Excited for psych clinical!! - page 4

by decembergrad2011 | 12,585 Views | 37 Comments

I'm getting ready to go into my FIFTH semester of my BSN program (Hallelujah, right?!) and it's psychiatric nursing and public health. While I like public health, I'm absolutely in love with the idea of psych nursing, and I've... Read More


  1. 0
    Though I went right into psych and do not regret it I would encourage you to get one year med/surg experience first, I have worked a pediatric home health case that was very much medial and my psych experience gave me an edge on helping the family cope with a dying infant. Now that I am looking for a new postition the lack of med/surg experience may make it more difficult for me to find the postition that I want but I am still confident that I will find what I am looking for, always remember that the more exeperinece that you have in any area of nursing makes you more marketalbe.
  2. 0
    I have psych next semester too and I am SOOOOOOOO excited! Psych is the area of nursing I feel most drawn to as well. I can't wait!
  3. 0
    Quote from ImThatGuy
    So what you just had random, forced conversations? Yeah, I wouldn't enjoy that either.
    Yes!!!
  4. 0
    i do my psych rotation the last 8 weeks of this coming semester, and I can't wait either. It is where i want to end up!
  5. 2
    Quote from ImThatGuy
    So what you just had random, forced conversations? Yeah, I wouldn't enjoy that either.
    I wouldn't enjoy that, either. However, students are not in psych clinical to have "random, forced conversations" -- you're there to learn about psychiatric illnesses, common, related problems experienced by individuals with those illnesses (there are lots of social issues connected with psychiatric illness), the nursing role and interventions in psychiatric settings (inc. milieu management, safety concerns, crisis intervention, leading groups, etc.), medications and other treatments used in psychiatric treatments, and to practice and develop your empathy and therapeutic communication skills which you will need throughout your career in any of nursing in which you choose to work.

    As someone who has been a psych nurse for years and has taught psych nursing in ADN and BSN programs, I firmly believe that students get out of psych clinical exactly as much or as little as they choose to. If someone goes into it expecting it to be a waste of time and expecting to not learn anything, s/he probably isn't going to learn anything. If students recognize it for the significant learning opportunity that it can be and take full advantage of that, they can learn a great deal that they can apply in every area of their life, personal as well as professional.

    I have struggled, as an instructor, with facilities not allowing students to do "hands-on" nursing care in psych settings (although, in the places I've done clinicals, students were certainly welcome to assist with VS ). Those limitations are established by the clinical facilities, not the nursing programs. On the other hand, you get plenty of opportunities as a nursing student to give pills, do physical assessments, etc., in other clinical settings. Psych is pretty much the only rotation where you have the opportunity to (and, indeed, are expected to) spend extended lengths of time interacting with clients, and therapeutic communication is the nursing skill (and it very much is a skill) you are focusing on in that rotation. If your interaction in psych clinical is "random ... converation," you're wasting your clinical time (and a good psych instructor will get after you for that ) -- every interaction/conversation you have with a client in psych clinical should have a goal/purpose (even if that goal is only to improve your skills, rather than provide any particular benefit to the client -- however, most psych clients are v. appreciative of the extra attention they get when students are on a unit; that, in itself, can be considered a benefit) and a plan, same as any other nursing intervention in any other clinical setting.

    I encourage all students to keep an open mind about your psychiatric rotation. I've frequently had the experience (as an instructor) that the students who sought me out in advance to tell me how interested they were in psych and how much they were looking forward to the rotation ended up not liking it at all, and the students who said they were dreading the rotation and knew they weren't going to like it often ended up being the students who most enjoyed it. There is a lot of valuable stuff to be learned, if you just remain open to doing so. Best wishes!
    CuriousMe and Meriwhen like this.
  6. 0
    Quote from elkpark
    I wouldn't enjoy that, either. However, students are not in psych clinical to have "random, forced conversations" -- you're there to learn about psychiatric illnesses, common, related problems experienced by individuals with those illnesses (there are lots of social issues connected with psychiatric illness), the nursing role and interventions in psychiatric settings (inc. milieu management, safety concerns, crisis intervention, leading groups, etc.), medications and other treatments used in psychiatric treatments, and to practice and develop your empathy and therapeutic communication skills which you will need throughout your career in any of nursing in which you choose to work.

    As someone who has been a psych nurse for years and has taught psych nursing in ADN and BSN programs, I firmly believe that students get out of psych clinical exactly as much or as little as they choose to. If someone goes into it expecting it to be a waste of time and expecting to not learn anything, s/he probably isn't going to learn anything. If students recognize it for the significant learning opportunity that it can be and take full advantage of that, they can learn a great deal that they can apply in every area of their life, personal as well as professional.

    I have struggled, as an instructor, with facilities not allowing students to do "hands-on" nursing care in psych settings (although, in the places I've done clinicals, students were certainly welcome to assist with VS ). Those limitations are established by the clinical facilities, not the nursing programs. On the other hand, you get plenty of opportunities as a nursing student to give pills, do physical assessments, etc., in other clinical settings. Psych is pretty much the only rotation where you have the opportunity to (and, indeed, are expected to) spend extended lengths of time interacting with clients, and therapeutic communication is the nursing skill (and it very much is a skill) you are focusing on in that rotation. If your interaction in psych clinical is "random ... converation," you're wasting your clinical time (and a good psych instructor will get after you for that ) -- every interaction/conversation you have with a client in psych clinical should have a goal/purpose (even if that goal is only to improve your skills, rather than provide any particular benefit to the client -- however, most psych clients are v. appreciative of the extra attention they get when students are on a unit; that, in itself, can be considered a benefit) and a plan, same as any other nursing intervention in any other clinical setting.

    I encourage all students to keep an open mind about your psychiatric rotation. I've frequently had the experience (as an instructor) that the students who sought me out in advance to tell me how interested they were in psych and how much they were looking forward to the rotation ended up not liking it at all, and the students who said they were dreading the rotation and knew they weren't going to like it often ended up being the students who most enjoyed it. There is a lot of valuable stuff to be learned, if you just remain open to doing so. Best wishes!

    The bolded part sums it all up!
  7. 0
    Sorry to revive an old thread, but my psychiatric in-patient clinical rotation is over now. Kind of sad it's over! I really enjoyed it.

    I wanted to talk about my experience a bit:

    I was able to do a lot of things and see a biiiiig variety of patients. Schizophrenia, bipolar, a couple personality disorders, lots of substance abuse, and lots of sad stories. There was an adolescent unit and I spent a couple of days over there. I got to lead a group and I accompanied patients to groups and participated at times. I did a lot of therapeutic communication, and I actually did a bit of psychotherapy with a couple of my patients. Lots of goal setting with the patient, and it was cool to see patients optimistic about making better lifestyle choices and getting back on track with meds.

    The only patient I felt very uncomfortable engaging was a patient with schizophrenia having very bad auditory and visual hallucinations. I took her after report trying to be proactive, but totally fudged up my attempts to communicate because I was scared of freaking her out or her thinking I was a hallucination. I'm sure my anxiety transferred over to her. It makes me want to jump back on that horse and talk to more patients with schizophrenia in the future though

    My next part of the psych clinical is outpatient and we do groups and otherwise psych interventions in a community setting. Looking forward to see what this will be like. I have kids ages 6-13 in my outpatient setting, so we are doing lots of art therapy
  8. 0
    Psych rotation was the worse experience ever. I hated everything about it, now I know that it is not for me. So depressing and I hate sitting down all day. It was hard for me to keep a conversation going, especially when the stories were not real. God bless psych nurses!!!


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