Graduated from school 12/94 and no jobs to be had due to proposed universal healthcare. Got P/T position at state max security correction facility in St. Clair two days a week. Worked both infirmary, segregation and pill pass. Left after 2 1/2 yrs. Inmates manipulate and lie and brutalize each other relentlessly. Took a newly hired female nurse to seg with me for familiarization. It was lunch time and all the tray doors were open. when they saw the female nurse they started screaming "nurse, nurse help me get the swelling out of this!" Every tray door had a penis pop through of every shape, size and color imaginable. She looked like she didn't know how to respond. I grabbed the nearest tray door and slammed it shut. the inmate jumped clear before it caught him. We gave out teh meds and went back to the infirmary. She stayed on after that harsh introduction to prison nursing. One male nurse received a love letter from an inmate detailing how he wanted to have sex. A few weeks later during random entry/exit searches, the DOC found a loaded handgun in the backpack of the nurse. He was immediately fired, arrested and taken to jail. I reckon he lost his license too as it's a felony to take contraband into a prison. If he was scared he should have simply left. The prison I worked in had no modern medical devices other than an EKG machine. We had no pumps, or monitoring devices. Vintage 1960s medicine according to one of the visiting MDs. Many of the nurses I knew working in prisons lost their licenses due to narcotic use or inmate fraternization infractions. Inmates are very convincing and can hoodwink you in an instant. They tell you" I like you best, you're the best nurse working here, etc. Can I use the telephone just for a second or willo you mail this letter for me?" Yikes! No, no and no. It doesn't matter how you treat the inmates so long as you treat them all the same. They make julep to drink and the convict code requires them to assist each other even when they know they will get into trouble. We always had a trustee inmate know as a "runner" for running up and down the hallway in the infirmary handing out refills on drinks, cleaning the unit, assisting with lifting, etc. The turnover was continuous because they all broke the rules about behavior and usually involved passing on meds to other folks. The prisons in Alabama tend to specialize in diffent maladies. Our prison was the hospice/dialysis prison. Many of our inamtes were terminally ill and died. ANother housed mostly mental inmates, another HIV inmates, another Aged & infirm inmates, another death row, etc. Some inmates are ALWAYS in transit. It helps show lower overcrowding numbers. When I worked there Alabama has reinstituted chaingangs for work details. Those refusing to work were left in the main yard handcuffed to a hitching post until their squad came back from work. They got bathroom breaks but that was it. The post was quite high and uncomfortable to stand with your hands that high. It was also cold during the winter months as well. Finally it was stopped after many court challenges. There was no airconditioning in the prison in general or the infirmary. There was some heat always due to the number of bodies inside. They let inmates do routine maintenance around the prison which led to escapes under the electric fence. We were so far out in the country we couldn't get TV signals or radio barely. Forget cable. Politicians talking about country club prisons haven't been in a state prison here. One inmate escaped his cell and attacked another inmate with a homemade knife. He stabbed him 24 times. He was a bloddy mess and had to be hospitalized for a day for stitches, but it didn't kill him. Another inmate threw carpart cleaning fluid intot eh face of another inmate after an altercation. It got into his left eye and we flushed it thoroughly. We added onitment tears in that eye every few hours for about a week. We saved his eye but his cornea was solid white and he needed a transplant to regain vision. The state refused to pay for that surgery. After I left the relative calm of the prison I worked in the Birmingham city jail for about two years P/T as well. There you see almost the same people week after week, crack whores, homeless people, mentally ill folks. The police are supposed to take the prisoners by the county hospital for any needed tx prior to bringing them to jail, but they hate to wait and fudge. One officer told a prisoner,"You'll get out of jail quicker if you refuse tx here at the hospital." Which wasn't true in the least. Once the prisoner realized he wasn't going anywhere soon, he came to the medical office demanding to go to the hospital for treatment of a host of issues. When I showed him the paperwork from the hospital a few hours earlier when he refused tx, he acknowledged signing the form. I told him he could sign up to see the jail MD when he came the next day since he wasn't serious enough to accept tx when offered. In the jail I worked mostly in the female wing. The regular city nurse, she didn't like dealing with them. It was a treat to be sure. Many inmates assume if you're a man you must be a doctor. I told one inmate if you see a doctor pushing a med cart he doesn't have his physician license anymore!