How safe is it, really? - page 2

I'm an ER nurse now, and have talked to several people about my interest in moving into corrections. I have always been told, "you don't want to do that!" I had a nurse practitioner tell me that... Read More

  1. by   pattilpn2
    Quote from SoloWytch
    Hi, Patti

    I'm not sure what they meant by "leave your conscience at the door" If they mean that you have to ignore the fact that some of your patients will have committed rape, murder, child abuse, etc, yeah, you do have to put that out of your mind. (We actually aren't allowed to look up what the inmates are in for, so that we aren't influenced by their crimes.)

    As for overtime, where I am it's almost always available, but rarely mandated. (Mostly because my DON and ADON refuse to have a nurses' meeting with the topic "How to say 'No' to Kim and Tracey." I really need that meeting!)

    Also, my DON and ADON often pick up the slack, doing med pass, working in Intake or the Infirmary, etc. (And the fact that they do this is one of the reasons that it's so hard to say no when they ask if you can pick up an extra shift.)

    (Have I mentioned that I have the greatest DON (and ADON) on the planet?)

    Anyhow, I work in a county jail. Our inmates sometimes get sentenced to state facilities, some are waiting for the feds to come and get them, and a few are waiting for INS.

    All facilities are a little different. We have an agency nurse right now who worked at a jail in Atlanta (I think) and there are differences between how they did things and how we do things.

    All in all, I love my job. It's never boring, and usually entertaining.
    I sure do hope i am as lucky as you are!! i did get this position!! and i am finding out more as i go from these forums and from people who either have retired from the facilites, who have worked agency ( i never gathered the guts lol)...guess with age, i've become more willing to try new areas in nsg. What i meant with the "conscience" statement was that i spoke to an agency nurse who told me that 1 nurse was escorted out of her job because the nurse did not write a statement regarding an incident that had happened in the best interest of the c/o, so, yes, i am a very honest person and would have trouble creating an incident in favor of something else...have you ever heard of such a thing?? thanks for your response!!, otherwise, nsg is nsg to me, inpt/inmate-safety 1st!!
  2. by   Ion
    Quote from pattilpn2
    thanks for your input, i heard yest, that i got this position and have been finding out more info from people in the correctional field, they tell me that "its the people you work with that you have to watch out for, not the inmates" ( which, of course, i do on a daily basis now), unfortunately..:uhoh21:
    That about sums it up, but you expect it from the inmates. There are some great nurses in this field, but some bad ones too. The story of anywhere.
  3. by   WC Case manager
    I have met nicer nurses working in corrections than anywhere else. After being in the ER, some of the ER nurses think they are so good, and they are, but the attitudes are really bad sometimes. I've got a great group of nurses to work with, we all help each other out, watch each other's backs, and get along great. You can meet nice people anywhere, but in corrections, you really have to be a special kind of nurse.....non judgmental, have a lot of knowledge, be autonomous.....etc. So, go for what you like to do......I can say, ER nursing was really exciting, but really tiring, corrections is dealing also with a lot of different people, and you do have to watch out for the con artists......they will try to get ANYTHING from you......
  4. by   MadisonsMomRN
    Quote from Ion
    I know of more nurses assaulted in hospitals than correctional facilities.
    True.

    I have been in corrections for about 8 months. I work in a county jail and a med/max state prison (all males) (prn at both). I can tell you that I was very nervous when I started (I started out in the prison first). Once I got used to just being in there I was ok. I feel safe... however, anything can happen... but things can happen anywhere you are whether it be at work or on the street, shopping, etc. Security and safety are your utmost priority.

    I really like corrections. Especially at the county jail. You get to see a wide variety of situations. In the prison I work in the infirmary and you get a variety there too.

    Good luck with your decision!!
    Last edit by MadisonsMomRN on Dec 21, '07
  5. by   bidimom
    I work in an ER and the Central Processing Unit of a busy city jail. (The prisoners are just arrested and haven't been to court yet)..they range from minor offenders to the most serious of offenders. I would gladly give up my ER job, just on safety alone. I am never alone, and never uncomfortable. I have an assigned IG with me at ALL times. The prisoners come to me, I do not go to them. I love the safety soooo much I am debating becoming a full time county jail nurse. At the ER I work in (as well as all ERs around the country) safety is a huge issue, you don't know who is walking in and out of the doors and with what. These guys and gals, you know have no weapons on them. I could go on and on about the differences. I highly suggest anyone to give it a try, you might be surprised how safe you really do feel. :spin:
  6. by   MadisonsMomRN
    Quote from bidimom
    I work in an ER and the Central Processing Unit of a busy city jail. (The prisoners are just arrested and haven't been to court yet)..they range from minor offenders to the most serious of offenders. I would gladly give up my ER job, just on safety alone. I am never alone, and never uncomfortable. I have an assigned IG with me at ALL times. The prisoners come to me, I do not go to them. I love the safety soooo much I am debating becoming a full time county jail nurse. At the ER I work in (as well as all ERs around the country) safety is a huge issue, you don't know who is walking in and out of the doors and with what. These guys and gals, you know have no weapons on them. I could go on and on about the differences. I highly suggest anyone to give it a try, you might be surprised how safe you really do feel. :spin:
    I can't imagine what ER nurses go through. I have never worked in the ER. I work in a prison and county jail and I know some of the most unstable inmates go to the ER... for many different reasons and you are right... safety is most important. The only officers you have is the ones that go with them right? Of course, the hospital security too. We deal with them behind a closed cell door or escorted by officers with cuffs and shackles on with other officers around waiting. We have the equipment to deal with them if something does come up. Well, the CO's do.
    Last edit by MadisonsMomRN on Dec 29, '07
  7. by   MadisonsMomRN
    I think the county jail is worse than the prison. I work in the infirmary in the prison and have no problems at all. In the county, you have people coming in right off the street high on whatever drugs or drunk or with serious mental illnesses that have gone off their meds or something. (Dont get me wrong not ALL people are like this... )We do their medical intakes and it is hard sometimes because some people are just so unpredictable. If I feel the least bit threatened or uncomfortable I will ask the officer to put them back in the cell and I will wait to do their intake. I will just document in their chart why I did not complete their intake screen. OR we can house them in medical for evaluation for detox or welfare watch.

    I always put safety first.
    Last edit by MadisonsMomRN on Dec 29, '07
  8. by   lisasmom
    I agree; I went from long-term care to correctional nursing. I feel 100% safer in prison than I ever will on the outside. I should have switched sooner.
  9. by   Steristripqueen
    I have worked 17 yrs in corrections and you know just what you are dealing with. On the 'outside' you have to take a pt. medical history as they tell it. Besides how many parolees have you encountered? Yep you just don't know what you are dealing with in the public sector. At my facility you can always have a officer stand near you at any time. Seems once inmates hit corrections they want ALL of the tests done. TB testing is mandatory also. I agree with the previous poster that I feel safer in the jail than in the mall. The most fraustrating thing that I have encountered is non licensed people telling the RN's, on occasion how and what to do! But if you just go about your duties you will be fine. Hope this helps. If nothing else try it you have nothing to lose?

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