Staff satisfaction and attitudes in the NYC jail system
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
BACKGROUND: The highly stressed and securely confined environment of a correctional setting can create challenges for health care employees. Previous studies have identified high workload, emotional demands, a need to hide emotions, low control and influence over work conditions or environment, poor social support, and negative social image among the most common work-related psychosocial hazards predictive of correctional employees' strain. The demanding work environment of correctional facilities has shown to predict cardiovascular illness and psychological stress, and has been associated with high employee turnover and rates of absenteeism, affecting productivity and performance. OBJECTIVE: To assess health care employee attitude and satisfaction in the NYC jail system and correctional administrative offices to increase overall satisfaction. DESIGN: A validated survey tool from the California prison system was modified and adapted to NYC jails. A total of 68 questions were asked from four categories: demographics, employee and the work environment, attitude and perception of workplace/ work environment, and attitude and perception of patients. PARTICIPANTS: The survey was conducted amongst NYC correctional health care administrative staff and medical/mental health providers. An invitation to participate was sent out to 1367 correctional health care employees. METHODOLOGY: The survey was administered using the Survey Monkey survey tool. An email invitation to participate in the survey and two follow-up reminders were sent to all employees with the survey link. The survey was also made available through electronic health records and employee intranet. The survey was voluntary and employees had 23 days to complete. RESULTS: A total of 677 employees responded with an overall response rate of 49.5%. 93.9% of the respondents felt that their work is meaningful or extremely meaningful. 81.2% of the respondents felt that their job is challenging or very challenging. 72.7% of the respondents felt stressed because of their work on a typical week. 32.9% felt burnt out by their work. 23.5% of the respondents felt physically afraid or intimidated at work. 14.3% of the respondents regularly altered their practice due to fear of legal complaints. 23.4% felt that their ethics as a health care provider are regularly compromised by their work environment. FUTURE ANALYSIS: Group sessions will be conducted to further explore these findings, including the high rate of ethical challenges reported by staff. These sessions will assist in development of a training program focused on job safety and satisfaction as well as integration of the human rights framework to our correctional health setting.
Administration, management, leadership
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Occupational health and safety
Public health administration or related administration
Discuss the complexities of working in a jail setting.
Evaluate the satisfaction and attitude of employees and contracted employees.
Identify factors which may have impacted the satisfaction of the employees.
Report ethical challenges faced by staff.
Describe the development of a training program integrated with a human rights framework focused on job safety and satisfaction.
Keyword(s): Correctional Health Care, Health Care Workers
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Medical Director for the Bureau of Correctonal Health Services in the NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene. In this role I oversee medical care for all those incarcerated in NYC jails. I am responsible for the care of over 12,000 incarcerated patients in a system with over a dozen clinics and over 100 clinicians.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.