Department of Corrections Nurse

  1. 0
    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 at the same time a little bit nervous , and as a new graduate would you recommend working there first or get more experience? All are welcome..

    Thanks
  2. 12 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    I have not worked corrections but I would suggest you gain some experience ( at least a year if not longer) before you enter the system. I actually suggest you have 1 year med-surg and at least one year ED. Depending on what level of corrections federal, municipal or local and what "local" jail you choose. I have a good idea that for the most part you need some basic competency and an ability to prioritize and react/treat and be a first responder to emergencies.

    Good luck
  4. 1
    I have to agree completely with Esme12. One of our ER docs also works as a correctional facility doc, and he says it is crucial to be able to keep your cool and weed out the BS. You are "it" as far as a response team goes (at least until EMS arrives), so it helps to be experienced with emergency situations.
    Other than that, I have heard that it can be a very interesting and rewarding position. Hope someone with more firsthand experience is able to chime in for you
    Multicollinearity likes this.
  5. 0
    Both of my sister's work in Corrections, though not as nurses. They say the male population is easier to deal with.
  6. 0
    I just started in a corrections facility and I'm scared to death, not of the prisoners but of screwing up with medicine or not making right call when going on run or screwing up on paperwork. I have 6 months ER experience I'm a new nurse( less then a year) They are severly understaffed 1 LVN (sometimes 2) 1 RN on nights. 3000 inmates. Anybody else feel this way when first starting out?
  7. 1
    @ amnash, your Job sounds dangerous. That is way to many offenders for 3 nurses. I work with women offenders and we have a population of 3000 and we have 10-12 nurses on day shift 8 at night and 2 overnight. And we are all moving ALL day. The female offenders are very needy and with many of them only staying for a short sentence the revolving door keeps bringing new in and sending old out. We deal with so many "real" health issues due to the lack of money, insurance or concern from the patients on the "outs." I have been a nurse in corrections for several years and I really Love the job. It is so different then the nursing home which is to be expected but so many different challenges you face. With med administration you have patients cheeking there medication, patients faking injuries, faking seizures, lying and manipulating, it is a challenge to figure out which ones really need the care and which ones are using the system. I have seen prison save life's to Dx, cancer, Diabetes, HTN. All things that went unnoticed before the patients were locked up. So many people were not ever taught basic life skills which include simple hygiene techniques. There can be a lot of bad attitude but in return so many are so thankful to have someone actually listen to there health concerns and treat them with a bit of respect. There is a fine line that must be drawn to enforce rules and "get tough" and give appropriate care. Always staying profession is the key and never look up why the patient is locked up. You never want that in the back of your mind when treating a patient. Every day is a challenge however with good work rapier with your fellow nursing staff and correctional staff a job well done can be achieved.
    Oldest&Ugliest likes this.
  8. 0
    3 nurses with 3000 inmates is not horrible depending upon your population; it you are working at a facility that tends to get your general pop then it may be ok esp. if the institute has some protocol about how i/m are using sick call, etc. I work in a facility that has all the chronic sick, dialysis, cancer, infectious diseases, HIV, seizure, insulin dependant inmates so our ratio nurse/inmate is higher. The inmates that are general pop don't really seem to come to medical, it's our "frequent flyer" inmates that make the need for medical staff higher.
  9. 0
    Quote from RNnthemaking
    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 at the same time a little bit nervous , and as a new graduate would you recommend working there first or get more experience? All are welcome..

    Thanks
    I work in Corrections (CA) and believe new grads should not jump into Corrections. Once you get here, it is hard to leave. Your skills become limited and paperwork is a focus. I do enjoy parts of my job, but wish I had done more acute care. (I had 6 years of ER) I am now not as desired an applicant because I have been out of Acute Care for a while. I am stuck. However, the good thing to think of is that you can for sure retire in 20 years. (You can do that anywhere if you are diligent about your retirement... its just that the State seems to make it easier). HTH Good luck.
  10. 1
    Just so this is clear; I am not a first responder, corrections is. I am on the scene only after a successful lockdown and security ok. Many of our Officers are EMT's, ex-, or current military and firefighters. They are extremely well trained and in emergencies I have no problem being part of a team and appreciate what they bring to the table. Some have more emergency background than I and I am always glad when they are with me at codes.

    I am lucky where I work. Check out the facility because just from reading here you iwll see that there are vast differences.
    k31kozumi likes this.
  11. 1
    I'm a new grad LPN and have been working at an all male prison for just about two months. I specifically chose to work in corrections for the experience because where I live, LPNs are somewhat limited to nursing homes and home health. I wanted to get some variety in experience -- and I have! We do blood draws, first aid type calls, basic sick slips, some assessment, intakes, and are learning to do I.V.s so, for me, it has fit the bill for a first job. It's also a job with a great deal of autonomy so if you don't want someone breathing down your neck all the time...it's great! The facility, although understaffed, seems to be very patient focused and well organized and I'm extremely happy to be there! I agree that having little experience can put you at a disadvantage in emergencies if you aren't comfortable with first responder duties, however, I'm pretty confident and can handle it so far.
    k31kozumi likes this.


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