I think the article is excellent, and everything is true. I have always loved Psych nursing and my first hire after graduation was at a state run psych hospital. The state run facilities here are having somewhat of a bad reputation.
I am note from here originally so I don't have a lot of history as to why that is, but I do know some different situations that happened and although I didn't take the job because I got hired at the hospital on a med/surg unit (I felt I should have med/surg experience before doing anything else),
I did do a rotation during nursing school at this facility. In retrospect I feel I made the right choice, but I do feel I would have been happier at the psych facility. Everyone here that is associated with this psych facility immediately gets "the look". There is a bad association between the people that work there and the patients...what I mean is that a lot of people have noticed that some of the people who work at this facility seem to be just as "crazy" as the patients. (Yes I know that word is not supposed to be used in regard to the psych setting).
I had considered applying to this facility last year after 2 years med/surg experience but then I had talked to other people and found out that this facility can force you to stay another shift when they are short (which happens a lot from what I am told). I would not be able to do this as I am a single parent and can't leave my kids for 16 hours.
Also, while working at the hospital, one of my patients that I had was an RN who had worked at the facility. She had been beaten so badly that she had to be hospitalized and has PTSD now and chronic pain. Apparently this same individual caused a huge amount of financial damage to the E.D. six months before at our facility (the individual who beat the nurse). This is from everyone I worked with at the hospital I worked with as apparently when this nurse got beat up it was big news. (I am not from here originally).
According to the nurse, (my patient), this individual also had been in the prison but the court determined that he was insane so they put him in to the psych facility. He had killed his wife and 2 children. This situation made me seriously re-examine any thoughts of going in to a major psych facility.
The facility police are not allowed to carry guns or weapons and everything was on lock-down. By the time the county police arrived this nurse was unconscious and the patient had beaten up 3 aids already. No one would assist or come to the floor to aid this situation and everything was on camera. (Yes this RN has legal proceedings against the facility).
I also see the training they do and they do not allow you to use force on the patients because of all the horrible things that have happened to psych patients by people who shouldn't be allowed to work with these patients. I feel like the nurse has little power over situations like the one I am mentioning and therefore, you have to consider that every day you go to work you are potentially putting your life at risk.
This is coming from someone who likes, even loves psych nursing, who is very close to having a degree in Social Work with a minor in Criminal Justice but chose nursing instead. I am not the nursing student who hid in the nurses station at this facility during clinical. In fact, we were not allowed IN the nurses station at all. (We also never saw an RN in this facility that WASN'T in the nurses station).
The only people we interacted with were the "techs" and the patients themselves. I truly loved this experience, it was my favorite nursing experience other than my internship at a wonderful Hospice facility. BTW, this is the same facility that a patient was on camera, dead in a chair for 1 or 2 days before ANYONE realized he was dead. My feeling are mixed about this area of nursing now. I know I would be excellent at it, but after seeing and hearing these stories in my community I am actually more afraid of it than I ever was. Its a disheartening feeling.