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Jason Hautala RN
I’m not a corrections nurse, but I work in the ER, so I see A LOT of people from the corrections system coming through … it appears many people in the corrections facility have anger management issues. Not just those, but much of society has an entitlement mentality. It also seems that the less a person contributes to society at large, the more they think they are entitled to from others. I feel your pain. People abuse the system and come to the ER because they couldn’t possibly wait until after lunch time to get in to see their PCP for their sore throat, because they have important things to do. They have the right to refuse the diagnostic tests we want to perform to evaluate if they have real injury or disease, but they demand that we treat their pain until it is below a five out of ten, regardless on if they are still breathing when they get it down to a nine.
The only good thing about not being able to turn anyone away from the ER is that we also treat the elderly without consideration of their ability to pay. The really sad part of that though is the ER is the wrong spot for these people to be getting their care. They need a PCP to manage and monitor their chronic conditions, and the ER is very bad at doing such things. If their blood pressure is so high or so low that they are going to die that day, we will do something about it, but as far as adjusting their medicines for BP and DM and a host of other problems, we just aren’t the right place, but if you have certain conditions, such as chronic back pain, most of the PCPs in the area will not accept you as a new patient because they don’t want to deal with that type of problem.
Keep doing the best you can, remember why you are doing it, and find a healthy/fun way to vent your frustrations often. Good luck.