With JPS Support, Four Correctional Health Team Members Ready for Career Breakout

July 26th, 2019

Four JPS team members stationed at the Tarrant County Corrections Center in downtown Fort Worth are moving up in the working world thanks, in part, to freedom afforded them by their employer.

“My supervisor was so good about working with me to make my schedule fit what I needed to do for school,” said Shawn Massingil who, along with Correctional Health colleagues Jim Kneisel, Shumonica Young and Marty Griffith, recently completed the courses needed to receive their registered nurse certification. “There was a nurse in one of my classes who definitely didn’t get the same support where she worked that we get from JPS. She was always struggling to fit it all in.”

The JPS tuition reimbursement program came in handy, too, the new RN added.

JPS Correctional Health RNs Jim Kneisel and Shawn Massingil

JPS Correctional Health RNs Jim Kneisel and Shawn Massingil

Massingil, Kneisel and Young are all stepping up from being licensed vocational nurses. Griffith was an emergency medical technician at the Correctional Center before he got his RN certification. Kneisel and Griffith will move to RN roles on the JPS main campus while Massingil and Young chose to take part in a brand new residency program at the Correctional Center.

Kerrie Bryant, Business Operations Specialist with JPS Behavioral Health, said it’s a great move for the foursome, although she isn’t looking forward to losing two of her teammates at the Corrections Center.

“What they do here is so amazing and we’re excited and proud of all four of them,” Bryant said. “It’s sad that we have to say goodbye to two of them – at least for now – but they won’t be too far away. When you have such good people, you always want the best for them.”

JPS Correctional Health RNs Shumonica Young and Marty Griffith

JPS Correctional Health RNs Marty Griffith and Shumonica Young 

“I’m going to miss the people here, more than anything,” Griffith said. “When people learn that you work in the jail, they think it’s a bad place to be and that we probably dread coming to work. But that’s not the case at all. You have a real opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life every day here. And that’s a big deal for me.”

Griffith said when people are brought into the jail they often haven’t seen a doctor in a long time and it’s not unusual to discover people have serious medical conditions when they’re screened during the intake process. It’s also not unusual to discover people who have pre-existing medical conditions haven’t been taking their prescribed medications.

Young said she isn’t done yet with her education. But she said she plans to spend some extra time being a sports mom to her kids after the months she spent juggling a fulltime job and an accelerated school program of 15 hours per semester. She started at JPS as a tech nearly 18 years ago and worked her way up to become and LVN before moving on to become an RN.

Kneisel said he’s planning to keep forging ahead with his education. His sights are set on nurse practitioners school.

“The leadership of this department has been so encouraging to all of us about getting our education,” Kneisel said. “They’ve also been very good about teaching us things we need to know on the job. It’s been a great experience here and, although I’m leaving to go to the main hospital, I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up back in this department someday.”

Currently, there are 152 fulltime Correctional Health team members with JPS and 14 part time or PRN workers. A total of 71 are RNs, 49 of them are LVNs, and seven are EMTs. There are 29 Correctional Health employees – 19 percent – currently in programs to advance their education.

 


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