The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 19, 2009
    Posts
    1,030

    Default Nursing? Specifically psychiatric nursing?

    Is anyone here a psychiatric nurse, or do you know of one? This is what I want to study in as soon as I graduate this year. I am really into clinical psychology, but I can't see myself being in school for 6-8 more years to become a psychologist or psychiatrist. At least not right now.

    Also, is anyone here a nurse? Rewarding? Tough? I wanna hear all about it. I'd really love to be a nurse for pets, specifically horses (as much as they worry me when they get hurt, I love doing the recovery work), but an RN is always in demand!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2005
    Posts
    1,655

    Default

    I'm a tech in emergency psychiatry, going to school for nursing and will most likely stay in psych nursing (I also have a masters in counseling).

    I don't know how to compare it to "the other half" (ie medical nursing), but I like it.

    It can be hard, though. In medicine, when you do something in someone's best interest, the patient and family are probably pretty thankful, maybe have a little tear of joy, get along with you. In psychiatry, sometimes doing something in someone's best interest get chairs thrown at you and family assaulting you. But last night I had a wonderfully rewarding experience where I helped a very upset family move from hostile to cooperative by talking them through their own issues with the situation.

    Real psych emergency doesn't have much to do with clinical psychology, in my humble opinion. It's a good foundation, sure, but if you like school clinical psych, you'd probably like research or something more like counseling. Abnormal psychology is what is more like psych nursing. And, even then, in the real setting it's different.

    I have been spit on, hit, kicked, bit, verbally assaulted, threatened. I have had coworkers stalked. Just the other day an NP got beat in the face with a phone by a patient- it came out of nowhere. Now the nurse has stitches in his face and the patient has felony assault charges.

    You can't disclose as much about yourself as you can in more medical settings- they nature of psych patients requires stricter boundaries, in my opinion.

    I have very little experience with inpatient units, though, or state hospitals, youth residential facilities, inpatient substance abuse treatment, or outpatient psych nursing, so I can't say what those are like.

    I'm not sure that I find psych nursing any more "rewarding" than I would other fields, but I DO know that I'm good at it and I "get" the people. I have a lot of patience and empathy, and I am in a really good position with my masters degree to also understand the etiology and treatment of mental illness. I have always had excellent verbal skills, even as a child, and I have been able to fine-tune how I communicate to maximize the interaction with the person in front of me. I learned that from a coworker- be a communication chameleon.

    I'm happy to talk more with you if you want! Your psych nursing rotation probably won't be as long as maybe other rotations so if you really think you want to do this, talk to your professors about any other opportunities you can have to see it from all angles!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2009
    Posts
    686

    Default

    I posted the other post about nurses, and I want to do pediatrics, but I am also thinking about phsyc. I took Intro to Phsyc in Highschool and thought it was also very intresting.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 11, 2009
    Posts
    201

    Default

    I know two. One runs a youth lockdown type psych facility and the other is a former ER RN who now works at same facility. Her only interaction with patients is evaluations after fights, day trips home or when something else happens requiring a medical once over. She is not a fan. The other one who runs the facility does a lot more in terms of treatment and working with the kids. He loves it. But he also paid his dues, had a lot of continuing education after his RN, and it took him about 30 years to get where he is.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
    Posts
    30,962

    Default

    My mom retired from nursing and being the head nurse of a large hospital.

    You never know what the day will bring. Yes, you will take some hits, but they are generally not personal, just a thing of the current episode (though there are others, like the forensic types)

    Good bedside manner sometimes consists of rolling up the sleaves. Physical involvement is to be expected. (My mom had her staff train in hands on martial arts so they could be more effective and safe dealing with an acute spazzed out patient. Do put that on your list as well. Not a whimpy SD course from the Y, but a real Martial Art the law enforcement folks train! You are likely to need it)

    She enjoyed it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2010
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    2,561

