Texas County Jail Nurse Speaks Out!Jul 4th, 2013 | By admin | Category: Conditions in County Jails
Update, November 2013 Jail Nurse has started her own website!: http://www.texasjailnurse.com/
Her post continues below:
I have a staff of 10 and we try to provide the best care available. Not the best care you can get in jail, but the best care available.
Please understand all facilities are different. Each jail will have a procedure on what medications they allow, how they process sick calls and how they deal with detox issues and emergencies.
We have a doctor and a prescription formulary [list of medications] that we use. I will request medical records from your physician and will use those records as a guideline for your treatment while you are in my care. In MOST cases I am going to leave you on the medications your physician has prescribed even if it is not part of my formulary. If you have been seeing your physician and are on a medication regimen that is working, I have no desire to start from scratch and try to figure out what medications you need.
In my facility we do not allow narcotic pain medication or other controlled substances. If you are currently taking those medications we have a detox protocol. Our treatment is based on type of medications, drug and/or alcohol use. My minimum detox is 10 days and can go to 30-45 days as needed. I do not want you to suffer while you are here and I want to make sure you are safe.
There are always exceptions. Example; You have surgery while you are in my care and the doctor sends a prescription for hydrocodone for 5 days. You are going to get the hydrocodone for 5 days. If after 5 days you are still in severe pain, you will be evaluated and your medication will be extended if needed.
Generally we do your complete medical intake within the first 4-6 hours of your incarceration. This is separate from the booking intake medical portion done immediately upon your arrival that includes recent drug/alcohol use and questions for suicide evaluation. During the booking portion if you state you are suicidal or have just used meth, you are seen by Medical immediately. DO NOT LIE TO ME. Do not tell me you do not do drugs or drink, if you do. I am asking so I can provide medical care. I cannot help you and give you proper treatment if you do not tell me. You will not “catch” a charge because you tell me you just shot up heroin. But now I will know what to give you if you start to overdose. Your honest answers to my questions may save your life.
DO NOT say you are having chest pain, unless you are. Chest pain is taken seriously and is treated as an emergency. If I’m doing your EKG and you tell me you are not really having chest pain you just wanted to come out of the dorm or make a phone call, don’t be surprised when you get a write up. DO NOT call your family and tell them you are having a serious medical problem and are being ignored, unless you are. If I get a phone call from your Mom and she is hysterical and yelling at me because you told her you are dying and being ignored, then I go to the dorm to check and you are on the rec yard shooting hoops. Guess what, I am calling your Mom back and letting her know. I am going to make sure your mom has my direct phone line, I may even get you on speaker phone with your mom and ask you to sign a medical release so I can speak with your mom if she has to call me back. Do not put your family through hell worrying about you when you are fine. Do not use the scare of your health as a means to try and pressure your family to bond you.
If you say you are going to harm yourself I will take you seriously. I have a safety smock, a safety cell and even a restraint chair for extreme situations. You will be placed on continuous camera monitoring, 5 minute direct observation checks, a 15 minute Officer check, every 6 hour vital sign check, 12 hour evaluation by a nurse and a 24 review by a Mental Health Professional. If you are not able to keep yourself safe, I will do what I have to do to keep you safe.
I want to make sure you go home. I will do my best to make sure you go home in better condition than when you arrived at my facility.