Critical Care in Corrections

  1. Hello,

    Are there any subsets of corrections nursing that actually afford you the ability to use your ACLS skills and run codes and work other critical care cases like managing vasoactive drips or taking care of patients with chest tubes, etc? I guess what I'm looking for would be like ICU or ER nursing inside a prison.

    I like high acuity cases, but I also prefer working with the prison/inmate population much more than the general civilian population.
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    About UGADawgs

    Joined: May '09; Posts: 64; Likes: 39


  3. by   ddunnrn
    I can't speak for other states, but here in PA, any really seriously ill patient would be sent to a hospital, as the jails and prisons are not equipped or staffed for anything really involved medically. However, I would imagine that every urban area probably has a hospital with a forensic floor. Here in Philly, the jail system, which has the population of a small town, contracts out for hospital services. All of this is basically related to budget and security issues.
    Last edit by ddunnrn on Jun 23, '12 : Reason: Browser cut me off before finished
  4. by   RNGriffin
    I don't think any critically ill patient would be allowed to remain in a state facility. This is not saying the patient is released from incarceration, but correction nurses are not equipped to handle critical situations. Most facilities are equipped for acute problems I.E. the basics you would find in a SNF or Assisted Living. You would refer any chronically ill patient in critical conditions out to a respective health facility.
    This is why Correctional nursing is perfect for those who are tired of running floors.
  5. by   Esme12
    I have been a nurse a long time. There are a few. The one in my area is The Shattuck....there is an ED and an ICU I believe but it is not exclusively a prison hospital. They are usually state run facilities off site from the prison the are County/state facilities with locked/secure prison areas of the facility. Emergencies/codes/critical care are usually run off site from the prison beginning with 911 the local ED. They are accompanied by prison guards and are placed amongst the general population of patients.
    Shattuck Hospital is a large public health hospital run by the state of Massachusetts, built in 1954 on the edge of Franklin Park. It is named for Lemuel Shattuck, a local politician credited with the development of the nation's first Board of Health. The hospital provides ambulatory and inpatient services for the state's disadvantaged population, including a secure unit for the Department of Corrections.

    • Accreditations/certifications:accredited by The Joint Commission
    • Affiliations:Tufts Medical Center, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
    • Parking:Free lot
    • Number of beds:275
    • Type:General, Psychiatric, Rehabilitation
    • Departments:Internal medicine, Neurology, Orthopedic services, Psychiatric ward, Rehabilitation services
  6. by   dragonfairie
    I don't know if you're still looking but UTMB in Galveston, Texas operates a large prison hospital. There are a 12-bed ICU, tele, med/surg, oncology, and postpartum units - the last four units can operate up to a max of 24 patients. You don't actually work for the prison system, you work for UTMB, which is essentially still working for the state. The ICU does just about everything here that the ICU's in the "free world" do - vaso gtts, CRRT, special vent modes (oscillators etc.). The only thing we don't get is the POD #0 heart surgeries - I don't think the surgeons want to walk all the way over to the prison part of the hospital. The "free world" and the prison hospitals are separated by a long walkway and lots of gates.