Correctional Nursing-Last Stop For Nurses who can't make it anywhere else - page 2

I came to correctional nursing after 4 years of ER experience in a level 1 trauma center. I was burned-out and ready for a change. One of the first things I noticed hanging on the wall of the nurses... Read More

  1. by   caliotter3
    Give him a break, we all deserve at least one. Maybe he was just venting after going over his limit. I have heard some real doozies from a former supervisor who had more than 50 yrs exp as an RN. According to her (in her day when starting out 50 some odd yrs ago) you were no good and couldn't get a job in a regular hosp so you did "private duty". Nowadays, b/c of the HMO's and payment schemes the industry kicks people out of facilities and sends them home (many times too early) so we are told in nrsg school that home health is where it's at. Anyway, I applaud anyone with enough guts to even try correctional nursing. I would try myself, unfortunately, I already know I can't pass their physical fitness standards and also I had enough mistreatment while in the military to last a lifetime. I don't care to hear any more verbal abuse or otherwise from a bunch of felons.
    So my hat's off to you for even trying the field. Just try to tone down your comments in the future. (Also, you should have heard what this RN and many others have said about people who work in LTC. That was supposed to be the bottom of the job pile I had heard. Anyway, good luck with your future endeavors. I hope you get some stress relief.
    Last edit by caliotter3 on Jan 18, '03
  2. by   graybar hilton
    I am curious as to where you work. My experience in the medical field encompases 27 years. In that time I have literally done every aspect of nursing there is, except diaylisis. There are good nurses and bad nurses in every area of nursing.
    The nurses I work with by and large are very competent. We have to work by the seat of our pants, because of security or situation. But mostly we use every aspect of the nursing process there is with the emphasis on Assessment skills. Remember some of these people cannot read or write, some have no English at all......Yet we still have to ferret out what is wrong.
    I am sorry that you feel like this about the staff you work with, but is it just your institution or have your worked at others and seen the same thing?
    I would like to invite you to visit my facility for perhaps another view.
    You sound like very competent and accomplished nurse, corrections needs nurses like you. So please try to work it out.
    I am here if you would like to vent or just bounce techniques around or share ideas.....I am very interested in other states and their processes.
    Let's keep in touch!
  3. by   BBFRN
    I worked at a state correctional facility on contract for a year after having worked Trauma, and my experience with it was very different from the original poster's. They had a nurse manager there who was single-handedly, absolutely the best nurse I have ever had the priviledge to work with. Never once did I have a question that she could not answer in detail right off the bat. All corrections nurses- I greatly respect you! You have to know how to deal with a wide variety of illnesses/disorders. You are often nurse, EMT, officer, and psychologist to these inmates, and you don't get nearly enough credit in my eyes. The only inept nurses I had to work with in this facility were other agency nurses- not the ones that worked for the state.
  4. by   chipssunshine
    Thanks lgflamini for what you had to say. I agree 150% w/ you. I think that it does take a special kind of nurse to be in our field. I am starting my 6th year, and deeply love this job. There is never a dull moment, and there are several times that I find myself doing things that I thought I had forgotten. There are some nurses who are definitely NOT for this field, but I don't think it was for the reason of being incompetent. Corrections nurses have several hats that they must wear in any given day. You must remeber that these people are inmates and people. If you cannot remember that, then you will not make it here. I am so thankful that there is now such a field as corrections nursing because this is definitely my niche. Not because I am a bad nurse as was suggested above, but because of the good nurse that I believe I am. I believe that I have the correct attitude for this profession. If you don't have that, then you don't belong among the ones of us that are proud to be known as corrections nurses. Our Medical Dept. might not be perfect, and we might make some mistakes, but this is our place and we have a special bond that does separate us from others.
  5. by   renerian
    I very much enjoyed hearing people say good things about corrections. sorry if it came across what I said was harsh. I sure did not mean it that way. That is why I put JMHO and soften the approach. I do think corrections nurses are very good for the most part and again, very brave in my humble opinion.......I hate to see nurses disrespect each other.......we need to unify desite our differences in practice settings, experience, strengths and weaknesses.

