I do feel safe, I try very hard to always be aware of each situation and if and when it may escalate. I think that is something you need to always be thinking with prison nursing, especially in a male prison. The females are not quite as prone to violence to eachother or staff as far as I've heard or seen.
The job I had before this was at a State mental hospital for males, mostly sexually violent predators as they are deemed here in california. I never actually had verbal abuse turn into physical violence, however I felt physically threatened a few times. There they have hospital police officers for security, but they are not always around, and there was a lot of opportunity for the patient to take advantage of the situation.
I think it is much more secure where I work now, I don't see every inmate with an officer present, but there is always another RN or staff member in the other room with full visibilty. We have officers always with ones who have history of violence to staff, are suicidal, ad seg(basically solitary confinement), or death row. If we have to see a inmate in their cell we always have an officer and all other inmates have to exit the cell.
In the mental health crisis beds, they are even more restricted due to suicidal precautions, etc and the officer is present most times the cell is opened, and there are surveillance cameras inside those rooms.
Well my typical day involves taking phone calls and triaging them or making a decision if the medical complaint they have needs to be seen in TTA that night (I work nights), seeing inmates returning from out to medical appointments such as getting vital signs, reviewing procedures done, assessing dressings and notifying the doctor and receiving any orders for further follow up. My particular position also has the responsibility to respond to the various housing units for medical emergencies when the alarm is pulled, or if the officer calls for assistance or just to see the inmate and see if they need to be seen that night.
We do various nursing assessements of the big and small, and the emergent and non emergent medical needs. Try to figure out "what do they want? what is the purpose of their scheme?", because unfortunately they do scheme, but sometimes that makes it more fun and interesting.