Intake nursing assessment question

Specialties Correctional


Specializes in Psych/CD.

Hey jail nurses!

Got a question for you. When it comes to your intake nursing assessment. Do you update them as you find out they have chronic medical issues? Or develop any new medical issues? Asking because I work for a drug/ alcohol treatment facility that accepts them for our physical. Alot of times I find out they do not match what clients tell me for my intake assessment. So looking for some information from you all about how that all works.

Specializes in General acute care.

I'm an RN in a local county jail. Inmates are mater manipulators. You are very correct when you are seeing incongruent reporting by the inmate/patient.  Often arrestees are under the influence of drugs/alcohol, or really mad they were arrested, and may not participate in the intake process. When they are withdrawing they will say anything and often not able to think rationally. The inmates often lie about health conditions, and for many, more than they tell the truth. It is the hardest part of my job in daily encounters that they fake seizures, chest pain, intentionally have another inmate break a bone, seriously cut themselves, and just last week one of the inmates swallowed a plastic fork, apparently for the 3rd time just to be able to go the hospital. Sometimes we don't have an officer to take someone to ER and stand guard for long periods of time, and so the inmate may be released instead.  They all know this and take advantage of which sergeant is on duty, who is more likely to cut hem loose.  Drug seeking is very common, AND diversion of drugs, including ones you would never think would be abused, are commonly abused.  You have to be very observant and do mouth inspection after every dose of medication because they "cheek" or "palm" them and save up of the pills. Even ones they really need like antibiotics, but especially psyche meds because they can get high if they take several at a time, They will report conditions they think will gain sympathy or be prescribed a specific med for the condition.  We require verification of acute or chronic conditions and prescribed medications before ordering, unless there is a clear indication. They usually have some medical records, even if from other jails, and are frequent users of ER, and some have primary care doctors. 

Specializes in Psych/CD.

Thank you. I appreciate you telling me this!

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