Physician Assistant M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Boeve, Wallace


Throughout the United States incidence of suicide, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and drug withdrawal is increasing. Not only are these issues prevalent in the general population, but are also a regular cause of medical distress within the walls of correctional facilities (Centers for Disease Control, 2017b). At Washington County Jail, correctional officers are often the first responders in cases of medical distress (R. Heinin, personal communication, October 16th, 2018). It is for this reason that correctional officers are required to undergo mandatory training regarding medical care. The Washington County Jail Commander felt that current correctional officer training could be improved upon in order to prevent adverse medical events within the correctional facility. A needs assessment was conducted with Washington Jail Commander and Lead Nurse. Current training at the Washington County Jail consisted of a two-hour annual powerpoint covering topics of medication administration, mental health, self-injurious behavior, seizures, and diabetes. Lead Nurse and Jail Commander both expressed that suicide, cardiovascular disease, and drug withdrawal should be added to the medical distress training. An enhanced delivery method for the training was also desired to keep correctional officers engaged in learning (R. Heinin, personal communication with, October 16th, 2018). The research team was able to meet the needs of the Washington County Jail through the use of Thinkific, an online module-based learning platform. The research team not only created modules based on the previous training materials, but also created new modules centered around suicide, CVD and drug withdrawal. Utilizing the Thinkific platform the research team was able to provide the Washington County Jail with a more well-rounded, engaging, and easy to access medical distress training.

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Primary Care Commons