Bad clinical experience in psych

  1. Working the past two weeks on the psych unit with two patients. One was depressed and suicidal, they discharged her today and she was almost in tears. The other a long term schizoaffective, worse today than he was when I picked him up as a patient. It's been two weeks where I thought I did all the stuff the textbooks told me to, and I feel like I had no therapeutic effect on anyone. I'm so tired of trying to redirect and reorient someone who isn't listening to me anymore. Just griping for stress relief anyways. Beers on me tomorrow cause I'm done for the summer! :hatparty:
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Carolanne
    Psych nursing can be frustrating. I saw a lot of the revolving door effect during my rotation, people returning within the short seven weeks that we were there. They appear to cooperate with the treatment while in the hospital, go through the motions and the group therapy, and then are discharged and hook up with the same bad habits all over again. It's quite an interesting challenge to work with these patients.
  4. by   Larry77
    That's why psych isn't for everyone....a whole different ballgame.

    Thankfully I LOVE it, and wish we had more than 6 weeks of it for our rotation.

    Psych nurse in the making,
    Larry
  5. by   RN-BamaStudent
    I hated my first psych rotation, and never wanted to go back, but now I've decided to be a psych nurse! It isn't for everyone, but it's something I'm drawn to.
  6. by   dwag
    Your experience is not uncommon. In the past I have worked in a state psychiatric institute for 2 years and the only advice I can give is to use your book but don't depend on it. Every individual is different - and every individual will probably respond to treatment differently. Psychiatric nursing can be extremely frustrating but it also can be rewarding. When you finally realize what works with one particular patient it is truly amazing. The thing that makes psych nursing so challenging is how dynamic each individual is and how the same disorder can manifest itself differently in different individuals. My advice to you is instead of looking at the client and comparing them to your text - look at them as a person and see what they respond to. You may be surprised. With regards to reorientation - this probably depends upon where the client is in their treatment program. Our psych text books advocate constant reorientation - but you are absolutely right, for some this not affective. Again, look at the patient as a human being not at schizoaffective and see what helps them individually.
  7. by   Katnip
    Our instructor warned us right from the start. There is no way you're going to have any real and lasting impact when you're with the patient for such a short time. We had one day a week for 14 weeks. These are very ill people who will not be helped in a few weeks, maybe not even years. So don't beat yourself up over it.
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Hated my psych rotation, and that's one field i didn't like. Maybe it was just that particular facility or something. There was so much paperwork and crap, rarely did the nurse ge to talk to the pt.
  9. by   PCGrad06
    I hope you have better experiences as you continue on this sometimes rough and rocky road. But in the end you will be a better nurse for it. Keep your chin up

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