How did you come to work in corrections? - page 2

Just curious of our group here what led you to corrections. It's certainly a challenging field of nursing (but aren't they all!) It seems several of the nurses I know in real life started in psych... Read More

  1. by   probable cause
    All my friends are in prison.
  2. by   dragonfly954
    I started as agency and have been there off and on 2 years.I live in a small town in fla and sometimes its slim pickens for agency during off season.So I went just to give it a try.It was culture shock for sure.The staff turnover is great,many of the staff are bipolar or borderlines,I think.I have met some really great nurses in this setting and some really kooky ones too.Some resent the agency a great deal and let me know about it(you make more money than we do,you work when you want too,etc).That seems to be the biggest issue,but most are just happy to have me there to give them a break.
  3. by   BunchRN
    I am going on my 14 year in Corrections. I worked in a Max for 12 1/2yrs and now in a Medium institiution for almost for 1 yr. I never thought that I would be working in a prison but since I have been working there, I wouldn't work anywhere else. I have a wonderful ,supportive husband that also works in Corrections. Working in Corrections the hard part is the Political BS, not the inmates. The only advise that I can give you is don't bring anything in for them, and don't take anything out for them. Also if you are honest and fair with them you will have no problem. GOOD LUCK!!!
  4. by   NurseAngie
    I like working in corrections. I learn something new everyday and it's a very pleasant working atmosphere. {Btw...the jail doesn't have agency nurses.We do have PRN nurses though.}

    ~Angie
  5. by   Orca
    Nevada DOC doesn't use agency either. We had an agency contract through July 2002, but it wasn't renewed. Open shifts are filled by per diem staff or full-time staff seeking OT.
    Last edit by Orca on Dec 5, '03
  6. by   cardiacnrs
    I was a little concerned when I started in corrections as there was a murder on the day I started, 3 inmates had cornered an officer and he wound up dead. They locked down the whole facility so my first expereinces were house to house med passes. I was never really concerned for my safety as there were two officers escorting me at all times. I worked death row segs and lifers. I only had 2 confrontations in the whole time I was there and they were pretty minor. We moved from the old site to the new site and it was a cluster. Somehow the higher ups decided that medical would be the last to move.
    Can anyone say nightmare. lol We muddled through it and it took about 2 monthes before everything was running smoothly again. Lots of complaints.
    But we survived.
    You get used to the clanging doors and like anything you hear regularly you just don't even notice it.
    Best job I ever had and hope to go back to it.
    Gotta get the kids graduated 3 years woohoo!!!!!!!
    Then it's watch out Wyoming I'm comin home.lol
  7. by   nursewatson
    I got into corrections because where I live the prison was one of the highest paying jobs with the least amount of travel time for me. I was very apprehensive at first then after a few days I no longer felt that way. It was like any other job they may be inmates but they need medical care just like anyone else and that is the bottom line so you go in do your job and then you go home and don't worry about what happens after you leave. I worked in a nursing home for a year and could not deal with it I was an emotional wreck after a year because I got so attached to those people and when they died it ripped my heart out, so I decided that geriatrics wasn't for me, but with this line of work you really don't get attached you don't have enough contact with the inmates to get any attachment to them. You can care if they get treatment because that is your job but as for caring about them any other way you don't have too.
    As for being afraid most of the inmates you deal with as a nurse are going to be nice to you just to see if they can get you to give them something you are not supposed to but after you set your boundaries and let them know first hand you aren't going to tolerate any bull then they pretty much leave you alone.
    You have to be aware at all times of were you are and don't be at all trusting of any of them. I am no longer working at the prison because I have decided to go back and get my RN degree but I do plan on returning to Correctional nursing when I graduate.
  8. by   Ion
    Like said above:

    1. You don't have to deal with the patient's family... ever.
    2. You don't have to lift patients buy yourself or with too few people thanks to the officers.
    3. You know what a "cho-mo" is, and can use the word in normal conversation.
    4. If your patients give you too much crap you can order a breathing treatment (pepper-sol).
    5. Here you are LESS likely to be involved in a takedown or assaulted than at the area hospitals.
    6. In the hospital security usually consists of older men armed with radios. The officers at the prison are tough SOB's with clubs, shields, shotguns and gas.
    7. If your nose is stuffed up, you can always hope for a good gasing in the seg unit to clear it up.
    8. You know which patients are the criminals.
    9. You can have a list of 1,700 lawyers not to hire!
    10. people always tell you.... "You work in a prison?"

    Rules to remember:

    1. Don't marry an inmate (think I'm kidding too).
    2. We have officers not guards. Guards guard building, but officers deal with people. Think of it as calling your charge-RN a candy striper.
    3. Never, ever lose your keys.
  9. by   robnlynw
    I have been out of correctional nursing for 3 yrs now and am very excited about going back. This is the one job I have worked at nursing that you can and will use all skills, from treating trauma to constipation it's all there.
    The benefits are better than anywhere....and trust me the older you get the more imortant the benefits are.
    I love it and won't leave correctional nursing again.
  10. by   Reborn
    Quote from Ion
    Like said above:

    1. You don't have to deal with the patient's family... ever.
    2. You don't have to lift patients buy yourself or with too few people thanks to the officers.
    3. You know what a "cho-mo" is, and can use the word in normal conversation.
    4. If your patients give you too much crap you can order a breathing treatment (pepper-sol).
    5. Here you are LESS likely to be involved in a takedown or assaulted than at the area hospitals.
    6. In the hospital security usually consists of older men armed with radios. The officers at the prison are tough SOB's with clubs, shields, shotguns and gas.
    7. If your nose is stuffed up, you can always hope for a good gasing in the seg unit to clear it up.
    8. You know which patients are the criminals.
    9. You can have a list of 1,700 lawyers not to hire!
    10. people always tell you.... "You work in a prison?"

