pdrgeez 1,888 Views
Joined: Feb 5, '11;
Posts: 49 (39% Liked)
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I have worked in corrections several years ago. I left and spent about 12-15 years in ER/trauma. I am now back in corrections and hope to stay here and make it my last job. I don't think it makes you jaded. You can become jaded in any specialty. I worked with a very jaded trauma surgeon and when you get that bad, you know that it's time to retire. You have days when you think that everyone has nothing but dental problems....but then there are situations that crop up that are absolutely unbelievable. Things you have never seen before.... You can always go in another direction. Don't let your decisions cripple you - just go for it.
You're on the right track - and you're a smart person. Nursing's a great field, but a tough one, and we all have to stick together. That's why this website is so great...there are lots of different sources of info. I don't mean to appear too grim about things...but I'd hate to have something happen to someone just because they don't have enough information. This last couple of days with all the events in Colorado happening is a big dose of reality. I love forensic nursing, it's the greatest field - but it is a big dose of Reality sometimes. If you join the International Association of Forensic Nurses and go to their scientific assemblies, you can hear all kinds of information about different forensic fields. I went to their workshops in Pittsburgh one year and got a certification in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. Good stuff!
Hi - it may be good to know a C.O. or not....sometimes the decision making process in hiring is a totally separate process. The state prisons are a bit of a different ball of wax. The criminal charges are more severe....and it is a more dangerous place to work. Those who are serving sentences in prison have less to lose than inmates in county jails. A lot of the inmates will be there for the rest of their lives. There is a whole learning module before you work with inmates. They have a different set of values. You can't drop even the smallest piece of information in there or someone's life can be at stake.
I would not be too anxious to volunteer until a lot of your education is under your belt. Let me give you an example....you can never bring your cell phone to work with you when you work in a correctional facility. I know of a situation where someone's cell phone was stolen and then sold in the inmate population. When an inmate and his friend decided to escape, they got the cell phone and got the number, name and address of the people whose family were names on that phone. So, these two escaped and went to the house of two of the people whose numbers were on the phone. They raped and killed the females in the family in front of the male family members. Some of the inmates are smarter than you could imagine. Just take your time. Get your education first, then you can investigate the field that is right for you. Not to scare you, but there are situations that can happen that are horrifying. You can also lose your job by giving too much information to inmates as well. It's a great field for those who are suited to it. But there's a lot of safety to learn before you even go into that field. I know you'll be a great nurse...those who are dedicated to the field are wonderful individuals. Just take it a step at a time. I left nursing in my twenties and went back in when i was in my forties. It's a lifestyle...and it's a great career, but you have to have a tough hide and be ready to put up with the challenges.
One of the worst times for inmate-patients comes when they have to go to court, where they are scrutinized and reduced to being just a number or a name or a sentence (a charge). They return to jail or prison or whatever, and most feel so humiliated or guilty that they become suicidal. There are many stories and many individual crimes and charges. But correctional healthcare demands that nurses don't treat people as if they were the charge. Don't ask if you can't handle it.
Wow! That is a great ride! Sometimes solutions come out of the journey. Those are the best solutions too. It's a very different perspective to be on the health care side of corrections. I found that the worst experiences I had in corrections happened when I was dealing with corrupt individuals.....and I found that corruption in the higher echelon of health care. I think that if you put out your humanism and do your best, you can work with just about any inmate. In every instance in healthcare, you can have a total nightmare working with another nurse or healthcare person who is jealous or wants to do the backstabbing thing. I've never understood that. Why sabotage a fellow nurse? There will always be a place in healthcare for a team player.
Have you seen the Foster Farms commercial?? Just make sure you're not speeding and that your chickens look healthy.
I remember when I first started working in a correctional facility....I went through a period where some of the officers deliberately kept me waiting in an area where one door locks behind you and you are waiting for the door in front of you to open. When that didn't happen right away, I buzzed for attention, but was kept waiting a long time. The staff was "sizing me up" to see how coolly I would handle that situation. There are times, though, when that happens with a good explanation - they are busy with something else or there is a dangerous situation where you are better kept where you are. But you get the idea - that's their own way of deciding how much respect you or trust you. Plus watching you work with inmates.
Hi everyone - I've worked in corrections both as a "floor" nurse and in administration/management. I have worked with both adults and juveniles.
I think that the facility dictates your opinions. My experience has been mostly in California. I have found that County and State facilities have great correctional officers - and they can make or break your experience. INS facilities often have private correctional companies working for them - and they can be a nightmare. The "rent-a-cop" that I have found working in facilities that typically deal with immigration offenders, does not want to become too involved with violence. They feel they are not making enough money to risk their safety. Now, I'm not saying that all facilities are the same, and that all private companies are the same. I'm saying that in my experience, those officers that are trained by the county or the state, and that have good benefits, are far more likely to have professional responsibility. I have found them to be downright "gifts" to the RN or LVN who is working with inmates. I've also had the experience where an officer will walk away, off the medical unit, leaving me to deal with a problematic inmate. A radio communication, going out over the whole jail will most often fix that situation. Also, a call to the watch commander will help.
