Patients Who Are Prisoners - page 2

How do you manage patients who need to be guarded? In our hospital they are in the general population and have the number of guards appropriate to their status. We refer to them by a number or... Read More

  1. by   2ndCareerRN
    I have cared for two prisoners in my nursing career. The first was a nurse convicted of killing elderly w/ K+ injections. It was very very difficult to take care of this man. He was supposed to be one of us---striving to provide loving and caring treatment. As far as I was/am concerned, this particular patient did not deserve the same quality of care as other patients.
    I am not sure how to take this statement. First of all, I do not agree that this person did not deserve the same quality of care as other patients. If you had a problem with this patient, you should have traded him off. You talk of being "one of us" and "striving to provide loving and caring treatment". It seems you do not think this patient was deserving of the things that you feel should be provided to your patients. What will be next, a child molester, a rapist of female nurses? Where do you draw the line on giving sub-par care?

    bob
  2. by   Cameelrn
    That's exactly why I don't want to know what my prisoner-patients did. We are pretty strict about that. Sometimes a guard will try to tell me and I'll tell them to stop that I'm afraid knowing will affect the care I give. I think it is human to be affected by knowing that a patient is a child molestor, so it just makes sense to take that knowledge out of the equation.
  3. by   jeepgirl
    I have taken care of 1 prisoner and 1 who had just been released. The one that was in custody was very polite and nice. So were the officers that were with him. I had one guy who had just been released and was on parole... looked a little rough around the edges, but the most polite, NICEST guy ever. So, I have had good experiences, at least as an NA.

    I didn't ask what they were in for or what they had done for anything. I figured that they didn't need that... I was just there to fill up their water pitchers!
  4. by   jeepgirl
    Quote from nesher
    Had a prisoner patient who had a stem cell transplant - guard of course, shackles when walking about. We were a tad loose with him at first and like any patient allowed him visitors - that came to a grinding halt when he was found in his bathroom doing the wild thing with his wife - she was supposed to be helping with his shower. We are all still amzed he had the energy for the act considering what a transplant does to you.
    He was very afriad to go back to prison for fear of infection - we did send him and he did get readmited for an infection...

    Guards on the roof? Where is this at and what was the person accused of??
    He probably never gets to see her. I kind of feel for that guy, you know? Poor guy, and he knew he'd get an infection... its pretty inevitable in close quarters like that, itsn't it?
  5. by   Tweety
    We give them private rooms on our ward. We're not contracted with the prisoin so we only get them if there's been some kind of trauma. They are kept with a guard, and chained to the bed. They are still considered prisoners and in jail. (The bill being paid for by the prison system). No visitors, no phone calls, etc.
  6. by   blugreeneyez
    I worked in a maximum security prison that held the worst of the worst. These inmates were the ones that could not comply with the rules in the other prisons so they came to us. We were also only the second prison in my state to house the inpatient mental health. We had over 175 ICONS-intensive control -segregation inmates and another 200 MCONS-maximum control- segregation inmates. I had no problems with the inmates they were always respectful and nice to me. I left because of my supervisor. She liked to think that her way was the only way. She in fact made more mistakes than us newbies on paperwork etc. I was there to provide nursing care to the inmates not to punish them, their punishment had already been handed down by the judge and jury. Hey who hasn't made a mistake. Maybe ours was not murder or robbery but a sin is a sin. By the way it was the easiest nursing I have ever had the privilage to perform.
  7. by   nursemary9
    Hi

    We occasionally get prisoners. They are shackled to the bed with a guard at the bedside. The guards I have seen here are to kinds. We get Chicago Police Persons or for others, Sheriff Deputies.
    Each time I have cared for a prisoner, they have been fine--appropriate, cooperative. HOWEVER, one time I had a female prisoner, for some reason she was not shackled. She was just in the bed with a female Chicago police officer at the bedside.
    Well, this officer was rather complacent; she had a chair & table set up in the hall outside the room.
    I was kind of suprised with her behavior, but she is the Cop!!
    Well, I was there, changed IV bottle, gave meds; no problem. went back to the other 11 patients I had at the time. Next thing--I don't think it was more then 10 min later, the Respiratory Therapist came & said --NO PATIENT; & GUARD SOUND ASLEEP IN HALL!! Sure enough, pt. gone, gown in bed--pulled out IV in bed!!
    What a mess that was!
    I had Police to deal with all nite!!
    Detectives, Internal affirs, you name it!!
    She was kind of new on the force & just "slipped up:!! BAD!!
    The girl was not a danger--however, she could have been.
    I had Police coming by for months after, still investigating!@!

    I heard from one, she ultimately was suspended.

