Is Same Gender Care reasonable in Prison setting?

Specialties Correctional


I work in an all male prison that houses men committed under a sexually violent offender law and also men who have psychiatric disorders. It has always been an unwritten practice that if a male inmate needs an assessment or care to his genital area a male nurse performs these tasks unless it is an emergency, can't be delayed until a male nurse is present, or there are no male nurses employed. We now have a male nurse who is refusing to help out unless he is directly assigned to the units that house the guys that need these cares. Has anyone else run into this? I would appreciate anyone's thoughts even if you don't work with offenders regarding "same gender personal cares" issues. Thanks!

Specializes in Geriatrics/Oncology/Psych/College Health.

I don't work in corrections, but I do work in psych, and if there is a risk that there is some thrill to be gotten by the pt from being treated by a member of the opposite sex, you're darn tootin' we get the same gender to do it. ED does it too in their sexually inappropriate frequent fliers.

Your male nurse needs to recognize that in his career he will be in more than a few situations where a female nurses' presence will be helpful or even necessary because of these type of issues. If he can't "team play" what will it take to get this made into an official policy?

Specializes in correctional, psych, ICU, CCU, ER.

I work in a city jail. we have up to 200 inmates, male and female, on different floors. We don't have the luxury of having another nurse, let alone the opposite sex available. If in doubt, we ship them out to the local hospital, the county jail, or the psych unit. Good luck!!!!:rolleyes:

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

In the last county jail where I worked, too many guys "got off" on having females deal with their genitals or butts, so we male nurses did this stuff exclusively. Likewise, when I worked in the women's jail, I always had a female guard present when changing dressings, etc. in these "private" areas to avoid lawsuits (on which inmates thrive--how else are they going to make some bucks?), or requested a female nurse to do it when there was a likely problem. It might be that the inmate would have to wait until the next shift or two for a female RN, but so be it.

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