New RN to corrections

  1. 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!
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   Honda
    Hi Barb, I have been in corrections only since April in a Max Security System. Why are you so scare? Do you work for State or BOP?
  4. by   renerian
    I have always posted here people who take corrections jobs are very brave. What scares you the most? How is it going?

    renerian
  5. by   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.
  6. by   INAnurse1
    I'm curious as to how long you have been out of school and what in the heck got you into corrections? I have been in corrections as a state nurse for 13+ years and as a vendor nurse for another 1 1/2. My reasons for going into corrections was burnout from working in hospitals; I've been a nurse for almost 31 years. When I went into corrections I planned on only being in there for a year or so and then getting back into nursing on the outside.....and here I am 13+ years later and I can't afford to get out due to the decent pay and benefits. Working in corrections will impact on you and your life. I have found that nurses that go into corrections, after a short time, start having problems with their home lives. Also it is hard to switch off your prison personality and switch on your home personality and vice versa. I have seen nurses marriages in trouble after they started in corrections; I have seen nurses get hooked up with inmates and ruin their careers over an inmate.

    Corrections would be a good choice a few years down the road after you've had the opportunity to hone your skills and develop who you are.

    I jokingly tell people that working in corrections definitely ruins your chances of ever being a greeter at Walmart.......

    Good luck and stay safe.

    Joe
  7. by   Fiesta Red
    Quote from INAnurse1

    I jokingly tell people that working in corrections definitely ruins your chances of ever being a greeter at Walmart.......

    Joe
    No way! There goes my retirement plans!
  8. by   nancykday
    quote=Fiesta Red;2413215]No way! There goes my retirement plans![/quote]


  9. by   texascowgirl
    well first of all, that quiet non-aggressive person sure is gonna change after they try to jack you around one too many times! you will get tough. you will have no other choice. it's survival of the fittest. whatever you do, in the meantime, do not allow your fear to show-they will prey on you like wolves....they can sense it. think of how aggressive dogs act when they sense someone is weak.
    if you are afraid for your own security, if it makes you feel any better, it's alot scarier in a civilian free world ER where anyone can walk in iwth a weapon, and you dont have a guard at your side.
    and dont forget, they want something from you. you are the one in control and have the power to dictate their treatment regimen. if anything, you will find them manipulating you in any way they can, flirting with you, grooming you........they want what you have. they want to befriend you. just maintain your professional boundaries at all times. play no favorites. dont be overly friendly. even an innocent smile will be misinterpreted as "she's got the hots for me"..


    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!
    Last edit by texascowgirl on Sep 22, '07 : Reason: add info
  10. by   msmel321
    I have been reading these posts and wondering how to get into corrections nursing, is it better at a state facility or federal facility, how do i apply, what are some tips for getting my foot in the door?

    Melinda
  11. by   texascowgirl
    gotta agree with you there....most of the docs and PA's i have worked with in corrections are rejects or are VERY OLD. i have worked with docs who could barely walk, they were so geriatric.

    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.
  12. by   nancykday
    Quote from msmel321
    I have been reading these posts and wondering how to get into corrections nursing, is it better at a state facility or federal facility, how do i apply, what are some tips for getting my foot in the door?

    Melinda

    Alabama Doc just awarded their medical contract to Correctional Medical services of St Louis. You can go on their website for information.
  13. by   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. however, many federal correctional institutions are outsourcing their correctional and health care to private companies e.g. GEO Group, CCA, etc. I know this for a fact because if you look at those privatized prison companies list of facilities, they will list that that "x" facility holds federal detainees, INS etc.
    whether it is better to go state or federal? well, i would think it would depend on the facility itself. federal of course has better benefits.
    tips of getting your foot in the door? come one! you are an RN....there is a nursing shortage. so unless you live in the State of California, which as you have read in this forum has had alot of competition for correctional health jobs, you will find yourself a job as a correctional health nurse if you want one.


    Quote from msmel321
    I have been reading these posts and wondering how to get into corrections nursing, is it better at a state facility or federal facility, how do i apply, what are some tips for getting my foot in the door?

    Melinda
  14. by   msmel321
    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. however, many federal correctional institutions are outsourcing their correctional and health care to private companies e.g. GEO Group, CCA, etc. I know this for a fact because if you look at those privatized prison companies list of facilities, they will list that that "x" facility holds federal detainees, INS etc.
    whether it is better to go state or federal? well, i would think it would depend on the facility itself. federal of course has better benefits.
    tips of getting your foot in the door? come one! you are an RN....there is a nursing shortage. so unless you live in the State of California, which as you have read in this forum has had alot of competition for correctional health jobs, you will find yourself a job as a correctional health nurse if you want one.
    What i needed to know was the name of the contract company for the state of Alabama, which i found out by calling Montgomery.
    What I was really asking was tips on finding and applying for these positions and other federal, state and civil service positions.I live next to a military base and there are few positions for RNs. It seems that you have to know someone from within to get a job on base or through the VA.
    I recently left my job with home health due to major medicare fraud and I would like to get a job with great security and benefits.

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