Max security ward job

  1. So, on thuesday im going to a job interview. The job im gonna apply for is as an orderly/nursing student at a max security psych ward (one of four in the country). The first question the head nurse there asked me over the phone was how much I weighed (approx 200 pounds). What can I expect from a job like that? Are the patients overall more agressive, can you expect attacks, what are the staffing on such wards, what kind of methods do you use for calming patients and so on? I have some years of experience as a doorman (one of the nice ones, that talks to people instead of cuffing them ), so verbal and also not-so-verbal conflict solving methods arent excactly new subjects for me, but my knowledge of psychiatric nursing is somewhat limited. All inputs are welcomed
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Hukilau
    Quote from beochicken
    So, on thuesday im going to a job interview. The job im gonna apply for is as an orderly/nursing student at a max security psych ward (one of four in the country). The first question the head nurse there asked me over the phone was how much I weighed (approx 200 pounds). What can I expect from a job like that? Are the patients overall more agressive, can you expect attacks, what are the staffing on such wards, what kind of methods do you use for calming patients and so on? I have some years of experience as a doorman (one of the nice ones, that talks to people instead of cuffing them ), so verbal and also not-so-verbal conflict solving methods arent excactly new subjects for me, but my knowledge of psychiatric nursing is somewhat limited. All inputs are welcomed
    Asking how much you weigh is highly inappropriate and is probably an indication of the head nurse's feelings of fear and ineffectiveness (or sadistic leanings.). If you take that job expect to be in the middle of physical confrontations daily. I would ask what kind of crisis intervention training they use there for the staff.
    Sounds like they need, but probably don't have, something heavy-duty like MOAB, which stresses de-escalation but teaches you the necessary skills to protect yourself and others when you have to.
  4. by   CharlieRN
    beo,

    I'm a bit confused. I have been an orderly. I have been a nursing student. I have even been both at once. But does this facility also run a nursing school that you would be starting both at once?

    Given the weight question you can expect to be involved in physical interacions at least daily. A maximum security psych institution is about on a par with a maximum security prison, except the inmates are more dangerous. Experience as a doorman is totally inadequate. Experience as a cop or prison guard would be better.
  5. by   beochicken
    Quote from CharlieRN
    beo,

    I'm a bit confused. I have been an orderly. I have been a nursing student. I have even been both at once. But does this facility also run a nursing school that you would be starting both at once?

    Given the weight question you can expect to be involved in physical interacions at least daily. A maximum security psych institution is about on a par with a maximum security prison, except the inmates are more dangerous. Experience as a doorman is totally inadequate. Experience as a cop or prison guard would be better.
    Nah, this is just work, and does not count in my bachelors in nursing. I have worked a couple of shifts there now, and because of the good staffing at the place (1 employee for each patient), no hairy situations have taken place. And believe me, where I come from, doormen are usually very up to date (meaning I have had my share of the action on both verbal and not-so-verbal conflict solving.
  6. by   CharlieRN
    Ok Geo sounds like you are on top of the situation. From the 1:1 staffing it sounds like your employers are serious about employee safety, not just in it for a buck. I have some fears in this direction because every facility is under the gun financially. Mine periodicly makes noises about taking on a "forensic" case load. They see it as money just begging to be taken. They figure they are already running a locked, inpatient facility so what difference will it make. Nursing would try to make them understand that there is a vast difference between staffing and proceedures that are safe for a population that is 99% voluntary, and those that are safe for one composed of the "criminally insane". Then 2 months ago it was announced that the state psych hospital was going to be closed. We would be expected to take on their long term, chonic and violently uncooperative involuntary patients. It rapidly became clear that we could handle exactly ONE of those at a time. Plans are now underway to rebuild one of our locked units to have more special observation, intensive care suites. Plans also in place to hire more staff. I don't know that the state will pay for all this, hopefully so.

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