I believe that this type of work demands a respectful relationship between the medical staff and the correctional staff. Good performance commands respect - in both disciplines. Communication is the Key.
This is difficult to ascertain on a job interview. But at least you know to ask the questions. "Do you have good communication/understanding with correctional staff?" is a good question. Keep your eyes and ears open, which is essential in this environment.
And last, but not least, the RN or LVN has to recognize that they are not in a clinic or a hospital - they are dealing with people who are locked up, have criminal records, and have suffered. If you don't think you can deal with that, then stay away. As nurses, we are called on to care for all types of patients. If you can't treat them as patients, not criminals, then you should probably look elsewhere. This type of job demands "compartmentalization". Treat your patients within the facility, then go home to your family - two totally different environments. And always remember that every day brings a different challenge. I've had inmates try to get information out of me about my kids - you have to be aware and remember where you are. Danger is all around - plus sometimes inmates look good to other inmates if they have "information" about staff....and sometimes it's not lethal - it's just their environment. If you have information as an inmate, you have power. If you think you have skills to offer in this environment, try it out. Just be very sure about your opinions about inmates, etc....and what other people's opinions are too....I've had nurses in hospitals accuse me of being sympathetic to criminals. It's not for everyone - but if you can handle it, it's a great job. Look within yourself and decide. Good Luck!
....and a lot of travel companies will pay the pet deposit for you.
You are welcome Swansonmail!
I've had lots of tips from other travelers, so we just have to share it to take away the anxiety that comes from not knowing. I have a small Shark vacuum with a chargeable battery that comes apart into 3-4 pieces that I can stick in my trunk....and a Bissell Quicksteamer that is lightweight and travels easily and does a great job. The newest model that is all red - I bought it from Amazon ("The Zon"!) for about $88....and the Shark I got at WalMart for about $60. The Potty Patch I paid $34. for at PetSmart, but it's also on The Zon! I remember my first assignment, the recruiter took $600. out of my first pay for pet deposit and I was crushed! Not necessary - you can negotiate it - and that is really unreasonable as far as most people are concerned. Good luck with your crew! I just adopted a cockatiel at Xmas time (I'm very softhearted, and my old 23 year old cockatiel died two years ago and I've missed him)...and I told my latest travel company about him and they said: "bring the bird along!"
I did hear a story about a traveler who had a huge dog (Great Dane), a parrot and an Iguana who had to pay a decent pet deposit, though....
I have been traveling with two dogs for about 3-4 years now. One thing that I've learned is: do NOT pay outrageous pet deposits. You may never get them back. The best thing that I can recommend is a Bissell QuickSteamer for your rugs. It works miracles. Try to shop for the best pet rates....don't be discouraged by people who "badmouth" pets. It is becoming more the norm now. My dogs have stayed in both hotels and apartments with me - and they are my comfort and my family. I do have a human family that is now grown, but my dogs are part of the "package". I've had furniture rental places comment on how wonderful the furniture looks when it is returned....and I have had "weirdo" neighbors complain. But my dogs are reasonable - they do not bark interminably and they are loving. One of my dogs is a little excitable - a chihuahua - but he is also very smart. He does not want "bad press" from me - so he does what he can to get along. Just remember to keep their surroundings as pleasing as you can. My dogs travel with a "potty patch" than they can go to if they become desperate. They way, it avoids them soiling the carpets.
This is a great forum! I've had good travel experiences and negative ones. My present concern involves angst over having to give up one of my pets to hit the road after signing a contract. I travel already with two lilttle dogs, but I accumulated another pet, and it has caused me some problems in transportation, because it has a cage. I am growing progressively more negative about traveling for me, personally....probably getting old and crotchety....but this is really bothering me. I was told that I would be blackballed within this entire state if I canceled this contract.
Hi everyone - I signed a travel contract but have not started yet. Ii was told by my recruiter that if I canceled it I would not only get a DNR from the agency, but from the hospitals in the entire state the contract is in. Any feedback? It's not a first contract, but I'm having trouble finding care for one of my animals - I'm already traveling with two pets.
I've gotta say though, that I really lust after the Lilo!!! I'm going to put it on my Xmas list. I deserve it after all these years!
I hate to be an old lecturer, but having a less than perfect stethoscope to get you through school is not a bad idea!!! I have an old Sprague with a crack in the plastic face, and people have "borrowed" it from me without telling me and then left it behind. It always comes back cause everyone wants a better one....it can go missing for weeks at a time, but always shows up!
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