Hi Jen in CT,
I worked down there in Middletown. Being a psych nurse is very interesting if you enjoy delving into the often very different realities of others. We deal with people who often experience altered realities--hear voices, see hallucinations--, who are experiencing life crises, or who have personality disorders causing them to relate to others in ways that is harmful to them.
Safety is a huge issue, both for the patients themselves and staff. We do rounds every 1/2 hour (at noc) to make sure everyone is OK. We're also trained to deal with people who exhibit violent behaviors so we are experts at restraint, at being very careful in deterring restraints whenever possible, and in appropriately documenting this very serious form of intervention.
It's very important to be tolerant of other people's lifestyles and cultures and to try to understand their perspective in order to provide a safe and secure environment where they can work through their issues. Vicky in VT