I am a male Pharmacy Technician who works in a psych hospital and going to nursing school
We have as of right now (male RNs):
2 staff RNs
and 2 Male Nurse Managers, both of whom work in adolescent.
As a Mental Health Tech your right in the line of fire, your pretty much what Nursing Assistant would be in a long term care environment.
As far as what a Psych nurse does (from my observations):
Typical day of a med nurse:
1. Comes in for pre-shift meeting (Eg Patient Smith in Room 2 is totally psychotic, he is taking Thorazine, etc. etc.)
2. Goes over Medication Administration Sheets with MD, and Nurse Manager.
3. Sends orders to Pharmacy and or checks floor stock. Orders from Pharmacy.
4. Gives out meds to patients, at med time
5. In between this reorders meds, takes notes on patients medication, and assists other nurses with psych notes and patient issues (Restraints, social work, etc. discharge/admits/transfers/a million other things).
Best advice to you is if you get along with your Nurse Manager (where I work the Mental Health Tech's Boss is the Nurse Manager). Try to shadow them for a day. Might be hard though if it is your home unit, since Mental Health Techs are ALWAYS in short supply as are Nurses.
Most nurses I work with the experienced ones have other jobs in other settings to maintain other nursing skills.