LPN Student, New Job in Psych, Any Tips?

  1. I've always been interested in psych and after passing three interviews, obtained a a part time job in a psych hospital. I'm considered a Level 1 counselor and will be able to continue there as an LPN once I obtain my license. I'm extremely excited at this oppotunuty, but I've never worked in psych! This hospital has 3 units: Adult, Adoloscent, and Developmental Disabilities. I'll eventually be working in all 3 units, but thankfully they are starting me in the adult unit.

    .........so any advice?
    •  
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   ktwlpn
    Quote from glopop11
    I've always been interested in psych and after passing three interviews, obtained a a part time job in a psych hospital. I'm considered a Level 1 counselor and will be able to continue there as an LPN once I obtain my license. I'm extremely excited at this oppotunuty, but I've never worked in psych! This hospital has 3 units: Adult, Adoloscent, and Developmental Disabilities. I'll eventually be working in all 3 units, but thankfully they are starting me in the adult unit.

    .........so any advice?
    Sure-always keep your back to the wall.....Your safety comes first......and watch your body language...good luck
  4. by   JeromeG1234
    I'm a new psychiatric RN myself, working on an acute adult unit, and over the last few months I've learned that the most important skill for a psychiatric nurse to have is the ability to remain calm amid total chaos. If the staff loses it too, it's really over. Anyway, that's my $0.02
  5. by   Bjo
    My advice would be to respect your patients. The first thing they pick up on is whether or not you are sincere. You want to build a rapport with them as soon as possible because unless they trust you as a nurse, you won't help them. Mainly because they won't give you the chance. They, on the other hand, aren't a potential for a new friend with whom you can share all of your personal information.
  6. by   hypnotic_nurse
    The biggest difference between you and almost all of your patients? You have keys.

    Don't crowd anyone's personal space.

    Take violence precautions seriously even if your patient appears to be gentle...especially if your patient is actively hallucinating.

    Don't be scared; just be careful.

    Psychotic people are SCARED about what they are experiencing; as long as you keep that in mind they are not scary.

    Understand that what your patient is thinking/feeling/hallucinating tends to be as real to them as your hand is to you.

    Even when a patient's delusions are hilarious (happens occasionally), keep a straight face and DON'T laugh about it at the nurses' station because at some point the patient may figure it out...and will be very hurt if so.
  7. by   lovinghands
    Safety is the top priority - the patient's, yours and the staff. When in a dilemma this has always been my motto and can be a saving grace.

    Mental illness is just that, an illness. See outside the illness.

    Treat the staff well - these are the people who save your butt in a crunch!

    Educate, educate, educate - that includes yourself. You are surrounded by a wealth of experience and knowledge - sort through it and apply it to your practice.

    Listening can be more effective than speech. Actions do speak louder than words.

    Patients remember ...
  8. by   midnitelpn
    safety first, never back yourself into a corner, never lead w/your face (keep a safe distance when approaching a pt.s space) be aware of your environment (know your contriband & remove it immediately & remember...anything can be used as a weapon). secondly respect. never be punitive for past behaviors. always remember the second word "mental illness" its just that, an illness. trust & honesty, and a consistant approach. try not allow yourself to be manipulated. advocate. you will more than likely be seeing the same pts go out & come back in, they will remember you & how you treated them before.
  9. by   infullbloom1
    Never trust the patient. Remember that they are ill, no matter how "normal" they appear. Watch your back. Watch for contraband on the unit always! If your instincts are telling you something is not right on the unit, go with that feeling- increase checks, make your presence known more, vary your routine. Better to be safe than sorry. Good luck to you- its never a dull moment.

close