Psych- What is it like?

  1. I am about to start my psych rotation at an imfamous "mental hospital" and am curious what it will be like. I am very nervous, not sure how to communicate with those with mental illness, not sure if I might say the wrong thing. Plus, what kind of care will I be giving? Besides meds, these people do not have physical things to watch out for as much and I wonder what I will be doing all day. Any ideas? Any misconceptions I have that should be cleared up??

    Edited to Add: I also hear manipulation by patients can be a challenge. How can I avoid this??
    Last edit by ferfer on Apr 28, '04
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   cnyrn
    during my rotation in a large city hospital- lock down floor, I found most of the patients were delighted to have someone new to talk to, and they will tell you ANYTHING!
  4. by   leslie :-D
    i too worked in a locked up unit. i guess psyche wasn't my strength because my instructor was ALWAYS correcting me. i remember there was a very sick young man with end stage AIDS w/its associated dementia; he was convinced he was pregnant and that someone from another planet was going to take his baby (as he frantically shook his finger to the ceiling)..i passionately and earnestly reassured him that NO ONE would harm his baby and he was SO reassured by that. well my instructor was appalled at my behavior, started ranting about me enabling him, reorienting him with "my name is leslie and i'm a student nurse and you are here in...blah blah blah". another time when we had to pick a pt. as a case study, i was going after this pt. that no one else ever had picked because the staff said he was too dangerous...chronic paranoid schizophrenic. well, i got the staff to approve of me studying 'Jim'....jim looked at me and said "you're one of the good guys" (Jim had killed his mother, wife and children). i responded with "yes i am". well wouldn't you know it..............my instructor who came out of who knows where (she made ME paranoid) pulls me aside and again, said i was enabling him, redirect, reorient, blah, blah blah. i eventually was removed from that unit because of too much 'enabling'. how in hell do you reorient someone that is SO far gone????? to this day when i deal with demented pts., i am not going to upset them by telling them some of the harsher truths in life. anyway, don't be afraid. there's plenty of male staff around that are always keeping an eye on things. peace and best of luck.
  5. by   Carleigh
    Quote from ferfer
    I am about to start my psych rotation at an imfamous "mental hospital" and am curious what it will be like. I am very nervous, not sure how to communicate with those with mental illness, not sure if I might say the wrong thing. Plus, what kind of care will I be giving? Besides meds, these people do not have physical things to watch out for as much and I wonder what I will be doing all day. Any ideas? Any misconceptions I have that should be cleared up??
    I think most of us in my class felt some anxiety about going to our state mental hospital. It turned out to be a very good experience. Most of the patients look forward to having a new face to talk to. Many patients have had productive lives and are well-educated. Unfortunately their mental illness is a constant challenge to them. I find it very sad. "There but for the grace of God go I". It could happen to anyone. We were not allowed to dispense meds but interact and practice our "therapeutic communication" skills. Just remember to observe, observe, observe for any potential hazards and never turn your back on a patient or get cornered in a room. Some of my classmates actually decided to specialize in Psych nursing after our rotation. Good luck!
  6. by   newgrad2004
    I thought psych was fun. I was nervous. One thing dont wear any necklaces or the name tags with the cord that you can pull on. I agree they will tell you anything and dont believe all they tell you. But they are happy to have you there and a new person to tell things to. When I went we didnt give meds they stood in a med pass line for that. You just follow them thru their day. To classes and group and just sit and talk to them. Its pretty laid back. Most Pts wont harm you but make sure you listen to report so you know a little background on this person. They have no shame and will tell you everything you need to know and everything you didnt want to know. Its amazing.

    I did hear of a lil old guy asking a girl in the med line to give him some oral sex and her being compliant.....(Im glad to say I wasnt there at the time just heard about it in group) Also same lil old guy nearly getting his butt kicked for being a little too friendly with the male clients too. (I did see this, wow) So yes strange things happen. They are much like kids, childlike sometimes and dont realize when things are inappropriate. Oh this also was the long term facility. the short term facility was a bit different since they didnt get a chance to really know the other clients, but those people in short term are usually in some crisis. Long term is long standing.

    I must say psych interested me a lot more after going to the hospital.
    Every day is different, and a lot to see and hear.

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