For many nurses, providing health care in a jail or prison is not even a consideration when deciding on a career direction.
Many practicing in the criminal justice system
Most nurses have little contact with the criminal justice system in nursing school and so are unlikely to choose the specialty.
Prisons are often located in out-of-the-way places and the patient population is hidden from to most people.
The general public would rather not think about our patient population. Yet, over two million Americans are currently behind bars. That is a lot of people in need of health care.
At least 95% of prisoners will eventually be released so correctional health care affects public health in a big way.
The Rough Points
Nurses must jump into the lives of their patients at a rough point. Illness, injury, and suffering can be ugly, intense, and deeply painful.
It deals with body fluids, needles, gaping wounds, and heart-wrenching loss and must take it all in stride.
The criminal justice system is an unlikely health care environment and prisoners are a unique patient population. Here, illness, injury, and suffering are treated in the midst of heightened security, reduced resources, and isolation
The variety and nature of patient health needs and the opportunity to bring care and concern into a dehumanizing situation can be unexpected job satisfiers.
Correctional nurses deal with a population of disadvantaged and vulnerable patients in a difficult time of life.
Lack of prior health care contact means nurses can care for patients with unusual conditions along with the mundane ones.
Incarcerated patients need
Correctional nursing practice is autonomous and self-directed
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