Offered job at prison

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    I have been offered a job at a Prison in Texas. The medical management is the University of Texas Medical System. One reason I applied for the job is to move to the same town as my parents. My mother has breast cancer and I really wanted to be near her. There is a small hospital in the town that they live in but the pay and benefits are not nearly comparable as the prison position. I have several family members that work in the prison system in different capacities ( teacher, psychologist, corrections officer) and have been there for more than 15 years. The pay is much better than what I am making now in a hospital and the benefits are better. Does anyone have any experience in the UTMB system? Any advise to offer???
    Or just advise on going into prison nursing???? I would appreciate any input.
    Last edit by tmalone on Nov 12, '04 : Reason: add qyestion
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    i used to work at a prison that was contracted by UTMB. Benefits were really good and pay was better than hospital. I worked in a federal facility so the conditions were way better than a state prison. It was also reletively low stress (especially nights), if you could kinda tune out the whiny inmates. anyway i ended up quitting because it was kinda boring...and management at my facility was really crappy and unsupportive...but other than that it was okay though....
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    I work in a county jail and I imagine it is much different then a prison but overall I really like jail nursing. I hear prison nursing tends to have inmates that are much more stable, as county nursing- we see it all. It is never boring and everyone I work with likes the position. There is minimal to no family stuff (not trying to keep family members happy more then the patient) and that is a huge plus!
    Good luck!
    jen
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    very true about the family thing....and you don't have to take as much crap from the inmates (no behind kissing here....even the much "coddled fed inmates"). I also found when i worked at the hospital the inmate patients were the best...some acted like they were at a five star hotel! (they seemed to enjoy being at the hospital!) It really was okay...i just really wanted to work nicu after graduation.
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    I love prison nursing. The challenges are everything I have ever experienced in hospital, home health, LTC and ER nursing, and now I have the added challenge of dealing with inmates. There are no two days the same. Heck, there are no two minutes the same. Inmates, as a rule, are not forthcoming with their symptoms. Sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get any kind of a pertinent history of current complaint. They tend to be vague about onset, duration etc. It is very challenging to get a good history and piece together what is pertinent and leave out what is not. At the prison where I work we have the good fortune of having nurses that are very committed to their responsibilities. It was not always that way here. We had some terrible nurses a few years ago, that were so burnt out, I was ashamed to say I was associated with them. Those people are gone and the present staff are the best I have ever worked with. Prisons need great nurses that care about what they do. Any job is enjoyable if the people that you work with enjoy their job.
    Don't hesitate to work in a prison just because it's a "PRISON". Go there with an open mind ready to accept new and interesting challenges, just like you would any job.
    my 2 cents.
    DesertRN2 and kingsmiley like this.
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    I have not been offered a nursing position in a prison, but would like to learn more about the opportunities available. Can someone tell me what type of nursing assignments are available at a prison? I live in the San Francisco bay area and San Quintin is close by.

    Also, I would like to know what type of nursing experience would be most valued by those doing the hiring. I have emergency nursing experience but that was many years ago, I have been working as a case manager for large insurance companies and the tedium is killing me.

    Any assistance would be most appreciated.

    Diego
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    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!
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    I notice that no one has posted on this thread i awhile. I am an LVN and have been offered a job to work at UTMB prisons through a company called PHS. This is entirely new to me. I have to go to the orientation which is an hour drive away next week. I am in school full time and want to work weekends. Does anyone have any experience/advice to share in regards to the company (PHS) and the UTMB prison system?
  12. 0
    Quote from koulett
    I notice that no one has posted on this thread i awhile. I am an LVN and have been offered a job to work at UTMB prisons through a company called PHS. This is entirely new to me. I have to go to the orientation which is an hour drive away next week. I am in school full time and want to work weekends. Does anyone have any experience/advice to share in regards to the company (PHS) and the UTMB prison system?
    Yes. It might not be possible to only work weekends. Normally they do rotating days off for shifts, but that will depend on your nurse manager. I have not seen any indication that they really will work with a person to adjust shifts for school, but again, that is up to your unit. Interesting, PHS- I have not heard of that one, but many staffing agencies have contracts with UTMB. It is great experience and will teach you a lot. If you find a unit that makes you feel uncomfortable with their policies, tell your agency that you do not want to return to that unit. I had a very bad experience with one particular unit, and they are ALWAYS recruiting for help. (Wonder why?) Then there are other units that I really like. They are all different in their management and their approach to problems. Good luck with this. It is a very worthwhile job, just don't let yourself fall into treating people in a dehumanizing way...there are plenty around that will try to lead you down that path.
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    Hi KatKonk! Sorry for the quite late reply. By now I have gotten a small taste by finally working my first shift. The unit that I worked at was one of those that my recruiter said "always has needs"....and i think i see why. I had an unpleasant experience there and was questioning whether I want to continue..but reading your post has given me a glimmer of hope. Try different units? I just may do that. If u get a less than adequate orientation on a particular unit in the system..can you get more orientation on a separate one? Oh..and PHS stands for Premier Health Services. when they called me for the job..I'd never heard of them either. They are actually based out of Arizona and California but they contract with UTMB for the prisons.


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