    Rules to remember:

    1. Don't marry an inmate (think I'm kidding too).
    2. We have officers not guards. Guards guard building, but officers deal with people. Think of it as calling your charge-RN a candy striper.
    3. Never, ever lose your keys.

    HEhe :chuckle Amen to the above.

    I've left corrections for a quieter life now, but I was in it for four years, went b/c of a management offer that I thought would look good on the ole' resume, found out it wasn't that scary, and if you gave repect, you usually got it, and when you didn't get it, you "respectfully' had 'em put out of your medical, with the admonishment that you would be glad to see how you could help them when they could abide the medical dept. rules.


    I really liked that part, cuz I could never do that in the ED
  11. by   susan18
    Quote from Nurse Ratched
    Just curious of our group here what led you to corrections. It's certainly a challenging field of nursing (but aren't they all!) It seems several of the nurses I know in real life started in psych first and that has been a great preparation.
    reply to Nurse Ratched: I started out as an ICU nurse, added ER to my specialty, worked as an Army nurse officer in the reserves, did 1 yr. of a specialty office practice, then looked for a new specialty that would enable me to work 8 hr. shifts, and few weekends. Several of my friends in other depts of my hospital left and went to work at our female state prison. I went online, checked the job postings and salary ranges, and applied. I knew that I liked triage and outpatient work, so could hack it without ventilators, drips, and dying trauma patients. I was ready at age 48 for something else, and I have found it. Our staff nurses work every 3rd weekend, and now I am a clinician, so I work M-F and take on call every 8th weekend as nurse supervisor by phone only. I love teaching my nurses and helping out the new hires. I guess I am a born mentor! susan18
  12. by   cindyrn1
    To be honest........I left my husband back in Georgia and came to Missouri to start a new life with my 3 babies. I moved to my old hometown where there was a Maximum Security Forensic Hospital and I got hired the day I went to interview. I never intended to stay very long, just long enough to get back on my feet financially and then I was going to go back into the clinic setting of psych nursing. I stayed 7 years there, got vested and resigned. Not because I hated what I did, but because of the twisted politics that went on there. The lying, back stabbing, the set-ups and whatever else you can imagine drove me away. I thought I would go into the normal hospital setting to regain my medical skills and I did this for about 2 years, but I was not meant to be a medical surgical nurse. Then one day after being unemployed for several months, the job of my dreams was offered to me. I am now the Mental Health RN for the States' Women's Prison. I have an office and I work with the best co-workers a person could ask for. I work my own hours just as long as I put in my 80 hours per pay period. I see inmates as I schedule them. They come into my office, we talk briefly about their meds, and I do my assessment of the situation and document this. After I have seen my inmates, I call the doctor for verbal orders or whatever he feels needs to be done. I do groups with the women on medications and visit the ones that can't come out of their cells. I have always loved psych nursing. I have worked with 3 yr olds to 99 yr olds. I have worked with every mental illness diagnosis you could imagine. I feel very safe in the environment that I am in now and I am praying that this is the job that I retire from. I drive 50 miles to and from work but it is so worth it for the job that I have. I know people that I work with that drive 2 hours to and from work every day and they have been there for 5 years (this is how old our prison is). I wouldn't do any other kind of nursing right now. After being injured so badly from working in the Forensic hospital before this job, I am now able to work as an RN doing what I love most without having to hurt everyday that I work. It's a challenge working in Corrections but overall, it's the best job that I have had in many, many years. People can say what they want about working in Corrections but it takes some very special people to do what we do as nurses.

  13. by   auntb
    [font=Comic Sans MS]the nurse who gave the simple mechanics of a sick call in the correctional area is correct............Unlike the private medical field where any patient can have weapons, verbal abuse,& physical aggressive behavor toward you and the company you work .for...you have no recourse......... When it is deemed the sick call is over that's it....
    [font=Comic Sans MS]Medical staff in a correctional facility is more often guarded than in the Emergency rooms, clinics, or private offices .....they are independent in the fact they do not instutite the punishment, but if something is needed they can help both inmates and officers......
    [font=Comic Sans MS]I was in corrections for many years and earned respect of the officers and inmates by remembering what I was told on my first day....(and man was I scared)
    [font=Comic Sans MS]I did not put the person in jail/prison ..........I can not get them out........The Inmates are Mothers Fathers, Son's Daughter's Aunt's Uncle's ... most were at the wrong place at the wrong time ....many have college educations yet unlearned, some never learned to write their names...yet are smarter in ways to survive with talents beyond belief...
    [font=Comic Sans MS]Anybody can be put into jail/prison, you me anyone---one time......two times maybe for circumstances (legal) but, repeat offenders to county jails/prisons......they have chosen the correctional life as their career.....(for whatever reason or circumstance that got them there)....the same as the nurse chose to go into nursing as an occupation..
    [font=Comic Sans MS]There are good and bad in all area's at least in the corrections you know the lab reports of the inmates before treatment, which is not true in the private sector that's a big advantage when bood or treatments are needed......and you are the one providing this service......................Thank you

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