Physician Assistant M.S.

Number of Pages


Year Approved


First Advisor

Goetz, Cynthia

Second Reader

Steve Labatt


According to Minnesota law, inmates and detainees have a right to physical and mental health care services (Correctional Health and Local Public Health Work Group, 2007). However, a needs assessment completed with Washington County Jail determined that there is a potentially dangerous gap during the intake process wherein detainees who are awaiting formal booking may experience a medical emergency before their full medical history is known (R. Heinen, personal communication, September 29, 2021). Therefore, the research team worked to develop a curriculum for Correctional Officers in order to better prepare them to recognize and respond to medical emergencies in detainees, thus bridging this gap in the booking process. Jail Commander Roger Heinen identified the three most prevalent medical emergencies that may occur within the booking area as diabetic emergencies, head injuries, and drug ingestion or overdose. A 28-lesson online training course was created through a web-based learning platform called Thinkific, as well as supplementary posters to be hung within Washington County Jail. By providing these additional materials, the research team was able to enrich the training provided for Correctional Officers while increasing access to medical care for the often underserved prison population.

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis