Advice for new student (Psych vs. DD)

  1. 0
    Hi all. I am a student nurse. I came upon this forum, and have a question. What is the difference betwee psych. nurse and DD nurse, or is DD nurse a subset of psych nurse.

    I have worked with the DD population since 1996 as an aide and as a QMRP assistant/caseworker. Very rewarding!!! Going back for my nursing forced me to leave this job and work closer to home.

    Am focusing education towards Psych, going to BSN, not sure about beyond that. Any advice/opinions?
  2. 1,933 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 5 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I just spent a year and a half working at a DD facility. Very rewarding. Unfortunately, there are no places like that to work where I moved to.

    Anyway, if most DD facilities are like mine then I should be able to tell you a little about the difference from psych...at least in my mind.

    DD is more of a home, like a nursing home but not. It is for people that are not able to take care of themselves because of profound developmental problems such as MR, autism, cerebral palsy, etc.. IMO, you do have to use more "psych" skills in a DD more than a facility like a nursing home.

    Psych, on the other hand, has more of your "mental problems". Bipolar, schizophrenia, major depression, addictions, etc. The place that I did psych clinicals for my ADN was very different than a DD. It was a "hospital" and the folks there had classes all day, along with pharmacological management to prepare them to go back into the "real world". Now, some of them have been there forever and a day but some go home eventually.

    Maybe that helps?
  5. 0
    Michelle:

    Thanks and yes, it helps. I am trying to determine exactly what kind of nursing to go into. In my area, there are no psych facilities except for short stay psych units at local hospitals. I really enjoy DD work, just wondering if it will prepare me enough for a future job in psych...
  6. 0
    Quote from Frosty
    Michelle:

    Thanks and yes, it helps. I am trying to determine exactly what kind of nursing to go into. In my area, there are no psych facilities except for short stay psych units at local hospitals. I really enjoy DD work, just wondering if it will prepare me enough for a future job in psych...
    Hello and Welcome

    Working with the DD will allow you to get good experience as a nurse once you graduate. You will have some DD with psych type problems. Maybe this will allow you to get some nursing experience and then seek a position in psych nursing.

    Good luck!!!
  7. 0
    There are many different types of jobs a DD nurse might do. For example, in my state and at least some others, the Department of Developmental Services (it may go by a different name in other states) hires nurses to assist with eligibiity assessments and ongoing service plans. Or, some of the SELPAs (Special Education Local Planning Areas, they are consortiums of school districts that pool resources and run regional programs for children that need more assistance than their neighborhood school can provide) hire nurses to assist with ensuring that children are put into appropriate placements and to oversee health aides. Then, too, there are private duty nurses for children who live at home with their family but need round the clock care. As another poster mentioned, group homes also often hire DD nurses. Now, I would disagree that psych facilitiesare always more institutional. I have seen many psych group homes that were run more like a family home, but I do understand that there are some people with mental illness that require the more secure facilities- especially for acute care. There are challenges to both types of nursing certainly. I would say that meds comprise a larger part of treatment for psych patients than for individuals with DD. Of course, that is a generalization, and each patient will be different. As one with a personal and deep interest in DDs, and autism especially, I can promise you that each day as a DD nurse will bring new experiences. I imagine the same is true of psych nursing, however. Neither specialty is for sissies!!! Good luck.
  8. 0
    Thanks for the input everyone. If I go with DD, I want to work in the institutional setting with the profound cases. They need so much, yet ask for so little....


Top