New RN to corrections - page 2

Hi, I am new to corrections. Just started work @ a max male prison. Frankly I'm scared to death. Any words of wisdom? I am a very quiet, non-aggressive person...help!... Read More

  1. by   Monica RN,BSN
    Quote from barbara
    Hi, I am new to corrections. Just started work @ a max male prison. Frankly I'm scared to death. Any words of wisdom? I am a very quiet, non-aggressive person...help!
    If you are scared about what to do as far as your job, do not worry.. it will come and soon you will be comfortable and feel safe.

    If you are scared of the inmates, that can be a problem.. you need to be sure that this is where you want to be. However, it is very important that you do not show fear in the presence of the inmate. Contrary to what some nurses may think, ( lack of really understanding) there is a great misconception that prisons/jails are an unsafe environment. It can be, but it is safer than walking through a dark park or parking lot. You have support of your corrections officers all the time. If you are frightened at all, always take a C/O with you into a cell or a pod. Just don't let your guard down,and try to not get too comfortable with the I/M. I have no fears of the prisoners, and think nothing of walking into a cell or a pod.. but you still need to be cautious. Use your guards as backup.
  2. by   Monica RN,BSN
    Quote from debbytentwo
    I worked for corrections for several years and enjoyed it. Nurses have much more autonomy in corrections, but the doctors suck, they are usually rejects in their profession. I never except maybe once had any problems. Just make sure you are never left with the last inmate and no guard in the vicinity. Most of the inmates treat the nurses very well...we have a commodity that they want! If you treat them fairly and as people who deserve good medical care, you should never have any problems. I always felt that if there were a prison takeover or whatever you might call it, that because I treated everyone as a person deserving proper attention, that I would be treated well, and the inmates also told me that. Dont be a rule book quoter, try to do your best for every inmate that you come into contact with. We worked with books on protocols which made things very easy especially on evening shift when the doctors were gone. The ones you have to watch out for are the Corrections Officers. There are some evil people out there, sadistic people, and people who think nurses are an extravagence that the inmates do not need.
    Graet advice, and I will add to the fact that I work in a county jail.. these inmates, (most anyways) are doing 30 -90 days for VOP.. some more, and I know that I will see many of these I/M again out in the community some day. Kindness can save your life if confornted by a previously released I/M you have taken care of.
  3. by   Monica RN,BSN
    Quote from texascowgirl
    if you want Federal BOP you will undergo alot to "get in"...waaaay more than i ever did when i was Civil Service/GS for the military. you actually have to sit through a panel of psychotherapists, they will DENY your application if you dont have EXCELLENT CREDIT. it is not easy to get in.
    Curious to know why you have to have excellent credit to get hired? What is the connection??
  4. by   texascowgirl
    apparently it tells someone about your "character".......which i think is BS...i have not so great credit thanks to exhusbands......not my fault, ya know....i am a person of integrity and honesty etc...my not-so-perfect credit does not make me a bad person........

    Quote from Monica RN,BSN
    Curious to know why you have to have excellent credit to get hired? What is the connection??
  5. by   Monica RN,BSN
    Quote from texascowgirl
    apparently it tells someone about your "character".......which i think is BS...i have not so great credit thanks to exhusbands......not my fault, ya know....i am a person of integrity and honesty etc...my not-so-perfect credit does not make me a bad person........
    LOL I know about ex's.. I have 3 of them,, and have inherited very bad credit as well...have a nice day
  6. by   texascowgirl
    i've got three too lol.........third one wasnt a charm like they say...so maybe the fourth one?

    Quote from Monica RN,BSN
    LOL I know about ex's.. I have 3 of them,, and have inherited very bad credit as well...have a nice day
  7. by   Monica RN,BSN
    Quote from texascowgirl
    i've got three too lol.........third one wasnt a charm like they say...so maybe the fourth one?
    I am thinking more like staying single for awhile... more peaceful and a hell of a lot of more fun
  8. by   ADSEGTeleMed RN
    Quote from Monica RN,BSN
    Curious to know why you have to have excellent credit to get hired? What is the connection??

    Do the Math... Good Credits meansyou dont owe too much money from financial institution. You are in control ofyour finances which means..... Being less susciptible of being bribed by inmates for doing something for them .... and then becoming drug couriers for prison gang.
  9. by   fizz2Nurse
    First, I can say that prison nursing can be very good work. The difficult part coming from hospital based was learning "no" nursing as they call it here. Being able to tell inmates no and tough luck. Such as you can ask for tylenol on the new fish unit at pill call but we don't deliver at other times. Or telling the whiners when we're running behind that they have a choice, take your meds or refuse them.

