jail nursing

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    I am embarking on a new adventure. I applied for a job at a county jail, and would like some feedback. If anyone has any good or bad experience, please share.
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    I did Two rotations in different Facilities. One was an all male county jail and the other was an all female county facility. While some pts were a little intimidating the custody seemed to have everything under control. The nurses at these places LOVE their jobs! I would definitely consider the jail system in the future. Good Luck!
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    what kind of nursing care did you administer, besides in take assessment?
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    Quote from jays
    what kind of nursing care did you administer, besides in take assessment?
    The all male facility had a mini "acute care" type of hospital setting with beds and rooms for the inmates. There was one nurse in charge of all the wound care for the day (dressing changes etc.), and the other nurses would do a brief focused assessment on their patients and give meds then chart it all. It seemed to be very relaxed and nothing like being on a med surg floor. The other jail nursing setting did not have beds and consisted of a team which belonged to a mini-clinic on each floor. The team had a nurse who saw patients and referred them to the Dr accordingly. The other nurses were "med" nurses who administered routine medications from their cart to patients. The med nurse took their pill cart into the jail unit and the inmates would line up in alphabetical order and receive their medication. Both these jail setting also have nurses who see inmates upon admission to the jail. They ask the new inmate questions regarding their health, and take vital signs. The jail system seemed like a very relaxed place to work.
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    Check out the Correctional Forum, they have a pretty accurate take on it, but remember sometimes they have a bone to pick.
    I always say, in Corrections, you know who the criminals are, and the ones with the guns are on your side.
    It's not for everybody, but if you can get over not being touchy-feely, and have a little tough skin, you should be ok. Always be fair and friendly and consistent. The women are supposedly the most difficult to deal with, needy. There is a lot of mental illness, so expect some of that. Also traumatic brain injury, which makes people seem "slow". Doesn't make them "bad". Sometimes they just get mixed with the wrong crowd and make bad choices.
    You need to have excellent assessment skills, as you may be the only "medical" person available. LOTS of autonomy. If you want to advance, just hang around,you could be DON in a short time.
    Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.:wink2:
    emnicams likes this.
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    My son-in-law works as an officer at our local jail. He told me the prisoners were nice to the nurses. He has never had a problem with a prisoner not respecting a nurse...But again, it would depend on the prisoner.
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    The Corrections Forum is under the Specialties tab. There is a lot of good stuff there!
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    I work in the inpatient psych unit at a local hospital, one of the part time nurses also works at the county jail, he said that the many of the patients we see in the psych unit have been in the county jail, we just don't know it. So in short, you're treating some of the same patients, the difference is that in the jail, the nurse never gets involved with an out of control patient, the guards handle that.
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    I am an RN in a county jail and I would never use the word "relaxed" to describe my job.
    We assess, triage, and treat inmates; while at the same time we must consider the inmate's motives, mental health, addictions, legal problems, and our own safety!!
    We are the first to deal with any medical complaint from an inmate!
    We are Mental Health, E.R., Med.-Surg., and Community Health nurses all roled up into one.
    We do not have the luxury of an M.D. on duty 24/7 to make crucial life or death decisions!
    We decide if an imate must be sent out for emergency medical service and then we must be ready to explain or defend every step of our decision making process.
    We deal with inmates who will lie, cheat, and manipulate, just to break up the monotony of their own day.
    We must also police the inmates so they don't "cheek" their meds in order to stockpile or use as currency.
    We have inmates who never have or never would take a pill, but because they are now in jail and "entitled to health care" will take advantage of every free handout they can get.
    This is not a "relaxed" nursing job! This is a fast paced and demanding job which requires you to utilize all of your nursing skills while working autonomously!
    NurseLite likes this.
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    I am a newly licensed LPN. I got hired yesterday for my first nursing job at a city jail. I never really preferred jail nursing in clinicals through school and could never really see myself doing it. I have looked and looked for months for my first nursing job and this was the only job opportunity that came up. I toured the jail yesterday and became overwhelmed with the inmates yelling things at me and the jail wasnt that clean. (im used to the hospital setting) I have always preferred Emergency/trauma nursing or working with the babies. Everyone is telling me you have to start somewhere and to just give it a try. Im feeling kind of nervous and unsure. Can anyone give me any advice or experiences they have had working in a jail? I feel that this may help me get experience and will look good on my resume rather than restraunt jobs for future job openings that i really want.


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