changing gears at 46 to County Jail? - page 4

Hi All. I am putting my application in for the county jail. I was contracting out my services independently but my husband wants to start his own business and I need to have benefits for both of... Read More

  1. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from Crawsu
    I've been in corrections since 1996. Went to the interview solely out of curiosity. They gave me a ton of backround check stuff to fill out, then said, "If you want the job, fill this out and send it in to the Sheifff's dept," Been at it ever since, and would reccommend to anyone who is fed up with hospital nursing. You get a little bit of everything, but not as much of the "customer service" garbage you get in hospital nursing. You actually get to treat patients for their problems, and you can really have an impact with helping to diagnose and educate patients. There is a lot of bogus stuff, where inmates claim certain Sx because they know they will get sent to medical, but there are also thoses cases where you discover an undiagnosed illness and actually get to do some good. The doctors. at least where I work, are more prone to view you as a peer, and listen to your input. You usually have a more independent practice than you would in other settings, due to standing orders, etc..that allow the nurse to order meds under specific parameters. Would highly reccomend this specialty to nurses that have enough experience in other settings to make judgements based on a patient's presenting Sx.
    Look out, if they tell you that you"re their favorite nurse. That probably means that you have broken some rules somewhere. As Aurora said, be firm, fair, and consistant and you won't have any problems.
    Would recommend at least 1-2 yrs med-surg or any other hospital specialty before trying corrections. However, don't expect a jail or prison to meet JAACHO standards. The certification for these institutions are under an entirely different system. The main thing to remember is does the Tx rendered live up to community standards. Always remember that safety standard of the institution take precedence over medical concerns(excluding emergency Tx). In other words, if a pt. is scheduled for clinic and they have a court scheduled for that time slot, the court appearance is paramount.
    If you are able to be independent within your prescribed standards of practice, then I would think you are a prime candidate for the job. Being independent in your home health care practice would be a BIG plus. Emphasize it. Don't be afraid to negotiate for pay. THere is a shortage of nurses right now, and esspecially in corections, so don't forget that you have a valuable commodity and should be paid accordingly.
    Good Luck!!!
    I worked the system in Fla for a while. I might add...
    • Never give an ointment of any kind to be carried back to the cell.
    • They are all innocent, don't even bother discussing it.
    • If you are in an area of multi-lingual folks, expect them to forget English as soon as that door closes behind them. Hope you speak the most common language after English!
    • If you work "receiving" expect to find lots of untreated chronic problems. They probably haven't been treated since the last time they were in custody.
    • Never allow yourself to be in a room alone with an inmate. A guard/officer will be there even when you are examining your pt.
    • Get used to having to wait for doors to be opened for you from the control room and you must wait for the first door to close completely before they second door will be opened.
    • You can be searched at any time. Get used to it.
    There is a lot of "stuff" so peculiar in the system it's just impossible to think of them all.
  2. by   jailDON
    Dixiedi - all true. You didn't comment on the bugging issue. Did they record phone calls in the institution you worked in?

    NurseT - on the labor laws....The only thing I can find out is that salaried people in my state are expected to work 40 hours IF they don't do call. In your case, doing call, a shorter work day helps make up for the inconvenience of being awakened in the middle of the night. At a local hospital the nurses don't get paid for call at all unless they have to go in THEN they are paid overtime.
  3. by   nurseT
    :chuckle update: The commisioners had their meeting and the exempt subject came up. I don't know what happened but the commander came in my office and was really mad. He said I should never go above his head again, that there was a policy stating that that was wrong and people get fired for less. I again explained to him that telling me I must clock in and be there for 40 hrs for the purpose of satisfying other employees was wrong. That if he was going to treat me like an hourly employee the county would lose my exemption. He still doesn,t get it. He doesn't think that the Dr. should get paid if he's not there 40 hrs either. I still don't know what to do. Now I think I've done everything just short of complaining to the dept of labor. I really like my job and most of the other employees. The commander offered me this, " If you want to take your lunch at the end of your shift, I don't have a problem with that but you'll have to call back an hour later to have one of the booking officers clock you out". Now if he was really concerned about the officer's anxiety over me leaving befor they do, what do you suppose will happen when I do that? I'm beginning to think that maybe it's not the employees but him that has all the problem with the medical dept. Boy, I hate to call the commissioner again to see what was said, but I'm considering it. What do you think? :uhoh21:
  4. by   Aurora
    Can you at least tell us what state this jail is in? I am looking for another correctional job and I don't want to wind up in a state where the jail guards are as stupid as the ones you deal with. They're always pretty dumb, but geeeez!
  5. by   nurseT
    update: Actually I'm afreaid to tell which state, just in case. It's not the state. Now that I've had a few more conversations with the commander, I believe it's he who has a problem with medical personnel and not the other employees as he initially said. Yesterday he took the afternoon off to lift weights. I guess that would definitley be more important than me taking the afternoon off to go shopping. He's just a shithead. :angryfire I'd like to take my time and see what I can do internally before calling the dept of labor. But at least he knows he can't pick on me. 2 neighboring county jail nurses and myself are trying to form a local jail nurses assoc. to share information and improve medical care, so I've been working on that too. By the way, they say they don't have to clock in.
  6. by   jailDON
    Sounds like he jealous maybe and doesn't understand that there is a lot of responsibility that goes along with your profession. Great move to network with other nurses in your area. :hatparty:
  7. by   FROGGYLEGS
    The prison I was a nurse at recorded ALL calls regardless of length. They can also listen in on you in just about any area by way of the intercom system. All they have to do is key up the number in central and they had it fixed to where it doesn't "ring" when they do it.