    I''ve had no other problems--on the Surgical floor, they give them different names.
  8. by   jerryh55
    I work as a correctional officer at a maximum security prison in Texas, and also a second semester RN student. Most of the things mentioned about restraints really only apply to the free world scenario. All federal, state, county lock-ups have policy mandated by the state, fed, or whatever. No one at a local level has authority to change these. Are they absolutely needed, who knows if the inmate you have there is capable of hurting anyone. we used to have 3 officers at a hospital at all times. One in the room, one outside the door, and a floater. He/she was there for breaks for the others. Our first and foremost responsibility is to keep the public safe. And the polocies are in effect for that purpose.
    Like most of you, I really dont want to know what they did either. I never ask, but sometimes they want to tell you. The state gives them certain things which are all considered the basis for existance. Food, clothing etc. I will go out of my way to insure they have these things, but I never go beyond that. They know that I will make sure they have the things they are supposed to have but nothing more. Mutual respect in a prison environment is essential. Yhey know I will go out of my way for certain things for them, and that is out of respect for another human being. In return, I get the respect from them, and rarely ever have the problems that others do. As mentioned before, someone else was judge and jury and it's not my responsibilty to try and take that job on as well. But as in any correctional facilty, theree are those that think it's there job to make their time as miserable as possible, and it's those who are the ones generally getting assaulted.
    I have been called inmate friendly by a lot of the ones who love to wire a pod up, simply because I will go out of my way to make sure an inmate has a blanket, clean towel, soap, toilet paper, etc. The things we take for granted. But the day I die will be the only time I will ever care about being judged, because at that moment, I will be judged by the highest court on the face of any know universe. And if they feel my actions have been out of line, then so be it. We must all strive to be loving, compassionate , caring human beings toward our fellow man. I think this world would be such a much nicer place to be if we did. Seems this thread has brought us all out on our soap boxes LOL

    Be Safe

    Jerry
  9. by   Cameelrn
    Quote from jerryh55
    I work as a correctional officer at a maximum security prison in Texas, and also a second semester RN student. Most of the things mentioned about restraints really only apply to the free world scenario. All federal, state, county lock-ups have policy mandated by the state, fed, or whatever. No one at a local level has authority to change these. Are they absolutely needed, who knows if the inmate you have there is capable of hurting anyone. we used to have 3 officers at a hospital at all times. One in the room, one outside the door, and a floater. He/she was there for breaks for the others. Our first and foremost responsibility is to keep the public safe. And the polocies are in effect for that purpose.
    Like most of you, I really dont want to know what they did either. I never ask, but sometimes they want to tell you. The state gives them certain things which are all considered the basis for existance. Food, clothing etc. I will go out of my way to insure they have these things, but I never go beyond that. They know that I will make sure they have the things they are supposed to have but nothing more. Mutual respect in a prison environment is essential. Yhey know I will go out of my way for certain things for them, and that is out of respect for another human being. In return, I get the respect from them, and rarely ever have the problems that others do. As mentioned before, someone else was judge and jury and it's not my responsibilty to try and take that job on as well. But as in any correctional facilty, theree are those that think it's there job to make their time as miserable as possible, and it's those who are the ones generally getting assaulted.
    I have been called inmate friendly by a lot of the ones who love to wire a pod up, simply because I will go out of my way to make sure an inmate has a blanket, clean towel, soap, toilet paper, etc. The things we take for granted. But the day I die will be the only time I will ever care about being judged, because at that moment, I will be judged by the highest court on the face of any know universe. And if they feel my actions have been out of line, then so be it. We must all strive to be loving, compassionate , caring human beings toward our fellow man. I think this world would be such a much nicer place to be if we did. Seems this thread has brought us all out on our soap boxes LOL

    Be Safe

    Jerry
    I have really enjoyed this thread. It has stirred up a lot of thoughts. Originally it was put out there to discuss physical security, but it seems to have brought out more on the attitude of the staff toward the patient-prisoner. Isn't that typical of a nurse? We are more concerned that the patient be treated right than worried about our own safety.
  10. by   LilRedRN1973
    My husband has worked as a Correctional Officer (not a GUARD) for the past 4 1/2 years and lately, I was toying with the idea of Correctional Nursing. I've gone on several tours of the prison here in town and the RMF (Regional Medical Facility). I'm still not sure if it's for me or not, but I was shocked at my classmates reactions.

    Many of my classmates think I'm crazy for even considering becoming a nurse who cares for inmates. Quite a few of our students are mothers, wives, etc. and asked how I would handle taking care of a child molester. Well, I guess I think differently because as a nurse, it's not MY job to judge. It's my to care for the patient/inmate/client/customer or whatever the hell we call 'em these days. We've had several inmates in the ICU and my care for them was the same as for any patient. Many of the mothers I go to school with said they would be unable to care for a patient who had committed some crime involving little kids or raping women. I told them that just because you don't work in a prison doesn't mean you won't be called upon to have a patient who has committed a crime. Many inmates end up in the hospital at some point and they may be assigned to that inmate. What will they do then? I think that as nurses, our jobs are to provide care in the capacity in which we were taught and in accordance the policies and procedures our our facility.

