Correctional nursing: A highly challenging nursing speciality

August 3, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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A Correctional Nurse is a trained and skilled professional who cares works in correctional facilities and jails. This is a highly specialised field and nurses who train in this specialty face a formidable task taking care of the inmates and detainees of these institutions. Every day is a challenge at work with the element of risk ever-present because of the workplace setting. However, despite these safety risks and the many misconceptions concerning this particular specialty, correctional nurses have always maintained that they find their job just as satisfying as nurses in traditional hospitals and clinics.

Students learning clinical procedures from their hospital mentors Role of a Correctional Nurse

Correctional nursing is not meant for everyone. In fact, there aren’t too many people who can take the pressure of working in correctional facilities, knowing the risks involved with the job. It takes a special kind of person to be able to handle all these challenges and do their job well under the circumstances.

These nurses need to work in close proximity with the inmates of these facilities. They take care of the daily medical needs of the inmates as well as any emergency medical issue that may arise. Correctional nurses have an extremely important role because they need to be able to handle most medical issues within the facility itself with limited resources.

Qualifications Required for a Correctional Nurse

To be licensed to work in a correctional facility, you must be a registered nurse. You must also have at least a few years of professional experience in a hospital, clinic or other professional medical institution. It is only with sufficient experience that you will be able to handle the challenges that you are bound to face in a correctional facility. Even though it is not a compulsory requirement, it often also helps to have some kind of nursing experience in emergency medical aid.

Duties Carried Out by Correctional Nurses

On a day to day basis, a correctional Nurse tends to all the regular medical requirements of the inmates. The nurse is in charge of taking blood pressure, blood tests, eye tests and other basic tests on a regular basis. In case any inmate is suffering from an illness, in addition to treating the inmate it is also important to put precautionary measures in place so that it does not spread to the other inmates.

A number of detainees often suffer from diseases, which could range from AIDS to genetic diseases. A correctional Nurse must monitor these detainees on a regular basis and also provide them with regular medication and any other treatment that may be required.

Inmates at prisons often get into fights. This could lead to various injuries, from bloody noses and black eyes to broken bones and stab wounds. It is the correctional nurse’s job to tend to all these injuries and try to minimise the risk of infection as much as possible.

Job Opportunities for Correctional Nurses

A prison is not the only place where correctional nurses work. Even though this probably is the largest employer of correctional nurses, there are a number of other facilities that also hire these professionals. These include private detention facilities, juvenile facilities and temporary holding facilities.