    Default

    Took my nursing training in Tacoma, WA at a now closed 3 year diploma school. Our psych rotation was three months living on campus at the state hospital....very scarey in some moments and always interesting. (the scarey part included having to walk through the hospital cemetery in the evening...we did fall/winter rotation there so it was dark early and it was an old hospital...think of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest!...and the cemetery wasn't kept up very well). After graduation I put in 27 years in nursing with a lot of it in ER in smaller communities where there wasn't any mental health facilities. Also did a couple years working in a private facility in the Portland, Ore. area...worked on a locked floor that handled a weird assortment of openly psychotic patients, neurotic housewives, drug addiction/withdrawal people and the (at that time) only pediatric psychiatric unit in the area.... it was seriously bizarre. Did learn great interview techniques (and seemed to have an aptitude for it)...absolutely nothing embarrasses me any longer. Also learned to be very wary of out of control schizophrenics....got tracked to our home one night and things got a lot hairy (my DH was also working there, MSW). Have also worked in the jail system where many of the residents have pretty blatant psych problems. Medical/surgical had it's fair share of strange behaviors and truly sick people as well....and so do hospital administrations. Finally burned out.....had been attacked, spit on, held up at knife point for drugs, had administration fail to back up staff and put us at risk for all kinds of things, docs that had no clue what we could do/not do and a lot of stuff that just finally got to be too much to deal with any longer. Boundaries are especially important in psych (and when the residents begin sounding more sensible than the staff it's time to get out!).

    Good luck with your choice...it is very interesting and certainly challenging. There are great highs and great lows as well. Make sure you set up a non-medical/nursing support system and have a life outside of work...it is very easy to get sucked into doing a lot more than you should for your own mental health.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
    Posts
    1,127

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Crown Royal View Post
    Is anyone here a psychiatric nurse, or do you know of one? This is what I want to study in as soon as I graduate this year. I am really into clinical psychology, but I can't see myself being in school for 6-8 more years to become a psychologist or psychiatrist. At least not right now.

    Also, is anyone here a nurse? Rewarding? Tough? I wanna hear all about it. I'd really love to be a nurse for pets, specifically horses (as much as they worry me when they get hurt, I love doing the recovery work), but an RN is always in demand!
    I'm a nurse and I will be the first to tell you not to believe the media- there is no general nursing shortage in America. New grads are having a VERY hard time finding work.

    Nursing is inherently very different from the work of psychologist or social worker. What about nursing attracts you to the field? I think you should first want to be a nurse, then want to be a psych nurse, not the other way around. I wouldn't compare psychology to nursing, even though a nurse does need skills and knowledge of psychology to do his/her job. You get psych patients in any part of nursing you go in. (Many times, in my case, they aren't always my favorite patients They're very challenging and when you're a nurse, you're chronically short on time and any type of 'crisis' isn't exactly welcomed with open arms.

    You could however, get your BSN, work wherever med/surg, get experience and then go on to getting your psychiatric ARNP- Masters level nursing. That way you could be fulfilling your desire to become a psychiatric professional without having to go to school straight through. But, you have to like general nursing to do that! What do you think?



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 20, 2008
    Posts
    625

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Crown Royal View Post
    Is anyone here a psychiatric nurse, or do you know of one? This is what I want to study in as soon as I graduate this year. I am really into clinical psychology, but I can't see myself being in school for 6-8 more years to become a psychologist or psychiatrist. At least not right now.

    Also, is anyone here a nurse? Rewarding? Tough? I wanna hear all about it. I'd really love to be a nurse for pets, specifically horses (as much as they worry me when they get hurt, I love doing the recovery work), but an RN is always in demand!
    I was a psych tech for a state institution for awhile. It was by far my favorite job. It was the most rewarding experience I have ever had. One thing you need to keep in mind though is that it can be taxing. Often you see the same patients come and go. You get them well and discharge them only to know that they will be back again. That gets really tough. Also, some cases can really get to you. You have to be able to keep yourself emotionally detached to a point.

    BUT...there are those times when you know that you have had an impact on someone, that you helped, even if it is only for a short time. It is those moments that make you keep doing the job. I'll never forget those moments when I know I was able to help.

    The other complaint that I heard often at the job was the danger of the work. Honestly, that never bugged me. I loved all the "blue lights" (emergency situations where you drop everything and run to help) and I found that I handled those situations really well. I actually had a patient try to murder me while in a car with him. It was scary but it never made me want to quit. Just something to keep in mind about the job.

    If you can go volunteer at a psych hospital. It gives you great insight and gives you a feel for what it is like. If you have any questions let me know!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2010
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    2,352

    Default

    I worked in a hospital with several psych RNs and it was interesting - we all had the same basic training, and we all had our own patients, but they could dispense meds, which really helped when a psychiatrist was unavailable! I worked on a PHP unit, and having psych RN's on the floor was nice when I needed certain paperwork signed. I think most of the ones I worked with preferred the counseling aspect of their jobs, but I could be wrong.

