The positives in correctional nursing...

  1. ok, we've established the negatives on the subject of correctional nursing...how about some of the positives for some of these newbies that are thinking about going into our field? we've all heard the saying, "nurses eat their young", let's not forget where we started and change some of that sour thinking that got poured all over us when we began...
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    About bighousenurse

    Joined: Apr '07; Posts: 27; Likes: 7
    correctional nurse
    Specialty: most anything's in corrections

    26 Comments

  3. by   sirI
    Most of the inmates were greatly appreciative of the care I provided. Ones where I dx a certain dz entity, were amazed that someone finally "listened" to their complaints.

    Have to say that some of the dz processess were interesting and had I not been in correctional medicine, I would not have been witness to them.

    Having the opportunity to actually educate regarding dz process and see improvements - due to the controlled environment.

    Knowing that I did make a difference.
  4. by   VegRN
    I have a few...

    1. Not being ordered around by the pt or the family because of some "customer service" model of care that the hospital created. It's a prison, not a dayspa and it is well understood that you will get what you need and that it is not necessarily equal to what you want.
    2. Real gratitude for the care I provide. Oddly enough the inmates tend to be more grateful for their care than the general population. Maybe because so many of them never actually had real health care until they ended up behind bars.
    3. Lots of humor. Inmates say the darnedest things. Like trying to get their health care worked around their tv schedule, faking sz's, CP,being unconscious or other symptoms. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't laugh at least a few times at the level of ridiculousness of things that inmates do.
    4. Actual consequences if they are being disrespectful towards staff. Yelling, swearing and being unruly is not tolerated. Sometimes, it seems that prison is a glorified day care. There is punishment involved and they know it.
    5. A wide array of health issues that you won't often see in a hospital or nursing home setting.

    That's all I can think of for now
    Last edit by VegRN on Apr 22, '07
  5. by   EarthChild1130
    Thanks for starting this thread...I went straight from school to psychiatric nursing, and now I work in a medical unit (and pick up as much in the psych ward as I can LOL)...I would really love to try out correctional nursing too...thanks again!!
  6. by   Sheri257
    Quote from VegRN
    Not being ordered around by the pt or the family because of some "customer service" model of care that the hospital created. It's a prison, not a dayspa and it is well understood that you will get what you need and that it is not necessarily equal to what you want.

    Actual consequences if they are being disrespectful towards staff. Yelling, swearing and being unruly is not tolerated. Sometimes, it seems that prison is a glorified day care. There is punishment involved and they know it.
    These are the biggest positives, IMO ... you don't have to put up with a lot of crap you're expected to tolerate in the hospital.

    :typing
  7. by   texascowgirl
    couldnt have said it better.
    also..........almost zero liability

    Quote from VegRN
    I have a few...

    1. Not being ordered around by the pt or the family because of some "customer service" model of care that the hospital created. It's a prison, not a dayspa and it is well understood that you will get what you need and that it is not necessarily equal to what you want.
    2. Real gratitude for the care I provide. Oddly enough the inmates tend to be more grateful for their care than the general population. Maybe because so many of them never actually had real health care until they ended up behind bars.
    3. Lots of humor. Inmates say the darnedest things. Like trying to get their health care worked around their tv schedule, faking sz's, CP,being unconscious or other symptoms. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't laugh at least a few times at the level of ridiculousness of things that inmates do.
    4. Actual consequences if they are being disrespectful towards staff. Yelling, swearing and being unruly is not tolerated. Sometimes, it seems that prison is a glorified day care. There is punishment involved and they know it.
    5. A wide array of health issues that you won't often see in a hospital or nursing home setting.

    That's all I can think of for now
  8. by   nancykday
    the automy to work not having to be secong guessed all the time. The unpredictability of the job , no day, no inmate is ever the same. Life is never boring in corrections. The ability to have the best assessmen skills to determine the situation that presents. And the inmates, they do say the darndest things. The ability to control the situation and not put up the bulls*** that is found in other jobs. You can call out the malinger and help the truely ill. And the ability to sharpenyour nursing skills in every field of nursing from birth to death, psych to OB. Every stage and field of nursing is covered. All this ad no customer satisfaction surveys are involved and is the only segment of healthcare that is immune to recessin and corporate downsizing
  9. by   Sheri257
    Quote from texascowgirl
    also..........almost zero liability
    I wouldn't say that ...

    "Medical Staff Sued for Inmate's Death"

    http://www.setexasrecord.com/news/19...-inmates-death

    :typing
  10. by   nancykday
    Nurse's get sued for negligence frequently. Does that make all nuses incompetent? The hospital ER that the i/m went to is also being sued. Does this mean that all ER nurses are bad ? IMHO medical mistakes happen everywhere and everday. Based on our system of justice, these indiduals are innocnet until proven guilty. We are only geting one side of the story and judgment should not be passed until all facts are in. I am not saying that is right if true, I just saying that I am not passing judgment until all facts are in evidence.
  11. by   KellieNurse06
    I used to have a nurse in my home years ago who was a correctional nurse prior..I always asked her if she was scared being in there .......she used to tell me.." No, you are pretty safe because you know where all the bad people are" ... I have remembered that ever since she told me...and wow does it hold the truth! I may try to pursue correctional nursing later down the road if I have a chance.....it sounds really interesting....
  12. by   OneSweetNurse
    Hi VegRN
    Do you have any advice for me, opinions, sugg.
    I am going to apply to a co. CMS on monday
    I have exp. in hospital floor nursing, floating to and from Er and my recent stint was in a behavioral nursing home (yes i know they are all behavioal) this was the county so... that shoud explain it all ha ha
    I am excited and am hoping it will be different, I have read the other replys no family(thank god) and no customer serv. cards (jeeze what are those anyway lets poke the nurse because she pissed us off card or what anyway
    I got into nursing to try and help people, hoping they would be greatfull (ha ha ha ha ...) well I have found out different, I am finding people think that when they are in the hospital they are in the Hilton with a burger King attached..(maid service and have it your way right now)
    Sorry for the rant
    Do You have any advice or anything thing
    Thanks
    swtnrs
  13. by   weirdRN
    Positives in Correctional Nursing:

    1. It is Busy from start to finish.

    2. No day is ever the same.

    3. It's akin to working in the zoo. Some animals are cute, some dangerous, some obscene, some want food, some want toilet paper.

    4. The patient care load is like a clinic or ER, unless you work in an infirmary, where it is like a stable end stage chronic care ward. Either way, it is not as hard to handle as the LTC setting or as high pressure as the Medsurg ward.

    5. I have a GREAT NM, DON and HSA at the local level. The people higher up at corporate are mostly ... well... not very nice people. Mostly because they are penny pinching tightwads who wouldn't know the value of retaining good people if it bit them in the YAYA!

    I was at a LTC facility before this. I love my job in correctional nursing. My patient load is WAY less. My stress b/c I am not able to meet every little need is WAY less. I am empowered to say NO and walk away.
  14. by   nursemollyrn
    Lots of autonomy. The officers I work with are great they really appreciate having nurses there

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