I am new to this board, I have been practice nursing for couple years in USA and many years in another country. Currently I accepted a job as correction RN in state prison because of the benefit and pay, they offer 20 years retirement and full benefit and no call off for low census like in hospital setting. I was working in hospital setting as Med/Surg/Tele for 2 years, since Nov 08, the hospital got affected by economy downturn. They start to lay off nursing supervisor and management, me as a floor nurse got cancel alot. I never got 36 hr./week since Nov,08 till now. So, I am looking for stable job (hopefully), I found a job as state correction that offer better pay but my concern is it is safe to work as state correction? and what is duty of RN in state correction do? What is our routine? I will be working night shift 7PM-7AM. Can anyone who work in state correction please share your experience with me? I am appreciate it.
Sep 23, '09
Sukanya: Welcome to the wonderful world of correctional nursing! I look forward to seeing you on the boards here regularly. Keep your questions coming - that is what we are here for. Safety is an issue when working in corrections and you should be ever concerned about it. Your facility should provide an orientation including the safety mechanisms at the facility. You should always be within eye or ear-view of a custody officer and have some type of alarm mechanism to summon assistance in a dangerous situation. Your medical unit will have many security doors or sally ports to provide a barrier. Follow carefully all the safety rules and don't rush in to an area in an emergency care situation without the officers first securing it (this was difficult for me since I worked critical care prior to corrections and wanted to start emergency treatment right away)
Last edit by XB9S on Sep 27, '09
: Reason: removing link to blog
Sep 23, '09
Thank you so much for reply me, I really appreciate it. It is intimidate me to work in correction facility, since this is first time for me. I have ICU background justl like you and I work at ICU and Med/Surg for many years. I really got burn out of it, I visit your blog and I really like it. Again thank you.
Sep 25, '09
Personally, I feel much safer in the state prison than I do in the county Level I trauma center, where junkies and drunks always wanted to take a swing at you. Have you seen angry drug abusers break their 4-point leather restraints in the ED? Scary what coked up, cracked-up, methed-up people will do, and security isn't exactly standing over your shoulder. The previous posting is noteworthy, because there are rules to follow, and they are important in order to keep you safe. However, overall....I feel very safe. The c/o's are quite protective of the nurses.
Sep 28, '09
Thank again for reply, I really appreciate it. I wonder if anybody in these board live in Phoenix, Arizona like me. I would like to talk and share experience with nurse who ever work in state prison in Arizona (Florence). Please reply me and share some of your experience with me.
Sep 29, '09
I am new to correctional nursing. I live in Ohio. I haven't gotten a job yet but I am hopeful it will come soon. My background is operating room nursing. I found a lot of great information on correctionalnurse.net. It is written by Lorry Schoenly RNPhD who is an expert on correctional nursing. She is the first nurse to reply to your posted question. Good luck and Welcome to America!! Hospitals in Ohio are doing the same layoffs as your last hospital did. It is discouraging but we will survive. There will ALWAYS be inmates to care for.
Sep 29, '09
I think you will be fine as long as you follow the established rules. I work PRN in a state prison and I feel safer working there than I do my full-time job at a state Psych. hospital. The guards are very protected of the staff. As a RN I pass meds, start IV's, pre-op/post-op care, wound care etc. One of the biggest differences is that we are not allowed to carry on long conversations with the immates. You have to say what is necessary and keep moving. I think you either like it or you don't. One of the hardest things for me is asking to be let in out of rooms and/or the unit constantly. I wish you luck, you never know you may love it.
Sep 30, '09
I personally feel very safe at my job. You obviously need to constantly be aware of your surroundings and any potential dangers....if a red flag raises in your head for any reason that is something to take note of. The officers I work with are VERY protective and if you take time to listen to them they have some very good safety pointers to give....they certainly helped me out! I currently work night shift and am the only nurse on duty for that shift at our facility...it is a rush, crazy, busy, sometimes slow...but I wouldn't trade it for anything! I wish you the best of luck...it is the most fun I have had yet!