Yes lol, you can get bit, scratched, spit on (my breaking point), kicked, hit, kneed in the groin...............I've had to go to occupational health 3x in the 15 yrs of psych/CD nursing, due to breaks in skin barrier. All of those were done by adults. You wanna work with adolescents..............I can pretty much guarantee all of the above happening from teens.
Oh well. Psych hospitals are not gonna throw you onto their floor without a little self defense training. After my first encounter with a remorseful etohic, where he tackled me, and choked me with one hand and pummled me with the other, I became very proficient in self defense. I now hold instructor certification in MAB (management of aggresive bx), PMAB (prevention and management of aggresive bx) and CPI (crisis prevention institute).
Plus, you're not going to defend against a crazed individual one-to-one (like me and that drunk). It will be a team of 4 or 5 staff to the individual. Psych nursing is not for the faint of heart. You have to be mentally tough.
I think a State hospital would be an excellent place to begin your psych resume. And there's alot to be said about noc nursing. You do have less staff (yikes), but, most of your clients are sleeping, more mental less physical, more money (with noc diffs), no administration (buttheads), no doctors (bigger buttheads). I've been doing noc's for the last 5 yrs and it works great for me. There are just some tricks you'll have to learn to be able to sleep when the sun is up.
Hope this answers and doesnt pose too many questions. If you'd like, you can personally e-mail me with any thoughts, questions, whatever at email@example.com
Walter the nurse