I have been a nurse for 13 yrs, the past 8 I have worked in psych.
I work in a busy psych hospital on a children/adolecent unit.
Staffing is a major problem. Most shifts are staffed with 1 RN, 1 LPN and (on a good day) 4 MHT's. Our census stays between 40 and 45.
Most of our nurses and MHT's have little or no psych experience, are given very little if any orientation and are expected to handle some very volitle and potentially explosive situations.
I worked a 16 hr shift yesterday. When I got to work at 3pm the unit was in complete and utter chasos!!!!! The 7-3 charge nurse was on the phone (a personal call as is her norm) The LPN was sitting in front of a stack of charts with new orders that needed to be transcribed and the 3 MHT's were breaking up a fight between 2 patients. I wanted to turn and run!!!
Our once reputable hospital was sold last year to a new management company and has since become no more than a "money making business". There seem to no concern that our patients are not recieveing the help they need or that our unit is not a very safe place for patients or staff.
I love psych nursing but I just don't think I can handle the stress much longer!!!