Career advice

What it takes to be a police custody nurse

Forensic samples and assessing mental illness, injury and addiction are all central to the role
Custody nurse with a detainee

Forensic samples and assessing mental illness, injury and addiction are all central to this diverse role

Historically, promoting the health and welfare of individuals detained in police custody after being arrested was led by doctors.

Following changes in legislation almost 20 years ago, the role was extended to include registered nurses, and more recently paramedics. These individuals are now known collectively as police custody healthcare professionals.

Problem-solving in a dynamic working environment

Working as a nurse in police custody settings is interesting and highly rewarding, and there is huge variety in the role; during a 12-hour shift, I could be asked to assess a detainee

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