Nurses Forced to Work as Corrections Officers

  1. Hello,

    I read this article yesterday :

    Trump’s Budget Cuts Are Forcing Teachers and Nurses to Work as Federal Prison Guards – Mother Jones

    I found the article to be frightening and almost unbelievable.

    For those of you working in federal prisons, how often are you asked to act as correctional officers? Is it only during emergencies, or are you being asked to regularly act in that capacity? How is this practice safe or even legal? And where is the union in all of this?
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    About TAKOO01

    Joined: Dec '13; Posts: 49; Likes: 59

    6 Comments

  3. by   Neats
    I am having a hard time believing what I just read about the other than correctional staff to routinely work as a "correctional officer for a shift". There is so much more training for a Correctional officer then line staff. In medical I would not want to cross the boundaries of medical to correctional officer. In medical we must be above reproach, must be HIPAA compliant so when and if I ever had to work as an officer (never had to) I would find those lines blurry, this compromises medical care and the sanctity of privacy.
    Education teachers are not correctional officers and there are some very strong federal mandates for education the prison system. Again I can see pitching once in awhile but for this to happen again and again only sets the prison up for increasing anger and possible riots.
    I would need to see additional objective information before I believe this is an ongoing issues that is getting worse.
    Thank you for the article it does give us thoughts about our leadership though.
  4. by   caliotter3
    Once when I looked at positions in my state corrections system, I noticed they had two job classifications, one included corrections officer status, the other was nursing only. The corrections officer/nurse position understandably had a higher pay range.
  5. by   TAKOO01
    Quote from Neats
    I am having a hard time believing what I just read about the other than correctional staff to routinely work as a "correctional officer for a shift". There is so much more training for a Correctional officer then line staff. In medical I would not want to cross the boundaries of medical to correctional officer. In medical we must be above reproach, must be HIPAA compliant so when and if I ever had to work as an officer (never had to) I would find those lines blurry, this compromises medical care and the sanctity of privacy.
    Education teachers are not correctional officers and there are some very strong federal mandates for education the prison system. Again I can see pitching once in awhile but for this to happen again and again only sets the prison up for increasing anger and possible riots.
    I would need to see additional objective information before I believe this is an ongoing issues that is getting worse.
    Thank you for the article it does give us thoughts about our leadership though.
    You bring up some important points about privacy. I
    wonder what influence state BONs have over the correctional facilities making these policies. Privacy and safety are big parts of nursing, and you think BONs would jump on it if those tenets were being openly violated.

    Working corrections and nursing in the same facility seems to be a serious conflict of interest. I agree wi th your point about creating unrest and I also think it would make the individual nurse a target. Having a position that is both punitive and healing creates confusion and makes it impossible to be fully effective in either role.

    I continue to be amazed at the BS that nurses accept. After the school shooting in Florida, there was talk of teachers carrying guns. It is a patently absurd idea that I hope teachers will not allow. Are the tech people in Youtube going to be forced to provide their own security after the recent shooting ? I doubt it, because those employees are probably valued by their employer.

    Many business entities have decided that employees have to take on several roles in order to "save money", but someone with sanity has to say no to role mergers that can put employees in danger. I haven't found any information suggesting that nursing unions are aware of or care about th is particular issue.
  6. by   TAKOO01
    Quote from caliotter3
    Once when I looked at positions in my state corrections system, I noticed they had two job classifications, one included corrections officer status, the other was nursing only. The corrections officer/nurse position understandably had a higher pay range.
    If they are openly posting this requirement online, I guess that this practice is legal. (?) I just don't see why it is, though. It definitely doesn't seem safe or ethical.
  7. by   Orca
    I am a correctional nurse and a former correctional officer. In an emergency situation, nursing staff may be asked to assist correctional staff. Rank and file nurses do not have the training to serve as custody officers on a regular basis.

    My agency once had a classification for forensic technicians. These were LPNs who also underwent the custody training class. My agency did away with them because the positions were too difficult to fill. Most nurses weren't willing to perform a dual role.
  8. by   Guy in Babyland
    The article linked is full of inaccuracies. This is a different article about this prison. Shutdown raises staffing, safety concerns at FCI

    Ray Coleman is the president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1570. Ray Coleman is a correctional officer who teaches GED and other classes. He is not a scared teacher thrown in with the inmates. He is a full time correctional officer that teaches some GED classes.

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