Psyc Nursing

  1. What are you thoughts on Psyc nursing? I worked as a Mental Health Tech. It's what got me into thinking about nursing as a career choice.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   drmorton2b
    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.
  4. by   Liambada
    I'm in my psych rotation now. Honestly, I don't see the use. It seems MHW and PCTs are doing most of the down and dirty one to one care. As a nurse, you get the theory but the only REAL purpose you seem to serve is handing out meds and writing care plans.

    I am SO disillusioned with the RN role in psych! I thought this would be where nurses could really use all the psychosocial tools at their disposal to make a difference. Instead we are victims of managed care.

    Please do NOT misinterpret this as a slight against MHW or PCTs. They are amazing at what they do, I just wish WE could have a more meaty role in care.

    Liam
  5. by   drmorton2b
    Quote from Liambada
    I'm in my psych rotation now. Honestly, I don't see the use. It seems MHW and PCTs are doing most of the down and dirty one to one care. As a nurse, you get the theory but the only REAL purpose you seem to serve is handing out meds and writing care plans.

    I am SO disillusioned with the RN role in psych! I thought this would be where nurses could really use all the psychosocial tools at their disposal to make a difference. Instead we are victims of managed care.

    Please do NOT misinterpret this as a slight against MHW or PCTs. They are amazing at what they do, I just wish WE could have a more meaty role in care.

    Liam
    I partially agree with what you are saying. A majority of the time this seems to be true, hence the reason why a lot of the younger nurses have another job in say the ER at an Acute Care Hospital. However, I have seen instances when one great nurse who has been a nurse forever, by using her repore (spelling) and was able to convince patients deemed impossible to convince to take their meds. Its like any other thing with managed care, all I can say is be the best you can be, treat people they way you want to be treated, and most of all cover your behind.
  6. by   Larry77
    I enjoyed working on an acute care psych unit as a tech (CNA/secretary) much more than I enjoyed it as a nurse. Basically as a nurse all you have time to do is pop pills and chart...very little actual interaction with the patients.

    Also I've had a lot of issues with other nurses being burned out after working for 20+ years on psych feeling like they can't work anywhere else because they haven't started an IV in 15 years and have no idea how to organize a med pass of 20 meds on 7 different patient with drsg changes on 4 of them.

    I still have a real love for psych nursing and may end up there when I'm sick of running my butt off in the ED (where I do get my psych fix).
  7. by   Yosemite, RN
    I just finished working for two years in an acute, private, for profit facility in California. This is the ONLY psych. facility I've worked in, though. One of my former collegues works in a county facility and LOVES it, even though it is nearly as hectic as the private one we worked in.

    I would advise you, if you have the option, to interveiw at more than one! I don't want to be presumptuous, but my experience was NOT good... POOR staffing, dangerous for us night shift workers, unsanitary, poorly supplied, stressful (as in getting all duties done within the shift). I find it hard to believe that all private for pay facilities are this way, but I doubt I'll take that chance again.
  8. by   sinagbayan
    while i agree with liambada that nurses in psych are often reduced to medication giving and NCP's, i still think of psych nursing as exciting and challenging. here in the philippines, its really a big challenge working in psych wards, only a few hospitals though have psych wards and facilities. and the ones that do have are usually government owned. as expected, there is a perennial lack of staff and supplies. you have to be very, very creative to manage everything.

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