Is it really as good as it sounds here? - page 2

I've been reading this forum this a. m. I am really impressed. You all seem so happy and up beat. I find this very encouraging. So encourging I'm wondering what it is I'm not hearing. I'm... Read More

  1. by   sanakruz
    Love your post , andreesres!
    I spent 4 hours a week doing "sick call "at the county jail for the out-patient mental health clinic. That's enough for me!
    I love the CO's. They have great humor and are much more relaxed and real than the uptight social workers I have to deal with at the clinic.
    A sense of humor is the main ingredient needed there!
  2. by   Orca
    Correctional nursing has got to be the biggest secret in health care. If the secret were out, we would be chin-deep in applications. The main thing keeping people out, it seems, is the fear factor. The truth be known, I am far more likely to be assaulted in the general hospital where I work per diem than I am at the prison. Unlike the hospital, where employees are expected to take a load of crap off patients and visitors in the name of "customer service", if a guy gets out of line at the prison, I tell him I'm done with him and the discussion is over.

    If you can handle the environment, this can be a great career field.
  3. by   psychonurse
    I agree with Orca.....correctional nursing is the best kept secret in nursing. I have been in corrections for 13 years and would never go back to hospital nursing. Not only do I have more autonomy than I did as a regular nurse, I find that I do get satisfaction for taking care of these people. Many of the really do appreciate what we do for them. I know that I have had more "thank yous" from inmates than I ever have from regular hospital patients. They expect you to do what you are doing and if you are a little late getting thier tea to them, even though you have been trying to save the person next door from dying, they will let hospital administration know about it.

    I can always remember all the times that I have been assaulted by patients that have been in car wrecks or come in drunk that I can't do anything about what they did to me. When an inmate assaults me, he will get at least 6 months segregation time and if they charge him with the crime, he could get more time on his books.

    I didn't appreciate gojacks comments about gangs guarding other gangs.......i think the correctional officers that I work are the most professional people that I have ever been around and I am sure that they are there to protect me and make my work environment safe.

    I love my job and I know that I will be financially secure when I retire. i know that corrections is not for everyone, but if you are fair, firm and consistant you will do well in this field. I have been at the job for 13 years and have been sued only twice (the first guy lost.....I am waiting to go to trial on the other one soon) and I have only been grieved 5 times so I must be doing pretty good I would say. If anyone would like to hear more about correctional nursing you can either email me at or pm me here. Thanks for your time and for reading this post.
  4. by   sjoe
    Orca writes: "I am far more likely to be assaulted in the general hospital where I work per diem than I am at the prison."

    Not to mention assaults in ERs and in psych, where they are only to be expected. I was never assaulted in the 4 years I worked at a jail. (Thanks to the deputies for covering ALL our butts.)
  5. by   Orca
    I could not agree more with Psychonurse's comments about correctional officers. The vast majority are consummate professionals, and they go out of their way to help me when I go to their units. They can be your best friends, especially in times of crisis. Of course, it helps if you respect what they have to do. Having been a CO myself at one point in life, I have a firm appreciation for it.

    I have been assaulted several times by patients in hospitals (but most of my work has been in mental health). No inmate has ever laid a hand on me, or even acted like he was going to. As Psychonurse said, the inmates have generally been especially appreciative of what I have done for them, even if it is only to give them a few Motrin at 3 AM for a toothache so they can go to sleep.
  6. by   Agnus
    Originally posted by psychonurse

    I have been at the job for 13 years and have been sued only twice (the first guy lost.....I am waiting to go to trial on the other one soon) and I have only been grieved 5 times so I must be doing pretty good I would say. .
    Everything you said sounded good until this point. Nurses are rarely sued. Yet you say you have only been sued twice in 13 years on this job??!! So you must be doing a good job!!!

    I was already to go looking for a correctional job, from the rest of your post, but now?

    I know someone posted eariler (maybe a different thread) that these folks are a litigious group. But is your situation the common norm? What exactly does grieved mean?
  7. by   Orca
    All correctional facilities have a grievance process. Inmates can file grievances about most anything, justified or not. Most of the ones filed against medical personnel in my facility are rejected out of hand, because either the inmate had unrealistic expectations or misrepresents the facts. As for lawsuits, we have had very few. If you work for the state anywhere, the Attorney General's office represents you.

