Does anyone routinely take care of prisoners, either inpatient or in the ED?
As a resident (NJ)we had a not insignificant number of prisoners come to our hospital though mostly for our primary care and specialty clinics. They'd be bused in under supervision but then once in the room the guards would wait outside until we were finished with history/examination.
I am now in an attending in a neighboring state (PA) and here the prison guards refuse to leave the room when I come to see the patient. Even give attitude and a hard time about removing the patient's metal hand cuffs so that I can examine them for the rectal bleeding they present for. Patient's are obviously less forthcoming about their history and do not want to be exposed in such a way to multiple people and it restricts my/our team's ability to provide the care the patient needs.
Is this just power tripping guards? What rights do I have as the physician to actually care for my patients?
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