Department of Corrections Nurse - page 2

by MdjRN2011

5,980 Views | 12 Comments

Hi All, Hi all, just wondering if there are any Department of Corrections (DOC) nurses out there and how do you like it and have you worked somewhere else before and how does it compare to the DOC. I'm interested in it, but... Read More


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    In a perfect world, every new nurse would be able to get m/s experience, then go into a specialty. BUT, as a NG, I couldn't even get a call back, a State prison is where I landed. I've been there for 1 1/2 months now and I love it. The emergency protocols lack depth, but aside from that, it's just like any other ER.

    Our prison has ~5300 male inmates from level 2 to level 4 custody inmates (Level 5 being max, max level).

    I work in the medical hub which is like the ER of the prison and on weekends, I am only 1 of 2 nurses in the hub. Yesterday, we responded to 3 or 4 emergencies on the yard including 2 suicide attempts. There are pill nurses around and they do help out when they can, but it is the hub nurses that are the first responders. I try and always be a first responder as it makes the day more interesting and the time go much faster.

    At no time have I EVER been in a situation where I was afraid for my safety. There is always enough COs around and if there aren't, then you don't go into that situation, or you just leave. We are allowed to do that. It's been stressed to us that OUR safety is #1, and the inmate that is bleeding out, or is hanging is waaaaay down the list.
    Oldest&Ugliest likes this.
  2. 0
    thanks everyone this was so helpful, i made up my mind to get a couple of years experience in hte hopsital before thinking about going a different route, i want to be marketable!
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    I'm an LPN. I graduated in Oct 2010. My first job was working for Correctional Medical Services (CMS), now known as Corizon. The job allowed me, as an LPN, to focus to the maximum extent of my licensure and while I thought on the job training was poor and everything was sink or swim, I learned immensely valuable assessment skills and gained great experience in Emergency Nursing and Trauma.

    9 months into the job, I applied to a local hospital for a highly coveted ER LPN position. Thanks to choosing a Correctional setting over a LTC setting, I won the position and was told I had the most appropriate resume for the job. Things I hi-lited were my ability to handle the unexpected and I provided the example: A signal 3000 was called (an internal health emergency) and I ran myself and the crash cart over to South Dorm and discovered it wasn't an offender who was injured but rather a correctional officer who passed out. I then continued on discussing how I took control of the situation and began sending officers out of the crowded room by assigning them tasks to assist, instead of just taking up space and hindering my assessment by distraction.


    I discussed how I handled minor trauma such as nosebleeds, heat exhaustion, and lacerations.

    I discussed my experience with TB and MRSA, hi-lighting my education in the matter.

    I further discussed my ability to empathize and still maintain a professional relationship with a combative and often misunderstood population with psychological issues.

    When the interview concluded and I was asked if I had any questions I posed this to the managers. "What do you consider good customer service?" and I could tell I gave them a question no one had asked them before. It was great to leave on a thought provoking note.

    While my prison was poorly ran, I do not regret the opportunity it gave me and was highly preferable over a long term care environment. I think I'm a much better nurse now because of it. A
    kdrose01, KimberlyRN89, k31kozumi, and 1 other like this.


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