Thinking of going to corrections - page 2

by toddlar 5,571 Views | 18 Comments

I have long stalked these threads and I have learned either you love corrections or hate it. I am on a cardica unit and work nights. We have 6 patients at night. The best part is sometimes when change of shift is going on you get... Read More


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    I remember when I first started working in a correctional facility....I went through a period where some of the officers deliberately kept me waiting in an area where one door locks behind you and you are waiting for the door in front of you to open. When that didn't happen right away, I buzzed for attention, but was kept waiting a long time. The staff was "sizing me up" to see how coolly I would handle that situation. There are times, though, when that happens with a good explanation - they are busy with something else or there is a dangerous situation where you are better kept where you are. But you get the idea - that's their own way of deciding how much respect you or trust you. Plus watching you work with inmates.
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    [QUOTE=pdrgeez;6529772]

    And last, but not least, the RN or LVN has to recognize that they are not in a clinic or a hospital - they are dealing with people who are locked up, have criminal records, and have suffered. If you don't think you can deal with that, then stay away. As nurses, we are called on to care for all types of patients. If you can't treat them as patients, not criminals, then you should probably look elsewhere.[\QUOTE]

    Love that post. I give Credit to CORRECTIONAL Nurses. I am an LPN student. My fiance is incarcerated, and he has SERIOUS back issues from playing sports his whole life. It is nice to know that there are nurses who treat them AS PATIENTS not inmates. Although, my fiance is paying for his crime he still deserves care.
    pdrgeez likes this.
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    I'm actually doing the opposite , I'm a former Corrections Officer going into nursing.
    I did the same thing. I find that my custody experience serves me well in this environment, in that I can relate to what the COs are going through, and I also think of possibilities and head off problems that I wouldn't otherwise be able to if I didn't have a background in corrections in another capacity.

    Ironically, I went into nursing intending to get out of corrections. It started out innocently enough. I signed up for a per diem job with my state DOC to pick up a few hours. That was more than 11 years ago. It has been an interesting ride.
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    Wow! That is a great ride! Sometimes solutions come out of the journey. Those are the best solutions too. It's a very different perspective to be on the health care side of corrections. I found that the worst experiences I had in corrections happened when I was dealing with corrupt individuals.....and I found that corruption in the higher echelon of health care. I think that if you put out your humanism and do your best, you can work with just about any inmate. In every instance in healthcare, you can have a total nightmare working with another nurse or healthcare person who is jealous or wants to do the backstabbing thing. I've never understood that. Why sabotage a fellow nurse? There will always be a place in healthcare for a team player.
    deyo321 likes this.
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    One of the worst times for inmate-patients comes when they have to go to court, where they are scrutinized and reduced to being just a number or a name or a sentence (a charge). They return to jail or prison or whatever, and most feel so humiliated or guilty that they become suicidal. There are many stories and many individual crimes and charges. But correctional healthcare demands that nurses don't treat people as if they were the charge. Don't ask if you can't handle it.
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    I would love to work in the CA prisons.. Is knowing a couple CO's helpful getting in? I will hopefully graduate with a BSN in RN around 2015 and hopefully times are better by then

    Can I volunteer or do an internship there?
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    Hi - it may be good to know a C.O. or not....sometimes the decision making process in hiring is a totally separate process. The state prisons are a bit of a different ball of wax. The criminal charges are more severe....and it is a more dangerous place to work. Those who are serving sentences in prison have less to lose than inmates in county jails. A lot of the inmates will be there for the rest of their lives. There is a whole learning module before you work with inmates. They have a different set of values. You can't drop even the smallest piece of information in there or someone's life can be at stake.

    I would not be too anxious to volunteer until a lot of your education is under your belt. Let me give you an example....you can never bring your cell phone to work with you when you work in a correctional facility. I know of a situation where someone's cell phone was stolen and then sold in the inmate population. When an inmate and his friend decided to escape, they got the cell phone and got the number, name and address of the people whose family were names on that phone. So, these two escaped and went to the house of two of the people whose numbers were on the phone. They raped and killed the females in the family in front of the male family members. Some of the inmates are smarter than you could imagine. Just take your time. Get your education first, then you can investigate the field that is right for you. Not to scare you, but there are situations that can happen that are horrifying. You can also lose your job by giving too much information to inmates as well. It's a great field for those who are suited to it. But there's a lot of safety to learn before you even go into that field. I know you'll be a great nurse...those who are dedicated to the field are wonderful individuals. Just take it a step at a time. I left nursing in my twenties and went back in when i was in my forties. It's a lifestyle...and it's a great career, but you have to have a tough hide and be ready to put up with the challenges.
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    Thanks pdrgeez. I appreciate the response... i plan on aiming high on my classes and test scores and hope to land a great job.. I understand the issues and concerns behind working in a prison setting and know there is really no way to prepare for it. I too applied as a CO 6 months ago, but no word and dont expect to hear from that for a long time.

    I will continue to get my education and then after i complete a few classes I will look into doing volunteer work to make sure before i commit
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    You're on the right track - and you're a smart person. Nursing's a great field, but a tough one, and we all have to stick together. That's why this website is so great...there are lots of different sources of info. I don't mean to appear too grim about things...but I'd hate to have something happen to someone just because they don't have enough information. This last couple of days with all the events in Colorado happening is a big dose of reality. I love forensic nursing, it's the greatest field - but it is a big dose of Reality sometimes. If you join the International Association of Forensic Nurses and go to their scientific assemblies, you can hear all kinds of information about different forensic fields. I went to their workshops in Pittsburgh one year and got a certification in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. Good stuff!


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