"hospitals won't hire psych nurses"

  1. OK I have a question......



    So my question is , if a new grad starts on a psych unit, is she boxing herself in for psych and only psych ?
    I asked the nursing recruiter I have been speaking to this very question and he said "No because many of the psych patients have med surg problems too" .....so hopefully that's the case.

    any insight would be wonderful !
    Last edit by FirstYear2005 on Apr 29, '07
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   EricJRN
    If you like psych after having such an extensive background with it, I wouldn't drive yourself crazy mulling over possible roadblocks in the future, because A) it seems like psych nursing could very well be your long-term home and B) especially at bigger facilities, there are internship/orientation programs out there for experienced nurses who decide to change specialties.
  4. by   FirstYear2005
    kewl beans. I love your positive attitude ! Thanks.
  5. by   TamIam
    First Year, I don't often respond, but thought this worthy of a couple words. I have worked psych for several years. Long ago, when I graduated, I was told to get some med-surg experience first, and I have been ever-so grateful that I did! It has been an incredible resource that just can't be replaced. Actuallyl, I wish I would have worked ICU, because the decision-making level of a critical care nurse is so amazing---they really think through how the systems work!! Too, I have worked with several others who went straight into psych, and they just don't seem to grasp the medical side of the patient as well---they just don't get enough exposure on the psych floor. Geriatric psychiatry may be a different story, because most of the elderly are affected in some way or another, but the intensity still isn't the same as on a medical floor. You just don't get the skills of doing dressings at lightning speed AND sterile when you only have to do them once in a while. Too, after working a medical floor, you get a 'feel' for conditions, or the 'picture', that is almost intuitive--and it doesn't go away. Actually, some of the psych patients present so differently than the average Joe, there are times you have to look at subtle signs and symptoms--and labs---because the patient is not going to be of any help. My vote: hone your medical skills first, then do psych. Of course, my first suggestion is this: listen to your own heart. What do you feel is right for you? Best of luck.
  6. by   shaazzaamm34
    Psych... ugh... I just got done with my rotation with psych... Week 1 I was threaten with my life... B/c all the guy pts on the floor thought i was going to take their women... Week 2... I was threaten with my life b/c some of them said i killed their wife/mom/sister/daughter... Week 3... I was tackled by a female pt... Infront of nursing station (thank GOD) and she accused me of fondling her... And Week 4... I just didn't leave the nurses station... lol...
  7. by   Melina
    Quote from shaazzaamm34
    Psych... ugh... I just got done with my rotation with psych... Week 1 I was threaten with my life... B/c all the guy pts on the floor thought i was going to take their women... Week 2... I was threaten with my life b/c some of them said i killed their wife/mom/sister/daughter... Week 3... I was tackled by a female pt... Infront of nursing station (thank GOD) and she accused me of fondling her... And Week 4... I just didn't leave the nurses station... lol...
    Did you get any feedback from your instructor as to how you may have presented yourself that attracted so much negative attention? Even if you never enter another psych ward, the information would be useful in your future dealings with patients.

    ~Mel'
  8. by   shaazzaamm34
    Quote from Melina
    Did you get any feedback from your instructor as to how you may have presented yourself that attracted so much negative attention? Even if you never enter another psych ward, the information would be useful in your future dealings with patients.

    ~Mel'
    Idk... The nurses there Just said I may have reminded them of someone in the past... Lol... But I didn't let my barrier down to try to do any theapeutic Communication towards them...
  9. by   Psychaprn
    Sorry, I disagree. I think more med/surg/ICU nurses need a year on a psych. unit. All nursing jobs include psych. skills-especially if dealing with family members, pts. in crisis etc.
  10. by   Halinja
    Quote from Psychaprn
    I think more med/surg/ICU nurses need a year on a psych. unit. All nursing jobs include psych. skills-especially if dealing with family members, pts. in crisis etc.
    Hmmm. I hadn't thought of it, but now that you mention the idea, that makes a lot of sense!
  11. by   nursesaideBen
    Quote from Psychaprn
    Sorry, I disagree. I think more med/surg/ICU nurses need a year on a psych. unit. All nursing jobs include psych. skills-especially if dealing with family members, pts. in crisis etc.
    That's a wonderful idea! I work on a medical unit and we get a BUNCH of psych patients especially alcoholics because our psych unit doesn't do detox.
  12. by   NiteNurz79
    I've been an RN >25yrs. Spent the first 15 in Med/Surg settings and the last 10+ on an acute care Psych unit. I always recommend that new grads get some med surg experience before settling in on Psych regardless of their level of interest in psych patients and here's why - your mental health clients WILL have medical problems.You can count on that. The question is, will they be able to count on you to identify and intervene in a timely manner? Two weeks ago I came on duty for nightshift and had to ship a patient to ICU - the dayshift (Psych nurse since graduation years ago) missed a developing medical problem that had the patient on a vent within 90min of getting to ICU. Will you recognize an MI, CVA, aspiration pneumonia, pulmonary embolus, acute GI bleed etc. if it happens to your schizophrenic client? What happens if you don't?
  13. by   scorpiofish
    Not sure how it works where you live, but here we have re-orientation programmes for psych nurses who want a change. They work 3 months in medical and surgical wards and the expectation is pretty much that of a new graduate nurse. It really depends on the stigma at the hospital or place of work. Many of my colleagues have gone on to other fields such as ED and ICU, Medical, Paediatrics, Public Health Nursing (common) or Health Promotion. I worried about the same thing, but I've had a lot of diversity and challenges in specialising in different areas.
  14. by   tammyRN64
    I agree....not just psych but geriatrics are helpful in the hospital. My love is psych (and hearts other desire is OB-where I have never gotten opportunity to work yet), and I did 17 years in extended care as an LPN. I work on a Med-Surg unit (trying to get my first year as an RN under my belt doing the "right thing***aka:Med-Surg). I hate it where I work. Anyway, when we get a geriatric patient that "fights" the shift before me, I can get them (9.5 times out of 10) to do whatever needs to be done, without scratching/biting/hitting. Their families sit and stare at me with their mouths open. When I smile and tell them my background they smile and are grateful I knew how to deal with their loved one. When I get a psych patient I don't "freak" out. Last week the LPN I was working with who has always worked med-surg came almost at a run, up the hall telling me that the pt in 2 (paranoid schizophrenic....among other Dx's) was laying on floor in hallway. I laughed and said, "we are blessed if that is the worst/strangest thing you see him do while he's here!" They have no concept for these geriatric and/or psych pts who have such special needs above and beyond their med-surg backgrounds. God help them if they ever see any of the guys from my psych units at the prison....tee hee! THAT is a trip to spend your 12 hour shift with, seriously. A narrow view leaves too much room for missing things. Variety is more than JUST "the spice of life" in our line of work. Take care. Tammy

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