New to Corrections, Interview questions (Long) lots of ?

  1. 0
    I am a new grad RN and I finally got an interview it is at the women's prision and part of it is the intake center for the state so there are male inmates as well.

    When the manager called me to schedule the interview she told me that they are interviewing 100 people for the 3 positions that they have, they are doing them as a peer panel interivew 15 min for each person.
    She then told me to ask all my questions now as we would not be allowed time to ask them in the interview, I wasn't really prepared for that so I didn't really ask many questions. and now as I read through here more and more questions are popping into my head

    I would like to be as prepared as I can. I have read on here some sample interview questions, and have been browsing through this section to gain as much information that I can. To be firm, fair and consistant, and to get back up, to make sure that you are safe the scene is safe before preceding, are the themes that I have seen.

    What do you experienced RNs want to see in a future co-worker?

    How can I make myself stand out from the crowd?


    I have spent 2.5 years as a CNA in the ED and I did my preceptoship in the ED, during my preceptorship I had at least 4-5 patients who were in police custody and 5-6 who were from the jail.
    My hopsital has a contract with the local police department to bring their inmates to us, the hospital has 3 psych units bigger than the other hospitals in the area and most everyone admitted to psych comes through the ED
    So I have some experience working with people who can be manipulative, just not as a RN.


    I have worries if I was to get the job and being that it is a women's prision, what if a woman was have a heart attack, but just was having some vague symptoms
    For example in the ED there was a pt with low back pain and billateral wrist pain turns out it was a STEMI

    I am worried that I would miss something like that knowing that you don't have equipment like EKG's,what equipment do you normally have?

    Are there standing orders if something was to happen to an inmate overnight and the doc wasn't there and you couldn't reach him right away?
  2. 5 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    just wanted to bump this back up, hopping someone would reply
  4. 0
    Are you a new grad?
  5. 0
    Yes I am, do you have any advice for me?
  6. 0
    Unfortunately where I work we have the very basic equipment for vitals, responder bag/ AED, suction, o2....No EKG, and your assessment skills. We don't have a doc in house (at night) but can reach him by phone (most times) when needed. Ofcourse we have the authority to send an inmate out to er by ambulance or car without an md order. From what I understand a lot of jails or prisons have much more available in the way of equipment.
    Good luck! I have said it many times but it is a great job. Let us know what happens.
  7. 8
    I am a DON at a state women's correctional facility. I will try to answer some of your questions. Bear in mind that some of this may not apply to the specific facility you have applied to work in.

    What do you experienced RNs want to see in a future co-worker?

    When interviewing for new hires, I want to see someone who appears to have common sense and intelligence, someone who can think independently. It is also important that the person be willing to follow written procedures. Someone who is too independent can put your agency (and the inmate) at risk. Anyone who excessively empathizes is not well suited for corrections. This sounds counter to everything you're taught in school, but inmates use excessive empathy to manipulate you. Having some experience with emergency situations is a plus (although not necessarily ER nurses, who often crave non-stop action that my facility will not provide). The ability to function independently is a must. Correctional facilities tend to have small staffs in relation to the number of inmates, and a nurse who needs constant guidance or reassurance will not fare well. The ability to prioritize is an essential quality.

    How can I make myself stand out from the crowd?

    Consider how you can best project some of the qualities I have outlined above.

    I have spent 2.5 years as a CNA in the ED and I did my preceptoship in the ED, during my preceptorship I had at least 4-5 patients who were in police custody and 5-6 who were from the jail.
    My hopsital has a contract with the local police department to bring their inmates to us, the hospital has 3 psych units bigger than the other hospitals in the area and most everyone admitted to psych comes through the ED
    So I have some experience working with people who can be manipulative, just not as a RN.


    It can only help to mention that you worked in a fast-paced environment and also that you have some experience dealing with inmates, even if it wasn't at the same level of responsibility as the position you are applying for.

    I have worries if I was to get the job and being that it is a women's prision, what if a woman was have a heart attack, but just was having some vague symptoms
    For example in the ED there was a pt with low back pain and billateral wrist pain turns out it was a STEMI

    I am worried that I would miss something like that knowing that you don't have equipment like EKG's,what equipment do you normally have?


    We have EKG equipment - rather good equipment. We also have electronic vital signs monitors. We have an AED, defibrillator and a suction machine should the need arise.

    Developing good assessment skills is a must. Inmates often exaggerate or completely fabricate symptoms to either get medication out of you or try to weasel a trip to the hospital out of you. We have physicians on call who make the ultimate decision as to whether an inmate needs to be admitted to the infirmary or be sent out to a hospital. We also have protocols that allow us to handle many situations without calling a physician. These mainly involve OTC medications for minor complaints like headaches, toothaches, indigestion, etc.

    In cases where there is some doubt, my motto is that I had rather be accused of doing too much than of doing too little. Always err on the side of caution in cases in which there is some doubt about the seriousness of a situation. Trust your instincts.

    Are there standing orders if something was to happen to an inmate overnight and the doc wasn't there and you couldn't reach him right away?

    We have physicians on call after hours and on weekends. The doctors at various facilities take call in rotation. You cannot possibly have contingency orders for everything that could happen after hours.

    Generally speaking, new graduates have difficulty in correctional nursing because of the degree of independence required, and the fact that they have not had time to hone their clinical and assessment skills. My agency does not hire new grad RNs. Our positions require a minimum of one year of experience. All states do not have this requirement.

    Be sure to ask about orientation. You stand a far better chance of being successful if you are given an adequate amount of time to orient and you get adequate coverage of the topics you need to know.

    I hope that this information is helpful to you. Best of luck.
    Last edit by Orca on Aug 14, '10
    nurses1207/, kuan yin, nikkicb2004, and 5 others like this.


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