Nursing in corrections is a fulfilling, rewarding career path. Those who enter into this line of work have the opportunity to make a genuine impact on the lives of vulnerable people. Those who are open to the idea of nursing in a correctional facility often find the career path appealing and enriching.
You may be curious as to the ins and outs of nursing life in corrections. So, what is it like to work as a nurse in a correctional facility?
Nursing tasks and responsibilities
In many ways, correctional facility nursing is similar to primary care practice work, requiring nurses to attend to the various needs of a wide variety of vulnerable patients. However, mental health specialist knowledge tends to be more valued in this field, as the concentration of patients needing help for mental health and substance abuse problems is higher within the correctional facility setting.
Working as a corrections nurse requires staff to be mentally flexible and able to balance a lot of different responsibilities at the same time. In addition to demonstrating their knowledge of complex medical conditions, they will need to show communication and people skills, establishing and maintaining positive relationships both with the prisoners, prison staff and the other members of their team.
Safety within the corrections facility
Safety is most people’s primary concern when considering working in a correctional facility, due to the nature of the location. The security processes in correctional facilities provide added protection for healthcare staff, with officers assigned to protect staff in the medical unit and patients are classified as to their potential for violence.
Many correctional nurses actually feel safer in this environment than working in traditional settings where security may be less present. Corrections nurses often note that the information they are given about the patient before meeting with them helps a lot, leaving less surprises than working in an emergency department for example.
Rewards for corrections nurses
As experienced correctional facility nurses are always in great demand, the pay of the job is naturally higher than nurses in other settings. However, perhaps the greatest reward associated with prison nursing is the opportunity it gives workers to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable people, to connect with those who are cut off from society and help them to recover, both mentally and physically.
If you are unsure of whether you would enjoy working in a corrections facility, but are intrigued to see what it’s like, why not give it a try? Joining Ontime Healthcare gives you the flexibility and choice to select shifts at correctional facilities when you please. If you work one shift and love it, they are constantly available for you. Otherwise, you can continue to fill our roles in a number of aged care, home care, and hospital settings.