  6. by   Hidi74
    My uncle worked in correctional nursing for a few years and he by no means is a less than perfect nurse. In fact I agree it takes a special person to be able to handle the daily stress that is evident in correctional nursing. Not only are these nurses handling the stress of being a nurse and all it entails but they are also working with people who sometimes have no other family friends or relationships of any kind. I greatly respect any one who works in correctional or psychiatric nursing. They not only have to deal w/ phisically sick patients but also the mental sickness' as well. I know I am only a student right now but I belive it is people like you who put down people in thier own proffession that hurt nursing. Maybe as stated by my fellow members you need to tone down your posts a LOT. Or try to lurk and not P*SS off every one here!!!!!!!!
    Just my 2 cents!
  7. by   sjoe
    Reading the following book will help explain where much of this pointless negativity comes from, namely successful inmate manipulation of staff:
    "Games Criminals Play: How You Can Profit by Knowing Them
    by Bud Allen & Diana Bosta "
  8. by   katscan
    This is so depressing to read negative comments about other nurses and their so called "imcompetence". Maybe they just have not had enought opportunities to perfect their skills. Maybe because it's because I work in a school-but how about helping others, and doing some teaching(if they are receptive) instead or criticizing?
  9. by   JedsMom
    I've been a correctional nurse for going on 9 years now. I was and ER and ICU nurse prior to moving to corrections. I didn't move because I was a less than perfect nurse. I moved because it afforded me a day job with weekends and holidays off. It didn't hurt either that I had been a cop prior to going to nursing school and becoming a RN.

    IMHO correctional nursing is a very challenging area to practice in. You must utilize all of your nursing skills and respond to a wide variety of situations. You must be prepared to handle anything from a medical emergency to a psychiatric emergency. You must be able to deal with men, women and juveniles. We handle anything from teenagers with ADD to the elderly with Alzheimers.

    So far as nursing specialties go, Correctional Nursing is one of the most diverse, IMHO. You never know what your next patient may present with, but when they do, you better be prepared to pull from your nursing knowledge to handle and treat the situation in an appropriate manner. Did I mention an inmates propensity to sue? So, you better get it right, or at the very least have made a decision that any "prudent nurse" would have done or you very well may find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit.

    Are there bad nurses or less than perfect nurses in Corrections? Yes. Are there any in other nursing areas? Yes. We all have strengths and weaknesses. What we need to do is work with one another and benefit from these strengths instead of putting down a particular nursing group.

    In my situation we have a wonderful working relationship with the nurses in the hospital that we send patients to. We work together to give the best patient care possible. They don't treat us a less of a nurse because we choose corrections. They look at us as an ally in nursing care for the inmate population.

    And as said before, we must also deal with issues unique to correctional nursing such as security problems, hostile, dangerous or manipulative inmates, etc.

    I am not ashamed to be a correctional nurse. We are by no means the last stop on the nursing train or the bottom of the barrel. As a matter of fact, IMHO, no area of nursing would fit that description. We are all important the the profession we call nursing. Just let one of the spokes (nursing specialty) be removed and see how fast we have to shuffle to take up the slack to keep the wheel turning. Sorry for such a long post, I'm usually pretty much quiet.
  10. by   Stargazer
    JedsMom: excellent post. And wow, have you had an interesting career! May I ask what made you leave law enforcement for nursing?
  11. by   JedsMom
    Thanks. My husband and I were both in law enforcement. We were both working full-time as cops and part-time security to make ends meet. Needless to say that isn't a great way to raise a family. I always in my heart since I was in high school wanted to be a nurse. My husband said go for it so I did. He supported me through school by working several part-time jobs in addition to working full-time. In the summers I worked and when I could I got a nurse tech position. Sure don't regret it. Love nursing.
  12. by   Stargazer
    What a nice hubby! Well, we're glad to have you.
  13. by   JedsMom
    Thanks so much. I love it here, so many smart brains to pick!!