What Does a Correctional Nurse Do?
Correctional Nurses provide healthcare within the prison and jail system, caring for a population that often comes from backgrounds with limited access to healthcare. They handle a wide range of medical issues, from injuries and infectious diseases to chronic conditions and mental health issues. In addition to delivering direct patient care, these nurses are responsible for assessing new inmates, responding to emergencies, distributing medications, and coordinating with outside healthcare facilities when advanced care is needed.
Due to the environment, Correctional Nurses must have strong assessment skills to quickly determine the urgency of a health issue in a setting where patients may have secondary motives for seeking care. They must also be skilled in communication and maintain clear boundaries, as they work in close proximity to inmates.
The role requires adaptability, resilience, and a high level of autonomy, as Correctional Nurses often make decisions independently. They are integral in ensuring the incarcerated population receives adequate healthcare, which is a critical aspect of public health and human rights within correctional systems.