Correctional nursing isnt for me! - page 3

by MiaTrace | 12,559 Views | 28 Comments

After only 2 weeks of orienting, I discovered Correctional nursing isn't for me. The thought of returning makes my stomach twist in knots. In my 13 years of nursing, I've never gotten into my car after a shift and cried like a... Read More


  1. 0
    I find it interesting that people who talk about preserving their licenses have no problem with overriding a physician order.
  2. 2
    One thing I have learned since discovering Allnurses years ago, while in nursing school. Is that different medical facilities all over the U.S have different and varied practices. It does not make anyone else's practice right or wrong, just a different way of doing things. U have worked in a few different correctional settings, that have followed a variety of protocols. Yes, generally you needed a physician order to send inmates to the hospital, but at 3 am, we often did not receive calls back from providers. If I had a patient that was not breathing and had turned blue, and the physician had not called back in over 20 minutes, I thinnk anyone would call 911. I think any RN learned enough in nursing school, to know when a pt was dying in front of them. Different protocols are not right or wrong, just another policy that was put in place. If everything was the same at every job, then we would not come to Allnurses, to read and learn from our fellow nurses.
    CosmicHymns and guerrierdelion like this.
  3. 4
    Well from experience, the MD is not there to know what is actually happening. Furthermore, I had an experience when a patient clearly was septic from a ulcer that perforated manifested from his board like abdomen and absent bowel sound, hypotension and tachycrdia, the dr still refused to send him out. I knew in my gut that he was septic and internally hemorrhagin, and I documented EVERYTHING. Well needless to say tge patient went to cardiac arrest on me the next day. I got him back but he lost so much blood that he was brain dead manifested by his blown pupils.

    The Dr. Said I never called him. Thank God I documented; however, how could I sleep at night knowing I could have done something. The BON can also get you for negligence . I'm not big headed but I have learned to trust my judgement. I'm not to blow things out of proportion; thus, respect when I call. Nonetheless, I'm 7/8. Sue me
    kestrad3, kuan yin, cynforgiven, and 1 other like this.
  4. 1
    Yes that's what usually happens in a correctuons, something bad happens blame the nurse. During the day its usually ok, but once the providers leave its allon tthe nurse. We had a death a few years ago at my facility, so that's why we got the ok to send pt out. It all comes down to money,
    guerrierdelion likes this.
  5. 2
    I've worked at 2 different correctional facilities - one on the county level and one for the state, both for just over a year each. I loved one and wish I was still there but hated the other with a passion. The actual nursing job itself was great at both facilities: the way the routines were set up, how inmate care was handled, the basic things that go into your nursing job pretty much anywhere you go.
    Aside from the specifics of the job, the treatment i received from my coworkers (mainly the security staff, but sometimes partly the others in medical) at the one i hated was the only reason I left. I was made to feel that i couldn't do my job or that the way i did it was wrong. I was given no training other than "this is what you do and when". Orientation lasted about a week.No security training and no reassurances that security would have my back. Rarely was there any security officers in medical, even when there was a doctor or dental call. I was even locked into a women's dorm "accidentally" while the officers claimed they had no idea i was there.
    At the other facility, I never felt safer. There was always an officer present when an inmate was in medical - and if the inmate was known to cause trouble there may be 2 or 3 officer that would happen to "make rounds and grab a cup of coffee" at the time. My supervisors were constantly helpful, answered any questions, and supportive of the nursing decisions I made. My orientation there was 3 months: a month attached to another nurse learning the routines and procedures, and 2 months flying solo but with another nurse watching over my shoulder to make sure i was comfortable and getting the hang of things. At the 6 month mark i was assigned a "specialty" - each nurse had a different assignment: tb tests & setting up treatment, HIV, chronic illnesses, lab draws, etc. I learned a LOT about nursing in general while working there and miss it greatly.
    Don't discard the idea of correctional nursing because of a bad experience. Just like one hospital or nursing home is different from another, another correctional facility will have a totally different set of people working there which puts a different spin on how your job is carried out.

    @MiaTrace: Out of curiosity, what did you decide to do about your job?
    Oldest&Ugliest and LovedRN like this.
  6. 0
    thank for this post
  7. 0
    The last correctional facility was EXACTLY like that. A ridiculous amount of paper work, negative nurses & guards. The facility took mostly illegal immigrants so speaking Spanish is pretty much a must. When CO's heard I didn't speak Spanish they were so rude & most of the time didn't want to stop what they were doing to help me. I had a two week "orientation". Hah. A joke. After "orientation" I was more confused & had no one to ask. So when I did something wrong, this one nurse would chew me out. I've worked in corrections before & it was NOTHING like that. Nurses helped each other, CO's helped the nurses & the paperwork was manageable within the time frame. They pay & benefits were awesome but I NEVER want to go back.
  8. 0
    Just out of curiosity, was the place that was awful a state, federal, or private corrections environment?
  9. 0
    Quote from katkonk
    Just out of curiosity, was the place that was awful a state, federal, or private corrections environment?
    Medical was run by CHC. I think it was federal because they took ICE & Marshal detainees.


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