Mental Health

  1. I wanted to get some advice regarding my following semester. I was assigned to a State Hospital for Mental Health and I'm feeling a little bit intimidated. Has anyone already been through this? Any suggestions? Our instructors told us not to be afraid, and that patients are afraid of us, but I have heard that some of the people in there have commited some serious crimes.
    Nena.
    •  
  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   sdlb08
    I felt the same way before my clinical at a state facility. I almost quit after the orientation (as did the rest of my class). It turned out to be one of the most fun and rewarding clinicals to date. I learned much more than I had expected to. Hang in there...by the end of the semester you will look back and laugh at how nervous you were...I know I did .
  4. by   Medwynn
    Quote from nena43
    I wanted to get some advice regarding my following semester. I was assigned to a State Hospital for Mental Health and I'm feeling a little bit intimidated. Has anyone already been through this? Any suggestions? Our instructors told us not to be afraid, and that patients are afraid of us, but I have heard that some of the people in there have commited some serious crimes.
    Nena.
    Hey Nena,
    The first week i was pretty intimidated, even being a guy. I just didn't know what to expect. Especially the people. There were no hardened criminals at our facility. They were at an adjacent facility that we weren't allowed to observe in.

    My advice is that these people are medicated and it will take quite a bit to get them to snap. If you feel uncomfortable at all, try again at a later time. I had to with a schizo-affective woman to be able to do my care plan on.

    I enjoyed my time there and i think the Patient Observation unit was the best. Fresh admits with paranoid delusions about the russians are FUN FUN FUN!!!

    You'll make it. Just keep a level head and have a fun time with the psych patients. Psych was my easiest rotation
  5. by   nursing4nena
    Thanks guys, that helps a lot to hear it from someone that has already gone through it. I'll be there for about 3 months and then I'll be going into Med Surg again. I have being reviewing my ATI book on Mental Health to see if this helps. I knwo it's winter break and all, but I can never put the books down.
  6. by   ShockerGirl07
    Psych was my favorite rotation so far. For us it was pretty easy - we werent allowed to pass meds or assess or anything. My teacher really liked that I sat in the day room (we were at an inpatient facility) and made myself available to the patients. Alot of them came to talk to me, and I often got games started (cards, board games) or puzzles and we would have 4-5 patients helping us. That way you aren't just seeing your patient, but a variety and experiencing their conditions too. To my suprise, all the way until my last clinical, everyone of them was "normal" - none were hard to talk to, it was just like us talking, not the stigma i had attached to them, that changed FAST. On our last clinical, I had a guy who thought he was God, but I didnt know that until the second day and he just casually mentioned it, and that was it. You will do fine, its alot of fun - just dont take offense if they don't want to talk to you or ignore you, etc!
  7. by   Medwynn
    Put the books down for winter break and have a "REAL" mental health break.
  8. by   nursing4nena
    Thanks again for your words. This has helped me out a lot. I'm sure it'll be a good learning experience now.
  9. by   nurseangel47
    I, too, dreaded my psych rotation during an entire summer at the state's veteran admin hospital. There were some scary and then some scarier patients behavior wise. However,....like everyone else before me posted, it's not nearly as bad as the stories you hear. People seem to boast after the fact once they've lived thru it. It is not without safety measures built in to protect you physically from the more dangerous pts. Don't worry. You'll be surprised at the lack of actual physical lashing out and so forth you may not even see any of it. No one actually was harmed or anything close to it during that entire summer we were there for clinical. It is just another interesting insight in to the realm of the nursing world. And another place to explore for possible employment, also, when you graduate. Enjoy the holidays, like the previous posters say. Merry Christmas!
  10. by   funinsun
    I've found that even having your presence there as a student does a lot of good for the unit. The nurses and techs appreciate someone coming in and assisting with the patients, if even just to play games as they are stretched thin and the patients (usually) love an audience!! Enjoy your time!
  11. by   nursing4nena
    Did any of you have to wear an alarm while on this particular rotation?
    They informed us that we have to have one while on clinicals, just wondering.
  12. by   RNin2007
    Yip...did my clinical rotation in a lock down acute psych facility for 12 weeks. I now work there as an MHA. Take a deep breath, be yourself. Remember these are people, not just walking diagnoses. You've probably been in a mall and around someone who has committed a serious crime, or standing next to someone in line with schizophrenia and never knew it. True, many have been assaultive where I work - we were given Assault Crisis Training and the people I work with are fantastic. When I graduate in June with my RN I don't plan on staying in psych nursing, but I really do enjoy what I do and the people I work with. I find it a fascinating field, and sadly under-funded.

    Enjoy your time there...learn as much as you can.

    ~J
  13. by   funinsun
    Hi.. I haven't heard of wearing an alarm during clinicals but doesn't seem impossible in a larger facility if the school/facility has the money to do so.
  14. by   sdlb08
    We had to wear an alarm. I never had to use it personally. I only saw it used 2 times during my clinical, and both of those were incidents where the patients were fighting with each other. I always felt really safe during my clinical. In fact, the higher functioning patients were vert protective of the students because we always did so much for them. If someone said something inappropriate, many of the individuals would tell them they were out of line.

close