making the switch to psych nursing?

  1. hi.

    I'm thinking about switching over to phsyciatric nursing. I was always fascinated with the mental health field and it seems like it could work out ot be a life long interest.

    But I'm concerned about burn out and personal safety. Can anyone share their experiences with me?
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   nursethis
    Quote from RosieGlow
    hi.

    I'm thinking about switching over to phsyciatric nursing. I was always fascinated with the mental health field and it seems like it could work out ot be a life long interest.

    But I'm concerned about burn out and personal safety. Can anyone share their experiences with me?
    I'd like to take the time to answer this, but I'm so burnt out, and there's a guy banging on my office door with a baseball bat, screaming about the voices telling him to kill me....Ha Ha, just kidding. I've been working in an outpatient psychiatry office for 6 years. There has only been one incident in 6 years when I thought my safety may have been in question, and it was not. Regarding burnout, I think any type of nursing carries with it a degree of emotional burnout at times, I don't think psych is any better or worse. I really like the schedule, no weekends, shiftwork or holidays, and call 1 week every 4 months. I'll probably be staying here for a while
  4. by   RosieGlow
    well that is way more optimistic than I expected! Thanks for the feedback.
  5. by   lucianne
    Inpatient psych is a totally different situation than outpatient. I don't have time this morning to get into it, but you might look back at some of the older threads describing psych nursing.

    I feel overloaded from time to time and have feared for my safety, but I still love psych!

    luci
  6. by   Blackcat99
    If you are concerned about your personal safety do not work at state psychiatric hospitals. I have worked at a few and have found them to be very dangerous. Several nurses got some pretty bad injuries. One guy got his ear bitten off. Another lady got attacked and now has a permanent pronounced limp when she walks. One lady tried to hit me in the head with a chair once but thankfully she missed. I could go on and on but I think you get the picture.
  7. by   PRNMEDS
    As with any field there is always chance of burnout but you can't let that dictate your life. As for safety Psych can be difficult at times - violent patients etc. I think it depends a lot on where you work. That said even more depends on your not being afraid or showing fear (they can sense it). If your confidient, not afraid and don't forget that all your patients are potentialy dangerous (don't let your gaurd down) you should be able to remain safe. After all that it can be very rewarding and its nice not to change dressings and bedpans. Good luck.

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