    I have not been sued in a medical capacity, but I was sued numerous times when I worked in administration for the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board - mostly for not giving an inmate the exact answer he wanted. None of the cases ever went to trial. Any time you say "no" to an inmate, he can probably find an inmate law clerk who will convince him he has a good case to sue. The vast majority of these cases are thrown out very early on, and no one from the facility ever has to go to court.
  8. by   Agnus
  9. by   psychonurse
    I am sorry that I gave you the wrong impression by my post about law suits and getting grieved. I have never had to go to court and all the grievances were written by an inmate that was upset about the system, not with me. The only grievances that were written about me specifically was one inmate grieved me cause he thought that I was racist because I wouldn't give him cream for his dry feet in segregation and the other one was mad cause I wouldn't give him any cream for his sunburn. Things that are easily justified by the policies of the facility.
    When an inmate sues us, we are represented by the Attorney General and the only time that it could be a problem is if you are blantently wrong. I love my job and I wouldn't do anything else except start a cross stitch store when I retire.
    /This is a great job, I just think that it isn't well known. But like many other posts have said, you must have a nitch to go into this type of nursing just like everything else.
  10. by   Agnus
    You speak of a nitch, as do others. I assume this to mean a place where you fit. Personality wise and other wise.

    I am nieve about many things related to criminal behavor. For example drug used abuse etc. I Know there are manipulators out there and especially in prision and jails. However I also believe there is legitament suffering as well, which needs to be eased. I try to maintain a balance with this but it is hard.

    I am not sure how well that would work in prison. I tend to believe a drug seeker is suffering whether the pain is physical or other wise. I tend to want to ease it. I believe we cant cure addiction and only the person addicted can really change this. For example the practice of drying out drunks in the hospital only to send them back out to drink some more. Often they don't want to be dried out. I think this is wrong. Trying to cure people against thier will does not work.
    I currently have an adicted 77 yr old patient. And the doc has pulled her drug of choice. She has rheumatoid arthritis, hx of compression fx of the spine, and fibromyalgia. So she does have justification for pain meds. She is also (supposedly addicted) to vicodin. They pulled the vicodin and put her on fentenal and MS. She seems to be haveing withdrawal symptoms from the vicodin (what is the point) Give her the vicodin I say.

    See I may have a problem with these folks.

    Now on the other hand. I am reguarded as a no nonsense nurse. See as "business like", "no nonsense", "tough", "firm" nurse. Also seen as one who "gets things done". I have a very disaplined and long military background. As I said I am firm however I have never heard any complaints about this. In fact I have been complimented about it. I do not like catering to manipulators (translation kissing you know) because they might sue or say something bad about a facility. That really sickens me. I am not afraid to say no and stand by it when I deem it appropriate. I have on made some enemys with (psycho) family members because I would not call a MD over something inappropriate and plain stupid.

    So what do you think. Will I be eaten alive? Or will I become too cynical in an corrections facility.
  11. by   mother/babyRN
    Only place I have been beat up, stabbed and attempted strangling, is OB?GYN....Have a co worker who moonlights in a prison and enjoys it. We just had a prisoner on our unit who was imprisoned for drug trafficing and also a guest at the state hospital for paranoid delusions. She felt her unborn fetus was the devil. Very interesting but something I think I wouldn't want a lot of....Hats off to all of you. I bet you would do WONDERFULLY in labor and delivery...
  12. by   NancyRN
    After reading these rave reviews of Correctional Nusing, I interviewed for a position in a Correctional Facility and was given a tour of the prison.

    I found the nursing staff to be cold and rude to the inmates. Privacy was not respected. Compassion was nonexistent. The behavior of the nurses there went against every tenet of Nursing, IMHO.

    I asked that my application not be processed.
  13. by   sjoe
    "I found the nursing staff to be cold and rude to the inmates. Privacy was not respected. Compassion was nonexistent. "

    And then, on the other hand, corrections nursing is not for everyone. (I particularly liked the bit about "privacy is not respected." Ha. Like it would be smart to be in a "private" space with inmates?)