I've been thinking about taking this cert and was wondering about your thoughts on it... I have 3 years experience as an LPN in psychiatric nursing (1.5 years locked long term and 1.5 in a acute county mental health facility). Will my time in the ER count towards the 2k hours required for the certification requirement (we do see quite a few patients who are being seen for either a axis I or II dx, average 2/shift, along with others with an incidental psychiatric disorder which is unrelated to their visit). If anyone has thoughts I would love to hear them. Bonus points if you have taken the cert and can give me your thoughts on the test.
Jan 28, '13
by Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, RN
I agree with Elkpark. It would be like my arguing that that I qualify for the med-surg certification because even though I'm in a psych setting, I'm still taking care of any presenting medical issues. You've worked as a LVN in psych, so you know the patients don't check their medical issues at the door when they're admitted to a psych facility. And some psych populations (chemical dependency, eating disorders, etc.) have very medically acute patients d/t the nature of the psychiatric illness.
But what I am getting is med-surg exposure, not quite the same as dedicated med-surg experience. My primary focus is psych and not medical, and I'm managing fairly (not always) stable patients that I'd probably transfer out to a medical facility at a lower acuity than a med-surg floor would transfer their patients out to a higher level of care. Unless I was working psych-medical, and then that's a whole other story...
Same as with the ED: the ED sees a lot of psych issues, but they are also being seen in a short-term basis in a medical setting where the goal is stabilization before discharging the patient or transferring them on to either a medical or psych facility.
Exposure to psych, yes. Experience with psych? Limited. A substitute for working in psych? Not really, as it's not dedicated psych experience. You have the patient for 24 hours or less, too short to really see the course of psychiatric disorders progress.
It's cool that you're always striving to advance yourself professionally. You have nothing to lose by asking the ANCC about it: the worst they can tell you is No. Just don't be surprised if that is what they tell you.
Last edit by Meriwhen on Jan 28, '13