Challenging Care Setting
The setting for delivery of nursing care is challenging. Correctional facilities operate to carry out criminal sanctions imposed by the court; not to deliver healthcare. Yet correctional facilities are obligated by state and federal law to provide healthcare to prisoners and other detainees. The operation of correctional settings and the legal obligation for care can create ethical challenges for nurses around issues such as patient privacy and self-determination. The setting also challenges a central tenet of nursing, the concept of caring. The Essentials of Correctional Nursing describes how nurses safely navigate the correctional environment to create a therapeutic alliance to center their nursing care on the patient.