    They listen to calls randomly. I believe there is a percentage of calls they are required to listen to; both staff and inmate calls. My husband is a captain at the facility and listening to the tapes is part of his duties. They can listen to any calls randomly, but they also have them broken down into who/when/where type categories so they can listen to the conversations of specific persons if they are suspicious. They get a lot of their information that way and there have been many staff members fired and inmates disciplined over that information. They keep the calls saved on discs and they keep them for a long time.

    You really have to watch what you say in a prison. You can never tell when they are listening to you.
  8. by   jailDON
    Wow, I probably have many conversations with my supervisor that I should not have behind those walls. We don't really say anything wrong but we talk a lot about the relationship between security and medical.
  9. by   nurseT
    update: Things are beginning to look up. The commander was really quiet for about two days and suddenly started asking my opinion, and taking my advice. I think someone above must have said something to him. Now when he's sick, he comes to me for help. Either that or he learned to trust me. I know about the recording conversations, I've even been suspicious that my own phone was tapped as it blanks out often yet you can still talk. Sometimes my line in the medical dept does the same thing and it sounds like your talking in a can. I still don't trust him though, and I make it a practice never to get involved in a conversation about another employee. I'm really loveing the job though.
  10. by   jailDON
    Just curious NurseT...........things still looking up for you?
  11. by   nurseT
    jailDON: thanks for asking. Sometimes things go really well and other days...... At one point 2wks ago the commander says " you know,I don't mind if you take your lunch at the end of your shift". I very seldom take time out for lunch so I thought it was a nice gesture on his part, seeing as that's the most he could muster and doesn't really have the right to dictate to me anyway. So for a whole week I went ahead and left considering the last hour my lunch and wondering how long it would last. Well sure enough he took it back and says, "well, someone complained". I've decided it wasn't a dirty trick but sheer ignorance. I am the only medical person in the jail so I get tired of having to justify the compensation and respect that comes with education and professionalism. I really like the job though. I'm really glad I have the background that I do, these inmates feed everybody a pack of lies. Today an officer comes to me and says, "wow, you gotta go see the abcess under (inmates) arm, he said it's infected and it's been that way for a long time". the inmate has been incarcerated here for 1yr and has never turned in a medical request. So I grab an officer and go look. It was a pimple. I was so dissapointed. I was hoping for somethig really cool. Most of the time it's boring but every once in a while I get some excitement.
  12. by   jailDON
    LOL, a pimple! You never know what you are going to see. That's why I tell my nurses to never triage over the phone.

    Maybe after everyone gets used to you and learns you are smart and know what you are doing, they will show more respect. Are you on-call 24/7 like I am? That DESERVES compensation!
  13. by   nurseT
    Yes, I am on call 24/7. Some days I'm really busy and others I'm bored to tears. If I want some entertainment, I just go sit in booking for awhile. It's pretty funny most of the time. I'm on a salary so I don't get compensated for the on call. That's one reason I think I should just be able to leave if all the medical is taken care of. They can call me if they really need me.