so expect to see a lot of acne, rashes, and a number of other skin conditions.


    I hope these pointers are helpful to you. You will find that Correctional nursing is never dull, never the same, and you will see things behind those walls that you've never seen before! Please keep me updated on your
    experiences. I'd love to hear how well it works out for you. Best of
    luck, Tonya and if I can be of any more help, please don't hesitate to ask!

    Sincerely,

    George a.k.a. PrisonrNurs
    Thanks alot George. Today is the 2nd of Dec. I have been there almost a week. I worked the desk and today i worked in Booking. Verrrrry interesting. From my understanding the highest turnover is because of the inmates and the medline. I will be on the 3-11 shift. I have that exp next week. One nurse says she was in the hall and4 inmates were in the hall too and there was no deputy. I dont know how that happen. because from my understanding you should never be left alone. At first, I felt fearful but I said to myself, I can do this. I will keep you updated on how it goes. thanks so much for that advice. It is much needed. I know even if I am feeling scared I know in do time I will toughen up. They said most nurses quit after 2-3 weeks. I know i can do it!!!!

    thanks again
    Tjazzy31
  7. by   Monica RN,BSN
    Quote from kimmym2
    Do correctional nurses have to be RN's or can they be LPN's? I'm a new LPN grad and correctional nursing sounds interesting to me.
    In my facility they use RN's inthe infirmary, chronic care clinic, and use the lpn's out on the pods.
  8. by   nancykday
    Quote from renerian
    I am considering picking up some corrections shifts at a woman's prison.

    Can I ask what type of things you do during the day? I know I most definately do not want to do cavity searches.

    renerian
    I work at a max securith female correctional facility. Usual assignment on Day shift is 3 staff are assigned to the pharmacy which meds your job is med, meds and oh yeah more meds, transcribing med orders and ordering of all things, meds. We run to med lines on day shift. There is also a nurse with the MD. We also have 2 PA;s on site one for sick call amd one for PA clinic. We have an ICN (RN bid job) Intake nurse (RN bid job) a Ward RN which runs the 18 bed hospital area with in-pt and POC inmates. 2 days a week we have OB/GYN clinic. There is a LPN ward assist and a CNA for the ward.The s/c nurse and PA respond to all emerencies.
    On evening shift, RN wh0's duties are the ward and charge. An LPN ward assist and a CNA, 3 people for the med room, we run 2 med lines on PM shift also, their assignment is meds, meds and more meds. They also respond to the emergencies on PM shift, which usually consist of individuals who have had some form of pain for 3 days, it's worse now and they have lost their ability to walk. So the nurses have to respond in our golf cart amulance to respond to their housing unit. At lot if not all of these so called emergencies are individuals who are disciniplinary locks and want to see if they can scam medical to get out of their cell.
    On night shift there is an RN for the ward and a LPN for the pharmacy, to order of course all the meds.
    I have never had to do a cavity search, that is (if they choose to accept it) the MD or the PA responsibility. We never do a cavity search on site if it is to retrieve a possible drug stash..they are sent to the ER. If it doesn't drop out when they squat and cough, it stays put.
    I have assisted with billons and billions of PAP and GYN exams. But as grim as this might seem, I love this job, it is different every day and never boring....

Must Read Topics


close