A Hypertension Primer for the Correctional Nurse
2.0 Continuing Education Hours
In 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. In it, the prevalence of heart-related problems in state and federal prisoners was 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 10.4% while the prevalence in the general population was only 1.9% for individuals with the same demographic profile. 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). Clearly, the burden for treatment of hypertension is greater in the correctional healthcare setting than it is in the community health sector. Thus, the correctional nurse must be knowledgeable about hypertension and the conditions associated with aberrations of cardiac health in order to properly identify and care for the many patients with heart-related disorders that they will encounter.
In this class, hypertension will be discussed in the context of a correctional patient case study. Included will be common medications, nursing interventions and patient education topics that are important for the hypertensive patient.