Latest Comments by jenmesh

jenmesh 3,118 Views

Joined Oct 18, '10. Posts: 90 (12% Liked) Likes: 17

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    Quote from angelalala
    I'm not a psych nurse (yet); I'm a student nurse who has a MA in psychology and have worked in wrap-around services with children like those you've described (and children on the spectrum).

    One of my first concerns about the scenario you described is the lack of a core staff: without that consistency I don't forsee the situation on that floor getting much better. Kids with behavioral problems absolutely need consistency, consistency, consistency (with staff, routine, schedule, etc). Is their day well scheduled/managed?

    You didn't mention how old these kiddos are, so it's hard to really give specific advice regarding interventions. You're already doing a good job by rewarding good behavior (depending on age I've used the things you've mentioned, stickers, books, magazines, etc). Some kids (especially younger, especially on the spectrum) may need to work on communication skills to circumvent behavioral outbursts. Are these kids on any kind of behavioral plan?

    I'm sorry, I know it's hard, especially when they throw a bunch of kids together in one place without one-on-one staff.
    The problem with the hospital is that since the program is not really that consistent, they put people in the unit, and once they see how bad the kids can get, they don't want to be in that unit anymore, so they try to put in a new one and the cycle goes on.. I guess it burns them out as well. I'm new, 3 months into the job, and I feel bad if I complain, because I'm technically a new hire. I've been trying to be pro-active by researching and asking people who have the same experience as mine.

    The kids are from 6-12 years old, which is also another problem. I've heard one time that a 7 year old mother complained because her daughter said that a 12 year old told her about "rape". However, these are things beyond our control because you can't really hear everything these kids talk about.

    I've seen that separating boys from girls work at times, and it's quieter. However, I am still trying to figure out ways how to keep them busy.

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    Hi guys,

    I have been working as a psychiatric nurse for the past couple of months, and I have to say it is a different experience. It's been good overall, with bad days being really bad, and good days being really good. LOL.

    I work in a psychiatric hospital, wherein they don't have core staff in the children's unit because of it being difficult, mostly because they are not really psych patients (psychotic, hallucinations), but more of children having behavioral problems (defiance, manipulation, anger management). Anyway, they've been putting me there maybe 3 days our of the week, and it WILL burn you out, constantly telling these kids to follow rules, then another one is cursing and throwing chairs, and one with ADHD, and it is tiring. I am learning, slowly but surely, how to deal with them by being firm, and standing my ground. I give them 2 or 3 warnings at most, 1:1 communication and if they are still uncontrollable, I then call the doctor to give them something, be it PO or IM medication.. I realized, although it might seem quite cruel, that medication surely helps, especially when one patient can trigger another, and I just try to catch one before they go berserk. All in all, it is a continuous learning experience for me, and rest assured that my husband will know what unit I've been when I look so tired when I get home.

    I would like to know, from nurses who have experience with children also, what techniques you use in order to control the kids, or what activities are useful? I've tried rewarding those with good behavior, bringing coloring materials, and renting DVD's, and still constantly thinking. What can you suggest to help our unit out? Thanks guys!

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    Hi guys, I would just like some advice.

    I am currently working as a nurse in a psychiatric facility, and though it's been good, my heart truly lies in Oncology nursing, more on a personal level because it has hit my family on so many levels.. and I would like to delve more into this field to further understand it, and to meet people also affected by it. My question is, how do I get started in this field knowing that I don't really have experience in this field? Should I just go ahead and start applying for this position, or should I take classes about it?

    Thank you!

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    I recently just started in a psych hospital, and for the first time, gave IM injections to an out of control patient. I didn't use the Z-track method, and as I retracted the needle, the medicine literally squirted out of the patient's skin. Lesson learned, will be using the Z-track from now on.

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    Hi everyone! I started last week, and it's definitely an experience. Although I believe that there's not much orientation time (2 weeks, including the floors), I had fun. I had Handle With Care, and have been in the adolescent unit for 2 days. They say that adolescents are usually one of the harder ones, even more so than adults. Tomorrow, I will be in their "intensive care" unit, and hopefully, I will be able to practice what I have learned in Handle With Care. I'm still confused as to what to do, and need a lot of supervising, but I guess I just have to learn it as I walk through it. How did you guys feel during your first few days in a psychiatric hospital?

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    mingez likes this.

    Quote from mingez
    I used to work psych as an LPN about 3 years ago, went to a stroke unit, and then was hired at a state psych hospital this month. Needless to say, a lot is coming back to me, and I am having a lot of "oh yeah" moments.

    You'll learn to notice when a patient is escalating, and your training (I'm assuming you'll receive some) will help you de-escalate using verbal techniques. Plus, if you're techs are good, they will be proximal to the patient and will/should begin de-escalation techniques. Hopefully, you are amply staffed. It's a tough job, but in a different way from critical care.

    Trust your preceptor, rely on the experienced nurses and techs, and your experience will grow. Soon, it'll be "old hat." For me, and I'm new again the hardest part has been figuring out where the supplies are, and revisiting paper charting.

    If your team is unsupportive and you don't have enough staff, that is what makes a psych facility dangerous. If there's a "Nurse who eats his young" type on the unit, that also compromises safety. Be weary of that situation. Otherwise, a good team makes psych the best specialty to work IMO!


    Enjoy the ride! You'll love it.
    I'll find out more about the facility when I have my orientation, hopefully everything will turn out fine. I can't wait, and I'm so excited!

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    Quote from astia
    I started out in a private psych hospital, I enjoyed it. I then moved on to a regular hospital and I truly hate it. I want to get out of nursing all together. Maybe if I had stayed in psych I wouldnt feel the same way. Maybe if you are passionate about nursing on a whole you'll be fine. Good luck. I have only been a nurse for 20 months
    Thank you! Are you gonna go back to Psych nursing soon?

