Now, for some, I’m sure the idea of walking into a prison for hours on end can be extremely daunting. Can anything good really come from working in prison? And the answer is yes! As a locum tenens, there are a plethora of jobs available to you, including some that are a little more unconventional. Practicing behind bars may not be for the faint-of-heart, but it’s a great way to become better in your field while treating an underserved portion of society.
Here is a list of reasons why you should consider practicing in prison when choosing your next locum tenens assignment.
7 Reasons to Practice Behind Bars
1. Educate an Audience in Need
Prisoners often come from a population of society without much access to the healthcare they need. As a prison physician, you can provide them with the knowledge of resources offered to them both while institutionalized and upon release.
2. Rehabilitation Efforts
Practicing behind bars can take many forms. If you are someone who works in the mental health field, this is a chance to reach prisoners on a different level of reflection. Helping the incarcerated reflect on poor choices and how to prevent them in the future can make a difference in their life and benefit them during their time in prison and when they are back in a normal society.
3. Be A Role Model
Through educating this specific group of people, you can become a role model for those who have not had access to one. Teaching prisoners healthy habits will only benefit their quality of life while behind bars. And when an inmate sees you treating them as a patient, and not a prisoner, it may help them realize they are people in need just like everyone else.
4. No Insurance Hassles
Prisons are required to pay for and provide for the healthcare needs of all their inmates. They set the rules for prescribing and any referrals. Because of this, your day is full of doing what you’re good at – being a doctor and delivering needed care. Time spent coding sheets and filling out bills is cut out of your daily routine.
5. Safer Than You Think
Prisons have safety standards set in place for all attending physicians no matter what field. Depending on the doctor’s comfort level with different inmates or section of the prison, they can choose to have guards in the room with them or not. Some prisons also have “panic buttons” or alert systems doctors can push to signal any distress if a problem occurs.
6. More Hours and No Competition
The number of physicians working in prison is very limited due to what some may consider a harsh environment. But the lack of workers means more hours for you! Some physicians report having more hours working with inmates than when they worked in a private practice. And prisoners’ inability to leave and attend another practice for regular care means more hours for you.
7. Exciting and Professional Challenging
Working with inmates behind bars will probably be one of, if not the most challenging career move you could make. You’re in a drastically different environment dealing with people you would never normally have contact with. However, you are still treating the same ailments you would be in a hospital or private practice. A patient is a patient no matter the location you treat them.