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Med Pass in Juvenile facility


Specializes in Emergency Nurse. Has 5 years experience.

I just started working at a small county Juvenile Hall. There was just a major turnover, I started 2 weeks ago full time and the NP just retired, the full time day RN retired in March when COVID hit and the full time night RN is on medical leave until October. So right now it is me and temp nursing filling shifts. Our shifts are 0700-1500 and 1430-2230. I have a ER background and corrections nursing is brand new to me. I had a 2 week crash course and now on my own. This is a smaller facility and because of COVID they are keeping census as low as possible, we only have 15 youths at this time split between the jail unit and a group home type unit which is less secure and kids have more freedom. There are only a handful of kids on meds at this time but med pass still seems like it is dangerous, and the facility plans to expand the group home section with the potential of housing 50 youths’. As of now meds either come from a contracted pharmacy in bubble packs or brought in by parents in prescription vials. Meds are pre poured into cups labeled with youth name and DOB, then stacked on each other and brought to units with water jug. Youth is brought to nurse one at a time and armband confirmed before giving med. We have no med cart or med room. We have a nursing office/exam room and meds are locked in drawer of desk. My concern is as census goes up, med error seems more likely. I am also wondering if anyone is using eMARs as we only have paper MARs. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks

areason4stars, ASN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric Private Duty AND Child/Adolescent Psych. Has 12 years experience.

I don't work in corrections but at a residential psych facility for children and teens. We have paper MARS and while we have med carts in the med room, our med pass sounds similar. Usually for med pass we bring the box for that med time (800,1200,1600,2000 to a little med window (opening up to the units day area ) in the staff station. The box is like a tackle box with like 24 divided squares. Each square has patients name on it and the meds are usually poured into paper cups and then placed in the square.

Orca, ASN, RN

Specializes in Corrections, psychiatry, rehab, LTC. Has 26 years experience.

Our MARs are all paper. eMARs have been discussed for years, but states don't like spending money on corrections.


Specializes in Corrections. Has 11 years experience.

im running into something similar in my jail. im in an adult facility and we have a number of patients turning up covid positive. for the time being we are being told to pass meds cell by cell instead of them being called to the line (to the door of the dayroom where my cart is pushed against the doorway and I have at least 1 deputy with me). im pre-pouring for hundreds of patients and putting name, pod and cell number on each cup but it still feels unsafe. im afraid of making a mistake and im terrified that this is all on camera. I don't know if this is an approved practice specific for corrections but its freaking me the hell out for med accuracy reasons as well as safety. plus theres no point.. its not like I have enough gloves or time to stop, gel and change gloves between each patient.