    Currently on assignment in a max facility, I find the C/O's very good people and we treat them often for stress ailments such as migraines and GI upset but they are very protective of the nursing staff. Never promise an inmate, just say you'll try and "if I can". Also being honest saying you forgot or sometimes being a smart aleck in the right way works. A whiner asking for a band-aid sometimes gets "all bleeding stops eventually"

    I work the infirmary and new fish units and the IM's know we are not obligated to do a lot extra, and only the ones that are polite get more attention, otherwise the answer is always fly a kite (send a communication form)


    One of the new adaptations for new corrections nurses is lingo: the first time in report I was told by the leaving shift: He had some upset so I gave IM crackers. I missed the next sentence wondering how crackers are given IM ........... oh! INMATE

    Plus all the 10-codes, since I'm night staff and have a radio, learning that comes fast.


    Of course for new fish our Blood borne pathogen teaching is : If it's warm wet and not yours, don't touch!

    I would compare it to a cross between long-term care and urgent care nursing. A world of it's own but not very dangerous as long as you are assertive and always able to tell the inmate you are in control and you follow the safety rules.

    Plus it helps that the facility I am on assignment at pays their staff RNs $14 per hour more than the local hospital.


    Contract over end of this month and I'd do it again,
  10. by   Truegem
    I always tell my friends and family that I work in the safest place in the world.
    1. The bad guys are wearing bright orange jumpsuits. Out on the streets, you can't identify the bad guys by what they're wearing.
    2. The bad guys are "in their place". They must keep their hands in their pockets, they must face the wall when you pass by them, and they may not speak unless spoken to. Out on the streets, a bad guy can walk right up to you and vicitimize you.
    3. If the bad guy tries to hurt you, he will have 20 deputies on him in seconds. If a bad guy tried to hurt you on the streets, you might not have a cop for miles around!
    I always feel safe at work. But mind you, I maintain my own safe practices also. Don't turn your back on an inmate. Always have the inmate walk in front of you. Don't leave heavy or sharp objects within an inmate's reach, etc etc etc.
    -Gem
    Last edit by Truegem on Nov 10, '07
  11. by   texascowgirl
    what the hayull is a "FISH" unit?????????

    Quote from fizz2Nurse
    First, I can say that prison nursing can be very good work. The difficult part coming from hospital based was learning "no" nursing as they call it here. Being able to tell inmates no and tough luck. Such as you can ask for tylenol on the new fish unit at pill call but we don't deliver at other times. Or telling the whiners when we're running behind that they have a choice, take your meds or refuse them.

    Currently on assignment in a max facility, I find the C/O's very good people and we treat them often for stress ailments such as migraines and GI upset but they are very protective of the nursing staff. Never promise an inmate, just say you'll try and "if I can". Also being honest saying you forgot or sometimes being a smart aleck in the right way works. A whiner asking for a band-aid sometimes gets "all bleeding stops eventually"

    I work the infirmary and new fish units and the IM's know we are not obligated to do a lot extra, and only the ones that are polite get more attention, otherwise the answer is always fly a kite (send a communication form)


    One of the new adaptations for new corrections nurses is lingo: the first time in report I was told by the leaving shift: He had some upset so I gave IM crackers. I missed the next sentence wondering how crackers are given IM ........... oh! INMATE

    Plus all the 10-codes, since I'm night staff and have a radio, learning that comes fast.


    Of course for new fish our Blood borne pathogen teaching is : If it's warm wet and not yours, don't touch!

    I would compare it to a cross between long-term care and urgent care nursing. A world of it's own but not very dangerous as long as you are assertive and always able to tell the inmate you are in control and you follow the safety rules.

    Plus it helps that the facility I am on assignment at pays their staff RNs $14 per hour more than the local hospital.


    Contract over end of this month and I'd do it again,
  12. by   Nursing_Dude
    Pretty sure in prison lingo they are refering to the newly admitted I/Ms. I am in my first semester of an ASN program and feel a little like "Fresh Fish" right now myself.:trout:
  13. by   Shantas
    Hi everyone:
    I am also thinking about working in a prison in California. Currently I work in a Kaiser Hospital...the pay is really good but not as good as the prison system....I also got one of those letters that the California correction send you if you pass that exam on line...I am very tempted to apply for this position but I am partified....all my friends at work tell me I shouldn't apply...that I would get killed or get raped....so on...does anyone have any info about California Institution for Men, Chino California?? Is it a scary place to work?? I have till 21st Nov 07 to make up my mind!! I am very confused...

close