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I'm currently thinking of taking a position at a correctional facility where I will work through a temp agency. Can anyone tell me what to expect? Also, do you think a position such as this can prepare a nurse to work in the ER? Thanks!
I currently work in corrections. My opinion is that working in corrections is more like clinic nursing, or possibly urgent care. We treat mostly minor health complaints, but we do see some emergencies, such as chest pain, seizures, etc. We also do a lot of chronic care and patient teaching. We do things similar to the ER in that we triage complaints, triage intakes and refer out if necessary, set up a plan of care, teach the patient about his/her condition, and encourage follow up care with a PCP. You can take many valuable lessons from corrections that may transfer into an ER career. However, the acuity of the patients rarely (yet sometimes!) warrants an emergency.
It depends upon the population and security level of the institution. I work in a large population minimum, medium, and maximum male facility. Our maximum security yard presents with frequent assaults/ODs/and violence. With 5000+ inmates and the level of violence at this particular facility, I see a lot of trauma. I also have to deal with their emergencies in our certified ER for a while because of our rural location - it can take ~1 hr. to get a medivac helicopter in.
That said, I do not believe any ER manager would understand that the environment would prep a nurse well to work in ER. They really just see acute care experience or not. Nobody really understands what correctional nurses do.
Thank you both for the replies!!! I just started this week and LOVE it!!! Although I won't be working as a triage nurse (I wish), I am getting exposure to urgent issues and learning while I am in the clinic. Hopefully I may get the opportunity every once in a while to do triage. I'm basically passing meds and testing FSBS and giving insulin injections. Not a lot of excitement but already dealt with 2 urgent matters - both chest pain issues. I really do like the psychosocial aspect of it, too.
WOW Multi, you are at a large facility. The place where I work has 2500 inmates in medium security.
I never considered or thought of working in a prison before this. Did you guys?