What skills are utilized in correctional nursing?

  1. I got an exciting opportunity to work for the prison system in Nj. I will have full benefits,a union, and an excellent pension for the first time in my 15 yr nursing career.

    This is my chance to escape ped private duty nursing.

    I know for sure I can keep boundaries,and i have been told i have the perfect RBF for correctional nursing.

    I know for sure i could follow the boundary rules and security rules,but what skills are utilized in correctional nursing? does one need med-surg skills?

    I will be starting out like a new grad,but not really.
    I have never started an IV or done an EKG.
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    About smartnurse1982, RN

    Joined: Jun '08; Posts: 1,779; Likes: 1,293

    6 Comments

  3. by   Orca
    Unless this is a medical facility, you won't have a lot of IVs. You can be easily taught how to do an EKG. It would take me about two minutes to show you the proper placement of contact patches.

    Med surg skills aren't necessary, but there are occasions when they would come in handy. Your facility may have an infirmary. If so, you will probably be dealing with some inmates who are post-op hospital returns.

    Assessment skills are a major part of what you will need. Many inmates fake or exaggerate symptoms in an attempt to either get medication or be sent to a hospital. Experience will help you in sorting out the pretenders.
  4. by   cayenne06
    I'd insist on shadowing for at least a few shifts, including overnight. There is a wide variation among facilities, in the nurse's role and their caseload.
  5. by   javadown2
    At our facility I would consider it Med/Surg lite (I work in the infirmary at a State run prison). We do start IV's, wound care, IV fluids, long term care, end of life care, basic prep for surgical procedures that are done offsite, making sure meds are correct and given, lots of drug related incidences (to including detox, Overdoses or illegal transport of), mental illnesses....etc. In our facility you normally apply for a specific position, so you can get an idea what you will be doing before getting hired. Once hired we have around 6-8 weeks of orientation and there is a 1 year probationary period and then you are considered "safe".
  6. by   kingvonnBSN2017
    The facility that I am at is not that different from med/surg actually. I work a lot with IVs, wound care, foleys,
    trachs/suctioning, etc.. I love what I do and I love the non-hospital environment.
  7. by   DoubleblessedRN
    The prison I work at has a health care facility and have most capabilities of urgent care. We administer TB tests and read them, we do 12 lead ekgs, administer vaccinations and educate the prisoners about their medications and the pathophysiology of their illness/injury. We frequently get prisoners who self mutilate, and we are equipped with a cauterizer and the Dr, PA, or NP can suture on site. In the event of a fracture, they go to the ED, but we have a cast cutter to remove a cast. We routinely draw labs several days per week. We do wound care, and very frequently we flush out impacted ear wax. When a prisoner has a medical complaint, they see the nurse first. If it's a true emergency, they're sent to the ED by ambulance. We can also ask the Dr, PA, or NP to see them for an urgent matter, or we can request a subsequent appointment. Whenever possible, the prisoner always comes to us with an officer, unless they physically cannot; in those circumstances, nurses respond to the housing unit with an emergency bag, drug box, wheelchair and oxygen accompanied by an officer. There is also an increased secured unit for mentally ill and difficult to manage prisoners; 2 nurses are staffed there and the large majority of the job is med passing. Hope this gives you a good idea of what correctional nursing entails and the skills that are utilized.
  8. by   bryanleo9
    Inmates fake heart attacks and seizures all the time to get sent out to hospital and drugs. A lot of them are former and current drug addicts so they fake serious pain to get narcotics. It's exhausting dealing with this at times.

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