Quote from kellyo
I am currently in a psych rotation (ADN program) at a women's prison. I am loving every minute of it, and am intrigued by everything that happens there. I am considering working there after graduation in May (much to the dismay of my family).
Why have you chosen to work in a correctional facilty? Do you like it? How dangerous is it, really? I'd love to hear your stories.
To tell you the truth, I didn't choose correctional nursing...it kind of chose me! After graduating from LPN school, I went to work in a long-term care facility (nursing home). I absolutely hated it. Hated it when I did clinicals in one...but the money was not bad for a new grad and it was close to home. Stayed there only 3 months...all I could stand! A friend of mine that worked PRN at the nursing home encouraged me to apply at the jail he worked at, so I did. It didn't take me long to figure out that corrections was my "niche", my "calling" you could say! I worked there for a little over a year, left because I was getting burnt out on night shift, tried a couple hospitals and then ended up back at the jail. I was SO unhappy at the hospitals and nursing home. Correctional nursing is my specialty. I never imagined it, but it is. Every clinical rotation we had in school, I would say "this isn't for me...this isn't my thing"...well we got all the way through school and I had not found anything that I so thoroughly enjoyed that I wanted to make it my specialty. I enjoyed the psych rotation, but the psych hospital was just a little too intense for me. You get a lot of psych experience in the correctional setting, but not as intense, you don't have to really deal with their violent outbursts, security does that. I cannot say that I have ever felt like I was in danger at the jail. We are never alone with the inmates, there is always an officer present. There have been times that things have been a little "hairy" you might say, but I can truly say I have never been in fear for my life. Tell your family to calm down! Most prisons, however, do give the inmates more freedoms, but this is due to the fact, partially, that they have undergone a full mental evaluation and been classified as to how much "freedom" they should actully be given.
Correctional nursing is challenging at times, easier than a nursing home, you do a lot of independent assessment...most facilities do not have on-site drs. You are the one doing Sick Call and assessing what is real and what is a fake ploy being used by some manipulative inmate just trying to get something for nothing.
And so you learn to sift through a lot of bunk to get to the real health problems that actually need treatment. As I said, your assessment skills will be in constant use. One thing is for sure...IT IS NEVER BORING!!!
I am rambling on, so I will wrap this up for now...hope this helps...if you have any other questions, feel free to ask.