Perioperative Care of Prisoners: Providing Safe Care

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Abstract

Correctional nurses are trained to care for prisoners in a controlled security environment; however, when a convict is transferred to a noncorrectional health care facility, the nurses there are often unfamiliar with custody requirements or how to safely care for these patients. The care of prisoners outside of prison has not been adequately investigated, and a gap exists between research and nursing education and practice. Nurses rarely have to consider how providing care for a prisoner in custody affects their practice, the potential dissonance between routine nursing care and the requirements to maintain security, or that care of prisoners in unsecured clinical areas places the nurse and other personnel at risk for physical assault or prisoner escape. Educating perioperative nurses in the care of prisoners in a public hospital environment is important for the provision of safe care and prevention of physical and emotional repercussions to personnel.

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