|Location||across, United States of America|
|Date Posted||February 22, 2021|
Registered Nurse (RN)
I am frequently asked if it is safe to work in a jail or prison. After all, the patients are criminals, right? While this is true, the security processes in correctional facilities provide added protection for healthcare staff. There are officers assigned to protect staff in the medical unit and patients are classified as to violence potential.
Many correctional nurses feel safer in this environment than working in traditional settings where security may be less vigilant. Still, correctional nurses need to be ever alert to guard their personal safety.
Nurses, by profession, are patient-focused. There is an unmistakable difference in this type of interaction. Inmates feel this difference and appreciate nursing staff.
No doubt about it, you see some interesting cases in corrections.
Dental conditions are common. I definitely wish there had been more about dental diseases in my nursing training!
Most nurses work in settings where the goals of top management are healthcare-focused. Not so in correctional facilities.
The medical unit is a support service and top management has a goal of public and personal safety. Therefore, correctional nurses sometimes need to negotiate with administration and officer peers in order to advance patient therapy.
All nursing can be stressful, but I didn’t realize how stressful it can be to care for prisoners. These patients are often traumatized with histories of abuse and neglect. It is easy to absorb this stress vicariously.
Compassion fatigue and general correctional stress can easily build to crippling levels, if unattended. Self-care is more important than ever as a correctional nurse.