What is it like to work as a Custody Health Care Professional? – Alison’s Story

Are you someone always prepared for the unexpected? Ready to take your nursing experience in a new direction, calling upon everything you have learned throughout your career, personal and professional life? Then working in a custody environment could be for you!

Alison is a Custody Health Care Practitioner working in the Norfolk and Suffolk regions for CRG Medical Services. With a background in substance misuse, prisons, NHS Direct, and community nursing, Alison was practically made for life in police investigation centres!

As a Custody HCP, Alison’s role is to provide medical assessment and healthcare as required to detainees in police custody.

“I was first drawn to the position by the challenge of a new role. We mainly have to deal with injuries, mental health conditions, alcohol and illicit drug intoxication and withdrawal as well as chronic long term conditions and care needs.”

Working life in a custody environment can be somewhat unpredictable from day to day, although Alison noted it has been quite different during lockdown! “At the moment due to COVID, there can be more waiting for a detained person to be brought in! or it can be manic, like today, you can never tell in custody! There are daily tasks to be completed, ensuring the medical rooms are clean and tidy, daily drug and equipment audits, liaising with custody staff regarding the health and well-being of the detainees and responding to health care needs.”

Like all types of care, there are some very important personality traits you will need to work in custody – “You need to be good at communication and thinking outside the box, as well as having a non-judgmental attitude, and not taking comments personally!”

Collaboration is extremely important in this role, with close working relationships required with both the other health care practitioners, the police in the custody suite and of course the wider CRG Medical Services support network. Alison told us the thanks from custody staff and from detainees for their care are often the most rewarding aspects of the role.

Why should you consider a career in custody healthcare? Well, Alison describes the role as challenging but says “I love my job, I’m very lucky! You have to be prepared for the unexpected, and be prepared to call upon everything you have learned throughout your career, personal and professional life.”

When not in work, Alison enjoys, cooking, and spending time with her husband and their pets, including chickens and the peacock. When things get back to normal post COVID she is looking forward to travelling around Europe again on the motorbike.

Are you interested in working as a Custody Nurse with CRG Medical Services? Check out our latest custody healthcare jobs on our job search!

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