Health care staff and those who supervise offenders on a daily basis face unique challenges inherent to providing medical and mental health care in a correctional environment. Offenders throughout the nation's jails and prisons have high rates of both medical and mental illnesses. A 2009 study by the Harvard Medical School and Cambridge Health Alliance revealed that:
* Of the quarter of offenders with chronic mental illnesses, two-thirds of them were off treatment at the time of their arrest; and
* Compared to unincarcerated Americans their age, the 1.2 million state prison inmates are 31 percent more likely to have asthma, 53 percent more likely to have diabetes, and 90 percent more likely to have suffered a heart attack.
To face the unique challenges posed, staff need to receive job-specific training on health care issues. Online training is one of the most successful and affordable methods for providing high-quality training on such issues. A 2009 study by the U.S. Department of Education stated, "[those] who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction." (1)
Online training offers additional benefits as well. It costs less than traditional learning and allows more staff to be trained for fewer dollars without impacting quality. It is a more consistent form of content delivery, providing the same training to staff--there are no obvious or subtle differences. It saves time by solving the geographic barrier, allowing staff to take courses at various locations without traveling.
ACA's Online Corrections Academy (OCA) has Web-based training to meet the needs and requirements for staff at all levels, including health staff. Indeed, OCA has the largest library of online courses for correctional staff. E-learning solutions are available that meet the specific needs of individuals and agencies:
* Purchase select courses for individuals or groups--volume discounts available;
* Subscribe to a learning management system with training and documentation tools--unlimited access to online training for your entire staff; and
* License content for your learning management system--SCORM-compliant courses;
OCA programs are offered in partnership with Essential Learning, the leading provider of online training for human service organizations.
Nursing Health Assessment in Corrections. Comprehensive health assessments (both initial and periodic evaluations) are a common component of correctional health care. …