    I think it depends on your personality, your goals and dreams. See if you can shadow a psych RN - this may help more than you would expect!

    Oh, and like Jaideux, I've had all sorts of things thrown at me. I've been threatened by some pretty bad people, but all in all, I love my job. I did get injured by a patient, and have chosen to leave the hospital setting for good. It was very enlightening, educational and amazing, but I am looking very much forward to private group practice!!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 18, 2002
    Posts
    441

    Default

    I am not a nurse. However, aging myself a bit here but, I walked on to a locked adult psychiatric unit for the first time as a student in 1978. Today I work in both in and outpatient programs. Over the years I’ve worked in health care policy research, secular advocacy agencies and in local churches. In each place I have worked with amazing nurses. I tell anyone who will listen that if I could do my career over again I’d start as a nurse; I’d still do what I’m doing now, but I would have started my career path as a bedside nurse.

    In the psychiatric hospital nurses work long hours, often with difficult patients who often seem to make little improvement; they listen to complaints, pass meds, sometimes help very sick people manage violent behaviors, and sometimes make decisions impacting everyone’s safety as they manage an explosive and violent milieus. They get little thanks for all this but are privileged to care for people most others in society fear or for which most have little time and understanding. Some of these they know and care for for years and years. I’ve had former patients call the unit from their hospice beds to talk with psych nurses they’ve known for years. I've gone on hospice visits with those nurses. (And lets not forget hospice nurses.)

    I have some nurse friends with IT backgrounds who are nursing informatics specialist designing and supporting/maintaining computerized medical charting systems.

    Some nurses, with advanced degrees, work in university or agency settings as researchers and policy advocates. I once worked with a nurse PhD in Public Health who was the nation’s leading expert on the health care needs immigrant women from countries which practice female circumcision.

    Other nurses I’ve worked with served in social service agencies implementing and managing programs which served older people and women and children.

    Some have been experts in psychiatric meds for mom and unborn children, advising psychiatrists and OBs on the safest ways to medicate pregnant patients. Then I cannot forget the RNs tuned midwives….

    In the parish, I’ve worked with nurses who are also trained in pastoral care and give emotional and spiritual care, along with basic wellness care, to members of the congregation and the local community.

    My PhD level clinical supervisor in an advanced training program in religion and psychotherapy started her career as a bedside nurse.

    And my cousin who started her career as an Emergency Dept nurse, switching to psych nursing after being on duty at Cook Co Hospital during the 1968 National Democratic Convention riots, has for years helped cancer survivors manage pain through the use of imaging and biofeedback in private practice.

    So much for my ode to nursing. Hope you get from it that an RN can lead you almost anywhere you want to go and will serve you well in a variety of disciplines and career settings. It will also open the door for you to change lives and the world for the good. Good luck to you in your decision making.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2005
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4,332

    Default

    I'm a new grad LPN and I'm working at a psych facility. I worked there first as a tech. It is a locked facility, but wouldn't call it "true psych" because we don't have really psychotic patients most of the time. It's more chemical dependence, and also units for children and adolescents with behavior problems, sexually acting out young girls, and a military unit (mostly PTSD).

    I think RN would be a good starting point if you want to work in psych and make decent money, but be forewarned, nursing school is not easy and takes up basically all of your time for at least 2 years. For a taste of psych, try to get a job as a mental health tech at a local facility. You'll be able to see what it's all about and also talk with other mental health professionals to see what their jobs entail.

    I was just remarking to DH the other day how I say things now that weren't in my working vocabulary before- such as "making good decisions", "coping skills", and "inappropriate".



Similar Threads

  1. Nursing degrees....
    By Kaytaz86 in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: Nov. 2, 2011, 12:49 AM
  2. Second Degree in Nursing?
    By SFrost in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: Oct. 8, 2011, 02:25 PM
  3. Second Degree in Nursing?
    By SFrost in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Sep. 6, 2011, 07:45 PM
  4. Nursing and tattoos?
    By didgery in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Nov. 26, 2009, 07:51 PM
  5. Nursing & horses
    By M.K.Smith in forum Off Course
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: Aug. 3, 2009, 10:27 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •