1st Psych Nursing Job starts Monday, any advice? - page 2

I am leaving my SNF job for a new position at the County emergency mental health facility. I am 7 months graduated RN, and am very excited to be given this opportunity. I am a little nervous, as my only experience in psych was a... Read More

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    Shame on the person who told you that "they eat their young there!" instead of congratulating you on your new position and giving you words of encouragement. You now get to start your new job already apprehensive of your new co-workers and a tainted view of what might be in store for you. What is wrong with people?! Anyway, I wish you nothing but the best-and previous posters are correct-please listen to your new co-workers and watch for non-verbal signs that can tell you something is just not right. Most of all, be yourself, be genuine and honest, and I'm sure they will all take a liking to you-and someone is bound to take you under their wing-as it should be!
    elprup and puravidaLV like this.

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    I also work at a county facility and can say honestly that there are great difficulties with staff. My motto has been "Forget the patients, beware of the staff!". Regardless, I love my job and learn something new every single day. There are truly a few coworkers, and you will know them quickly, who will gladly throw you under the bus. The part to remember is to be yourself. I finally realized that I'm not there to get my coworkers to like me. I'm there to work and help my patients to get through the night.

    On that note, beware of your surroundings, always. Listen to your gut, always. Watch personal space because it's difficult to step back safely when a very angry psychotic patient is in yours. Be respectful to your patients. Even when I'm de-escalating, or have to put someone in restraints, I don't get angry and always am respectful. It's not personal and when I remove restraints, I'm done and treat them just as before. That can be difficult when a pt has just physically assaulted one of your favorite coworkers! Also, take a few minutes every time you work to look up one facility policy and procedure. The facility I'm at has hundreds if not thousands. One a day will help you get to know the place and what to do to survive with your job intact. Oh and congratulations!!! I wouldn't give up behavioral health for anything!!
    elprup, pinkiepieRN, and Yosemite, RN like this.
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    Be compassionate. Too many psych nurses act like their patients are a bother to them. Remember that if they're in that type of facility, they're hurting.
    elprup, dashingdiva, WantAccel.BSN, and 3 others like this.
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    I have to say I was shocked at first by my coworkers attitudes towards the patients. I have heard this about other facilities as well. They say the most derogatory things about them during report - often outright mocking them, ect. I got tired of the "frequent fliers." Those patients who come back multiple times and seem to know how to work the system, if you know what I mean. Often it was really boring, especially working the night shift.
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    I'd love to know how your new job is going
    elprup likes this.
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    It pains me to read about coworkers who throw each other under the bus. My motto has always been that if we the staff cannot keep each other safe, we have no business thinking we can keep the patients safe. And while our floor is known as the friendliest floor in the hospital I think our culture, hospital wide, is pretty healthy.

    Our patients are the victims of trauma of one type or another. They have survived by reading people, and they are experts. Therefore, role modeling is the first therapy we offer them; the level of safety we present to them is the level of safety most of them will mirror back as much as they possibly can, barring the lies of any psychosis.

    Walk in with your eyes wide open. Observe and listen. Work smart and hard when necessary. Ask for help. Be available to others. Make room for the way other nurses cope; sometimes it is snarkey and irreverent off the floor, but it hopefully never touches the way they treat their patients.

    I love my work! No day is the same as the one before. Welcome!
    elprup likes this.
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    Self-awareness and compassion I think are two of the major factors that will help any nurse in the mental health field. You can't deal with someone else and their 'issues' if you have unresolved issues your self or if you don't have a clear idea of who you are and what you are doing in this field. The insults and anything nasty that is thrown your way by patients who are hurting and have ineffective coping mechanisms could really get to you but if you find it in yourself to see beyond the insults and the acting-out; find a way to channel that stress into something proactive for the patient then PMH nursing would be a very fulfilling field. good luck! let us all enjoy and love PMH nursing~
    elprup likes this.
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    Loving it! The coworkers have been great so far! yes, many jaded staff, and people who are a little burnt out, but I am using it as inspiration to not let myself do the same. I am also suprised by how mocking, or derogatory some of my coworkers can be when speaking about staff....But like I said, It reminds me of what kind of nurse I do and DO NOT want to be. So far, I am delighted with my new job, I am over 3 months in and have plans to stick it out!
    Kimberlyace and elprup like this.
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    Besides keeping yourself safe by knowing your surroundings, knowing your pts, and listening to your gut, remember to always be genuine with pts and really listen to what they are telling you, verbally or otherwise. They WILL know if you aren't. Be firm but fair, make your expectations clear and never let them see you waiver. Fake it till you make it if you have to. Try not to get too jaded. It can easily happen, esp when you same start seeing the same people coming in over and over again.
    elprup likes this.
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    I am a psych nurse and have been for 6 years. I also teach psychiatric nursing in an RN program. I've written a bunch of articles on my blog related to psych nursing. If you still need some tips, feel free to check it out: nurseleah.hubpages.com/nurseleah

    I have articles on antipsychotics, sociopaths, do's and don'ts, personality disorders, defense mechanisms, and bipolar disorder, in addition to an article discussing the misdiagnosis of mental disorder when it's actually a thyroid issue.

    I hope things are going great for you in your career.
    pinkiepieRN, elprup, and Umberlee like this.


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