My husband is going TO PRISON!!

And we’re thrilled!

You may recall my periodic whining about his formerly great, newly rotten job as a CNA on the locked dementia unit at the local state veterans’ home. Insane overtime (days off increasingly rare), violent residents, lax security. Our social life has been in the toilet and his few days off are dedicated to catching up on laundry, dishes, and sleep. House and yard are a mess. Hobbies have fallen by the wayside.

Long story short, after a particularly trying double shift Mr. S had had it. Went to a nursing temp agency about which he had heard good things, and after talking to him, they thought he would be a good fit for the infirmary in a state prison near us, doing personal care for critically ill inmates. Apparently they have trouble finding people to work in a prison, go figure! But . . .

[li]Minimum 32 hours a week, can pick up more hours but overtime must be approved. Can be worked in two 16-hour shifts. So work two (long) days, be off 5. Sweet! Currently he is working 50- to 60-hour weeks, or more.[/li]
[li]Security guards RIGHT THERE to open up a can of whoop-ass if needed. Staff safety is the number one priority, and is handled in terms of preventing problems, not reacting to them. At the veterans’ home, you wait for a resident to attack you, THEN call security and see (1) how long they take to show up and (2) if they’ll even do anything. I’m confident that he’ll be much safer at the new job.[/li]
[li]Same pay, full bennies after 60 days, NO weekends or holidays (unless he chooses to work them), he chooses which days/shifts he works each week. Right now he is basically a slave. He’s supposed to have every other weekend off, but for the last several months he’s had to work at least one day of that “off” weekend. Has had to work all holidays. His regular shift is the PM (afternoon/evening) shift, so no evening activities on his workdays. We can never plan for his days off (buy tickets, make reservations, etc.) because he can and does get slapped with mandatory overtime on a regular basis.[/li][/ul]

I asked Dr. QtM what he thought about the job and the facility, and he said, “Go for it!” So big thanks to Dr. Q for the vote of confidence.

We are so stoked! He’s turning in his resignation today, two weeks’ notice. We’ll have weekends and evenings back! We can have a social life! Cook dinner together! He can work on the house and take classes! Play the guitar! SLEEP! It will not take an act of Congress to get a day off!

This is the day we have been waiting for!

Your joy is infectious and made me smile. Congratulations to your hubby! I have a friend who works in a prison infirmary and she likes it quite a bit.

I’m glad that your husband is going to prison! The world will be a better place because of this. :smiley:


Sounds like a good change! Glad you got hold of DrQ; he’s the first person I thought of regarding this. While I’ve worked in a prison, it wasn’t in the medical area <yet; we’ll see what happens after layoffs cool down> and even then it takes some getting used to. But having worked in a psychiatric area will prepare him for the 100 percent ‘on your guard at all times’ mentality that must accompany working in that kind of situation. 16-hour shifts can kind of mess that up for you, but once he gets into the routine he should be fine. He’ll just need to keep sharp and not let himself get complacent.

And congratulations!! Glad it has worked out, and I hope you both get to reap many benefits from this.

I see what you did there :slight_smile:

The only warning I’d give is that New York prisons have a big nursing shortage (I don’t know if Wisconsin has a similar problem). This meant that nurses end up working the insane amounts of overtime you’re trying to get away from.

It’s not bad if your husband is working with a group of decent people and the right amount of people. But some places can’t or won’t hire enough nurses for their needs and make up the difference by having nurses work mandated overtime shifts. And other places can get nurses who decide to call in sick on a regular basis which means the nurse on duty gets stuck working another shift to cover for them.

Congrats! Wishing him joy in his new gig.

Hooray! The schedule he’s working carries a huge risk of burnout, so I’m glad he’s changing employers.

New York is smaller and much more populous than Wisconsin (19,465,197 people versus 5,711,767 according to Google), so it stands to reason there would be fewer nurses per capita there than there are in Wisconsin. Hopefully they won’t risk the safety of their staff by understaffing a prison. They’re a sight more dangerous (and thus, better-funded) than your average nursing home.

New York’s problem must be that the prison pay and benefits aren’t commensurate with the risk and skills the job requires. This is a problem with nursing programs all over the country… anywhere you see understaffing, it’s a direct result of insufficient compensation/benefits. It may *seem *crazy to people outside the industry that the market rate for a nurse in a particular area may be $40 or $50 an hour, but if that’s what it takes to recruit sufficient staff, then that’s what they have to pay (or else be understaffed). Not that anybody actually pays nurses market rates, but there you go.

If you’re unable to sufficiently staff your program because there’s a local shortage of nurses, then you have to pay enough to attract nurses to commute from farther away (or offer to pay relocation fees, etc). It’s a fairly simple solution, but employers want the skills of nurses without having to pay what they’re worth.

That’s weird, on a map it looks like NYS has a lot more area, I guess Wisconsin is more square shaped and so fits more area into a deceptively small radius. But still, why would the amount of nurses tend to grow larger with geographic area but not with population?

This is all moot because he will not be working for the state, but for a temp agency. The agency does not require (in fact, sounds like it does not often allow) its employees to work overtime. Plus no weekends and no holidays unless he so chooses. And if the prison job turns out not to be to his taste, he can simply have the agency send him someplace else.

Believe me, he’s been a state employee for the past four-plus years, and the last year and a half have been hell thanks to the charming Mr. Walker. Going to be a while, if ever, before he jumps down that rathole again.

Yup. On the bad day I mentioned, there was an incident (someone else giving him shit at a REALLY bad time). He ended up going to his supervisor and telling her he had to go home NOW, or else he would very soon end up telling someone to fuck off (or worse) and get fired. That got her attention because he has been a stellar employee with lots of grace under pressure. For him to admit that meant that some serious poo was about to hit the blades. When she heard his reason, she sent him home immediately with her blessing.

That was a Saturday; he called in sick on Sunday (we were under stress for other, unrelated reasons, and he still didn’t feel like he could handle a work shift), and on Monday he called the temp agency. Had an “interview” on Tuesday that was pretty much just processing paperwork. He had excellent references from people they knew, and they really need people. Win-win.

I probably didn’t think that all the way through, but I was thinking higher population density = more crime/jails to staff. But WI is larger than NY, I checked that. Only by a few thousand square miles, but it’s a lot less dense.

So THAT is why there are so many Americans in prison! It’s a better job than the vets’ hospital!

Congratulations and may the job honeymoon last a long time.

Holy Cow! I’ve always thought I’d wind up in jail. (Guilt issues involving survivor’s joy.) You mean you can paid to do that?

Fantastic that your husband’s expertise can be utilized to your all’s benefit also!

Hearty congratulations that your title did not mean what it appeared to mean!


[sub]And I mean that in a good way[/sub]

Congrats. I take it you’re entitled to conjugal visits?


Grats on his time in the slammer!