Quote from kids
To put it simply, if you don't agree with the standard treatment modalities utilized by a specialty, it's NOT a "good fit" no matter how much you want it to be.
Going to work in psych nursing when you're not comfortable administering anti-psychotics makes as much sense as going to work in an abortion clinic when you oppose abortion.
I don't necessarily agree. Before I even considered nursing as a career, I had an experience as a patient that has really stayed with me. I had spent years using nothing but alternative healing and then suddenly I was a patient on a L&D unit in a life-and-death situation. I felt very helpless and scared in a system whose values and practices were alien and antithetical to mine, until I was assigned to a nurse who "got" where I was coming from and talked with me in terms of herbs and natural therapies. It was such a relief to be cared for by someone who spoke my language!
Now, as a psych nurse on a medical-model oriented inpatient psych unit, I do still struggle with the ethics of handing out some of the meds I hand out, knowing what I know about them. On the other hand, I am convinced there is a place for me there since I am the one who takes every opportunity to talk with my patients about what they can do for themselves - aka non-medication alternatives - in addition to the meds. I take my cues from the patients, and when I sense discomfort around or resistance to taking psych meds, I do not badmouth the psych meds but simply focus their attention on what they can do of their own initiative.
As part of this discussion we talk about regulating the sleep-wake cycle, exercise, diet, hydration, stress-reduction techniques, CBT techniques, etc. We talk, but I also use handouts and what is the most effective of all is demonstration. It's not easy to fit into a busy schedule, but I see that as my ethical responsibility.
I think it is empowering to the patients to know that it's not ALL about meds, and that meds can be a helpful "crutch" to get them on their feet enough to be able to do all the things they need to do to regain balance and health.