    There is a huge wedge between the officers and the nurses at the prison because many of the nurses "coddle" the inmates and the correctional officers hate it. My husband gets along with the nurses most of the time, but when they do stupid things like leaving a pair of scissors with an inmate, he gets a bit perturbed...LOL.
  11. by   Cameelrn
    Quote from RNnTraining1973
    My husband has worked as a Correctional Officer (not a GUARD) for the past 4 1/2 years and lately, I was toying with the idea of Correctional Nursing. I've gone on several tours of the prison here in town and the RMF (Regional Medical Facility). I'm still not sure if it's for me or not, but I was shocked at my classmates reactions.

    Many of my classmates think I'm crazy for even considering becoming a nurse who cares for inmates. Quite a few of our students are mothers, wives, etc. and asked how I would handle taking care of a child molester. Well, I guess I think differently because as a nurse, it's not MY job to judge. It's my to care for the patient/inmate/client/customer or whatever the hell we call 'em these days. We've had several inmates in the ICU and my care for them was the same as for any patient. Many of the mothers I go to school with said they would be unable to care for a patient who had committed some crime involving little kids or raping women. I told them that just because you don't work in a prison doesn't mean you won't be called upon to have a patient who has committed a crime. Many inmates end up in the hospital at some point and they may be assigned to that inmate. What will they do then? I think that as nurses, our jobs are to provide care in the capacity in which we were taught and in accordance the policies and procedures our our facility.

    There is a huge wedge between the officers and the nurses at the prison because many of the nurses "coddle" the inmates and the correctional officers hate it. My husband gets along with the nurses most of the time, but when they do stupid things like leaving a pair of scissors with an inmate, he gets a bit perturbed...LOL.
    I'm glad there are nurses like you who can care for patients who come from prisons. I do not have difficulty with it, but I might if I knew what crime they committed. It is not my job to judge, but being a survivor of such people has left me with some scars that, while I've learned to live with them, I redognize that they do not go away. I do not judge them, but I do not choose to knowlingly spend any more time than necessary around them.
  12. by   MedicalZebra
    In 1989 when I got my kidney transplant, there was a prisoner two rooms down the hall from me. He had been there for four days already and I hadn't even known he was in there-- until day 5, when he took advantage of his guard being in the bathroom and pushed his IV pole down to the Patient Lounge... apparently going 4 days with no TV was getting to him.

    Suddenly there was a loud alarm going off, the doors to all patient rooms and stairways shut, and all of the elevators on our floor shut down. An announcement came over the PA, telling everyone to stay in their rooms. A few minutes later the doors opened again and I could hear yelling in the hallway. A nurse told me that they'd caught the prisoner in the lounge and that he was probably sorry he'd done it.

    I found out why a few weeks later-- there was the prisoner and his guard in our transplant clinic. The prisoner was now sporting a huge sling on his left arm and seemed afraid to move at all. I wonder if his arm ever healed properly or if he kept his transplant, but we never saw him again.
  13. by   MadRedneckRN
    Quote from blugreeneyez
    I worked in a maximum security prison that held the worst of the worst. These inmates were the ones that could not comply with the rules in the other prisons so they came to us. We were also only the second prison in my state to house the inpatient mental health. We had over 175 ICONS-intensive control -segregation inmates and another 200 MCONS-maximum control- segregation inmates. I had no problems with the inmates they were always respectful and nice to me. I left because of my supervisor. She liked to think that her way was the only way. She in fact made more mistakes than us newbies on paperwork etc. I was there to provide nursing care to the inmates not to punish them, their punishment had already been handed down by the judge and jury. Hey who hasn't made a mistake. Maybe ours was not murder or robbery but a sin is a sin. By the way it was the easiest nursing I have ever had the privilage to perform.
    I work at a State Mental Hospital. My unit consists of men who's charges range from murder, child molestation, rape, stalking, terrorism.....
    I know what the charges are on all of my patients. I find it easier in my situation to keep in mind they are charges, not convictions. My patients have been found not competent to stand trial due to mental illness. Many admit to their crimes, but I don't discuss them unless the patient brings it up. For the most part, they are polite. We try to run the unit like a hospital, not a prison unless the guys start acting like crimminals. It is a lock down building so in many ways it is like a prison or jail but the patients are treated much better here so they are pretty motivated to be good.
    If you have trouble treating patients with a crimminal history, I feel you should trade the patient. Most supervisors would understand if you just can't treat this patient the same as any other.

    Lori

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