What is it like to work as a Custody Nurse? – Jo’s Story

What is it like to work as a Custody Nurse? – Jo’s Story

As a healthcare professional, you will have developed skills and experience that can take you down many career paths. Of course there’s the amazing work of the NHS, prestigious private hospitals, community practice and more. ..but have you ever considered a career in custody healthcare?

Lancashire based Custody Nurse Joanne Davies spoke to us about her experience of the role, and the exciting challenges you could face in a job with CRG Medical Services.

What’s your career background? What was your experience before working as a Custody Nurse?

“I have always worked in Healthcare from the age of 18. I started as an Auxiliary Nurse until I qualified nearly 6 years ago. When I qualified I worked on the wards to gain some experience then went to work in the community as a District Nurse for 2 years, then came out of the NHS and worked in Urgent Care at my local hospital in Triage to gain experience in the front line before joining CRG to work in custody.”

Many of our staff have come from A&E and Urgent Care environments prior to working with CRG Medical Services – the unpredictable nature of these environments lends itself well to the situations you could face in custody settings, as Jo explains!

Jo explained she was drawn to a role in Custody Nursing as “I have always had an interest in the forensic side of things and I like the independence that working by myself brings.”

What does a typical “day in the life” in your custody nursing role look like?

“You never know from one minute to the next what is happening! It could be Fit to Detain examinations, sorting medications, dealing with emergencies or being asked to do forensic samples, as well as checking the daily medications and controlled drugs, completing witness statements or giving advice not just to the DP’s but to the police as well.”

Some of the most common ailments you may have to deal with in custody settings could include chest pains, head injuries and mental health problems.

Like with all roles, there will be challenges – what are the biggest challenges of working as a Custody Nurse?

“Learning not to take things personally when detained people call you names, threaten you, when they demand things and you say “no” to them.”

Jo explains that some of the most important traits to have as a Custody Nurse is to have a sense of humor, a thick skin and to be able to have the confidence to work autonomously and the confidence to say “no”.

What are the most rewarding aspects of this role? Is there anything that working in custody has taught you about yourself?

Jo says the most rewarding parts of the roles are assisting in the criminal justice process, helping to gain evidence the police need to successfully prosecute criminals. That and being seen and included as one of the custody staff and being thanked by them after every shift.

“It has taught me how to better deal with confrontation, improved my confidence in my decision making skills and to stick to my guns if I dont think something is right.”

We love getting feedback from police forces and teams about how well our colleagues work together and love to recognise the amazing work our staff do with Employee of the Quarter recognitions.

Are there any misconceptions you had about the role prior to working in custody that you’ve found to be untrue? What might surprise people about this aspect of healthcare?

“I had absolutely no idea what the inside of a custody suite looked like or how well controlled it was. It was very daunting and didn’t know what to expect.”

Jo assured us that it is a safe and secure environment to work in, with excellent support from the police!

“If you like a challenge then custody is the perfect place for that – it’s fun, you’re learning everyday and it’s a very interesting job.”

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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