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    Quote from sapphire18
    Let your patients know that you really care about them (even if you don't feel that way yet). Always have an open mind and put yourself in their shoes. Without at least attempting to understand them you will never connect with them. They're people too, remember that and it should help with the scared feeling. Good luck, and congrats!!
    Thanks sapphire18. That's great advice! I already know that I will have a rough first few weeks (or even months) just like in any job, but I think I'll have a great time. The scared feeling, I guess is from not knowing what they will do. I mean, you grew up with your parents telling you to be weary of people, because there are a lot of "crazy" ones out there, but now I'm actually going to start taking care of them. Honestly, it's 2 emotions at one time. Scared because of what might happen.. but at the same time, excited and curious to see how the world is in their eyes. I've always wanted to know what the story is behind these people, and I think psych nursing will really open my eyes up to the world. I guess I should expect violent tendencies at one point or another. Lol.

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    Hi everyone!

    I've been a graduate of Nursing since 09, but just recently licensed. I am going to start my first job here in the US in a private psych hospital. Best to say that I am very excited, although on the other hand, and same amount of emotion, I am quite scared and nervous. This is my first real nursing experience, and I can't believe that I actually got in the hospital. Psych really isn't my first choice (sorry to those who love Psych), although I don't entirely hate it either. I accepted it because it was the first hospital to call back to offer me a job, and I figured it's a way to get my foot in the door, and if eventually I fell in love with it, then it's a good decision, or if not, then it's a lesson learned. I've always leaned towards critical care, although I think all new grads/inexperienced nurses are. My only exposure in a psych unit was for 2 weeks. I had fun, although I had a hard time understanding and connecting with my patient, literally and figuratively.

    Anyway, I just wanted to share what I'm feeling and I guess the question I want to ask is what advice do you give to someone who is newly entering the field? Was psych your first choice? What do you love/hate about it? How do you become an effective psych nurse, and what could I possibly expect?

    Thanks for all your input guys. I am totally open-minded to all your advice or criticisms. I am very eager to learn.

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    Quote from Dumplins
    keep an eye out for what the hospital's criteria is qualifying you as a "new grad". some say it has to be less than 6 months from your graduation date. some say you have to have less than 12 months of work experience as an RN. it varies.

    i recently got declined of a residency. they were looking for december2011 graduates only and i graduated august 2011....
    i asked them if there was any way they could make an exception. didnt work out...
    Now that I think about it, I doubt I'll get in. I've been a grad since 09, but no paid RN job as of yet. However, I've been offered already a full time job, so if I take that, then I won't be able to take the residency programs. It would've been good to jumpstart my career though, but any paying job I'll take right now. Anyway, I called the hospital with the residency... They said they received 400+ applications but will only be accepting 10. I'm like, "OMG." Lol

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    Quote from racs09_RN
    Would you mind mentioning the name of the Hospital that youv'e applied to.. im looking for RN residency programs.. thanks
    There are a lot of residencies available here in SoCal. Just google "RN Residencies in South California" or "Versant RN program", and something should come out. There will be a lot of residencies this coming summer, and applications should be accepted around March-April. Check websites of UCLA, Children's Hospital La and OC, and others more. Google it, I'm sure you'll see it.

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    Well, I had training in the Philippines. That was 2 years ago. "Training" meant I had to pay $200 (which was a lot of money in that country), for 3 months of training. "Training" there meant I worked as a regular nurse, and the staff were super eager to give me all their responsibilities which I absolutely hated. So, basically, I paid them, I don't get any salary and I do all their jobs. That was my hands-on training.. But, I liked dialysis, so I endured it... Hopefully, I'll be able to have the opportunity to continue that here.

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    I am extremely interested in Dialysis, although I guess you can consider me as a new grad. However, I've had 3 months hands-on extensive training in hemodialysis that I thoroughly enjoyed.. I've tried applying for DaVita and Fresenius, as they are 2 big names in dialysis, but I haven't gotten a call back from them.. Are there any other options I can do to jump start my career in dialysis? How did you start out your career in this field? I actually have a job offer in a psychiatric hospital, which I'm probably going to take, although I still have my eyes open for dialysis.

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    Thanks guys! My instinct kinda tells me to go ahead and take it, because I'd never know unless I try. Plus, it's something out of the ordinary. I already know I'd have my down days in this area because I'd find it difficult, and I have not much experience, but what the heck. However, I haven't had the orientation yet, so maybe after that is where I'll make my final decision.

    On the other hand, a few hours ago, I was offered another job at a Post-acute rehabilitation center. I guess it's more up my alley, though I would think salary is lower. Also, it's part-time, on call nights. The psychiatric job is full time PM, so I was thinking of doing it both at the same time. However, I still don't know the schedules as the details are still quite vague. ARGH!!!! When you want something, God gives it to you, but then along with it comes hard decisions. I can't complain though.. Any help or advice? I'm sorry if I sound like I'm complaining or something, I'm not.. I'm just trying to ask for advice on a decision about my career, and I know only you guys will be able to help me out.

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    Hi guys,

    I know I'm very lucky to be offered a full time job. This is going to be my first real RN job, and I'm quite excited about it! Anyway, Del Amo Hospital called earlier and offered me a full time job. The catch is, it's a psychiatric hospital. I really don't mind, but it's not really high up on my interests.. Do you think I should just go ahead and take it? I read a lot in this forum telling people not to be picky, so should I go ahead and try it first? I don't know if I should wait for other offers, because i've been job hunting for a long time. Any thoughts on this matter?


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