how do you cope??? need help

  1. I am doing an assignment on correctional nursing. I am supposed to find out how you brave souls cope with caring for the scum of the earth everyday. Do you cop heaps of flak for caring for serial killers and rapists and stuff. any help would be appreciated.
  2. Visit stinkin1styear profile page

    About stinkin1styear

    Joined: Oct '02; Posts: 16
    Registered nurse
    Specialty: ortho and paeds


  3. by   TerriRene
    Lots of prayer!!
    Closely watching the officers who work with me and attempting to avoid those that I know are shaky.
    Venting to the other nurses
    Maintaining very strong boundaries with the offenders.
  4. by   goats'r'us
    scum of the earth eh?
  5. by   psychonurse
    Well I wouldn't quite call them the scum of the earth, I mean they have committed a crime that is sure but they deserve medical care also. I have been a correctional nurse for 13 years and I have got more "Thank you for your care" than I ever did in the hospital. Most people in hospitals think that it is a big hotel and you are there to serve you. I worked ICU before I went to work in corrections and I don't know how many times I was running my ass off trying to save a life whena little old lady in the next room was upset that it took me 20 minutes to get her a cup of tea. I don't think that has changed much either. But back to correctional nursing. I keep my distance and take care of their MEDICAL needs and those only. I have also done a lot of teaching and sometimes these inmates have no idea of how to take care of their medical needs. The officers are always there when I am talking to the inmate or doing sick call or medication line so I am never alone with them. Sure I have been scared but most of the time I feel okay. I treat all inmates with respect and they will treat you the same way.

    If you have any more questions you can email me at

    I hope this helps.
  6. by   stinkin1styear
    :imbar yeah sorry, I didn't realy mean scum of the earth. I mean hey there is always the wrongly accused. I was just trying to get my point across. Sorry if anyone took any offence.:imbar
  7. by   Sunshine22
    One of my favorite sayings at the monthly meetings is "They are not dogs until they act like dogs." Actually, I have learned a great deal about nursing since becoming a corrections nurse. There are times that you want to yell, and we do. There are times that you want to laugh and cry, and we do. We have a good relationship w/ our officers and for the most part, our inmates. Some of these people have never had real health care, and they are the ones that truly appreciate you. If you treat w/ respect you can get thru anything, and they will in turn repsect you. I thought that i liked being a nurse until I became a corrections nurse. I love it. You get to do a little bit of all aspects of nursing, so you don't get bored. Never a dull moment in this place, and always something new. We work hard when we have to, but we play hard when we can. We have a fairly laid back atmosphere becuse we have to. That is one of the ways that helps you get thru alot!! Hope this helps.:roll
  8. by   l.rae
    l did about 9-10 shifts at a max security prison a few years back, and l agree, l was treated w/ more respect there than in the ER where l work now....That being said however, some of the nasty drunk offenders in the ER are the future respectful inmates of thte future.......
    When l was doing my shifts at the prison, they actually had us go into the pod with an officer to pass in protective custody.....THAT always scared the bejeebers out of me. Now a days l hear that they pass thru the bars....the ones that were placed in "isolation"...(not the right term so help me out here)... always gave me the creeps......l am considering going back to correctional nursing....working for the state...good benefits and retirement and is an interesting job...never had anyone give me flack for caring for these patients.....not all were rapists and murderers.....and am not God and don't wanna be......good luck to you..........LR
  9. by   doitt
    I worked for UTMB who contracted Texas prison medical care for a year. For the most part it was OK. I was only "chunked on" once and from what I understood from the inmates who "liked me" was that the offender was "warned" against doing it again. He was just mad and was a psych patient also. The most irritating thing about the job was when I had to go on the pods and "see" each inmate to be sure they were OK. They could be standing in the door "manipulating" themselves, but that was OK since they were in their "house". The officer's presence usually lacked the force to make the inmate behave appropriately. Only some of the officers had the "presence" to command respect. For the most part, the officers are very young and don't care. Or another favorite trick was calling the nurse to the door and discussing something inane while the neighbor stood back from his door and got his jollies. Disgusting. But, look around the ER. future inmates abound, and the ones in ER don't behave much better, except they have their flies zipped. Still, the job paid pretty well comparatively and the benefits were good. The thing to do is be a nurse practicioner or PA in a prison. You excape the garbage and make the bucks. Still, I may wind up back there. It was interesting and I don't regret that year. I learned a lot about human nature if nothing else.

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