job, jobs, career, careers, Georgia Correctional Health Care, Georgia Department of Corrections, correctional nurse, inmate nurse ,medical prison, infirmary nurse, nurse manager, health service administrator, challenges, dental, surgery, physical therapy, tele-medicine, hub consultation, licensed practical nurse, family atmosphere, tuition reimbursement
Georgia Correctional HealthCare, which is a division of the medical college of Georgia, has an interagency agreement with the Georgia department of corrections. We have about 80 plus facilities across the state of Georgia and we employ approximately 1100 healthcare staff. Our patients are the individuals who’ve been incarcerated by the state of Georgia. GCHC now is hiring a large number of nursing staff because we have such a volume of inmates out there that we provide healthcare to. So there is much opportunity out there. I started as a staff nurse; I worked as an infirmary nurse for a while. Then I was promoted to DON, and then, from there, about two years later I was promoted to nurse manager, and from nurse manager a year ago I was promoted to Health Service Administrator. I think any nurse who has a passion for their career would love working here in the Georgia Department of Corrections. The professional challenges here are really no different than being a nurse anywhere else. We have the same technology that any area hospital has, same equipment, same standards, the same patient care standards as the community. We provide dental services; we provide surgery on site, physical therapy. We have dialysis patients. We have a telemedicine program that is growing at this time. Cut out as much stress as you can, make sure to take your medications. We are able to provide a level of consultative services from a hub site into the different facilities throughout the state. When you first hear the word prison you automatically think of what you see on TV. You’re a little apprehensive about coming out here. One of the first things I did was I took a tour of the facility and I was put to ease right away. When you walk in our facility, you know one, what type of facility it is, but also you know that we have trained correctional officers who are there to support the medical mission. And what seems to be your problem? Chest pains. You have to be compassionate to work here. You can’t just not care about someone because they’re in corrections, they committed a crime. They’re here, they served a sentence. We’re not here to place judgments on people. I find that the inmate population here is very appreciative of the medical care they get, and they let you know that. Safety is not a worry of mine. Georgia healthcare is one of the cleanest facilities because we have 24 hour housekeeping staff, in that they utilize the inmates for cleaning. They maintain a good sterile environment. There’s a family type atmosphere, the camaraderie that’s there. They really develop a team together. The medical college of Georgia does provide a lot of value to us in that people recognize the name. You’ve got longevity with this company. They’re going to be there for the long term. The Medical College of Georgia has tuition remission and tuition reimbursement programs available to the staff. I’m currently pursuing my pharmacy doctorate degree. It’s not for everybody, but there is a population out there that needs to know that this is a career opportunity, it’s a career path. Oh, I love my job…I love my job…I wouldn’t work anywhere else. If you have a passion if you love your job you’ll love working here. At the end of the day when they walk out and these doors close they know that they have made a difference. I think the greatest satisfaction I get here is knowing that the patients here appreciate and probably weren’t expecting such good medical care and the relief that they have when they’ve been taken care of and treated kindly, that’s what makes me satisfied with my job.