Hypertension for the Correctional Nurse
In February of 2015, the Department of Justice Bureau of Statistics published the latest Special Report of Medical Problems of State and Federal Prisoners and Jail Inmates, 2011-2012. This report continues to be the most current in 2020. In it, the prevalence of heart-related problems in state and federal prisoners was documented as 9.8%, whereas the prevalence of heart-related problems in the general population (for the same demographic group) was 2.9%. In jail inmates, the prevalence of heart-related problems was documented as 10.4% while the prevalence in the general population was only 1.9%. For all, heart-related problems were defined as any of the following: angina; arrhythmia; arteriosclerosis; heart attack; coronary, congenital, or rheumatic heart disease; heart valve damage; tachycardia; or other type of heart problem. In addition, hypertension occurred in 26.3% of the jail population (13.9% in the general population) and 30.2% of the state and federal prisoners (18.1% in the general population).
These numbers will only continue to grow, and it is vitally important that correctional nurses have a basic knowledge of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
This class will cover the pathophysiology of hypertension; typical medications prescribed and their side effects; nursing interventions for the patient with hypertension. A case study will be presented. A complete patient education curriculum can be found at The Correctional Nurse Educator class entitled Chronic Care Patient Education: Hypertension in Corrections.