Mom is worried about safety/security..

  1. Hi guys. My name is Linda, I'm an 18 year old high school senior from Maryland. I've known for a few years now that I want to pursue nursing..most likely I'll be getting my associates at community college, then get my BA later if I want or need to...it's the most sensible thing to do

    I want to work either in NICU, or psych nursing. Between the two, I'm more interested in psych. But my mom (and a few other people) have been telling me I should stick to NICU, because they're concerned about my safety and all, with psych. My mom is mainly focusing on worst-case scenarios...she told me about a RN who was killed 10 years ago by a pt, at Sheppard Pratt here in MD.

    But if I do psych, I'd like to work with kids/teens if I have the chance. So just because of that, the security wouldn't be as much of an issue?...it's not like I'd be working with full grown men & women.

    I know there are risks with psych nursing, but could anyone give me some advice...like what to tell my mom to reassure her about it?
    I've already told her that I would get security/takedown training, but she's still concerned and trying to talk me out of it. I even mentioned that depending on the facility, there's additional security staff, not just the nurses...but nothing seems to change her mind :/

    Although, I can see why she is concerned..I'm pretty small. About 5'0 & 90 lbs...

    Oh, my cousin also said that because of my size, and just the fact that I'm a woman, I would most likely not be involved in physical situations unless absolutely necessary....is she right about that?
    She has a masters in psych, and is in law school now...and worked at Sheppard Pratt a few years ago.

    But yeah....any advice to reassure my mom would be great...she's really trying to talk me out of psych nursing.

    Thanks
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Cindy5
    Why don't you take self defense courses such as karate, judo, akido? Not only could it potentially protect you in all sorts of situations, but it is good for your physical health and your soul.
  4. by   KatieBell
    Also, remind your Mom that you have not even started nursing school yet. So, even though right now you are attracted to these two areas, after some clinical time you might find you really want to do some other kind of nursing.

    Kids and teens who are in locked psych units are often dangerous and very manipulative. However, most of the time following appropriate procedures will keep you safe. Many of the situations where staff are injured or killed are due to someone not following the procedures (ie not searching the patient properly- or cutting themselves off from an exit form the room)....

    But really, you have not had any clinicals yet, you might find out that you don't like psych nursing very much, or you could find out that you love it. Tell your Mom not to worry until you actually take the job in the psych unit!!!!
  5. by   CharlieRN
    You have been given excellent advice. Wait till you have some experience before you lock yourself into a speciality.
    Nurses are by the nature of the job non specialists. Our primary job is to provide a safe environment within which a patient may heal. We are the professionals who are charged with seeing the big picture. In the psych setting we are the ones concerned with the patient's physical health. In a med/surg setting nurses are the members of the team concerned with spirituality and emotional health.
    Re garding your plan to work with adolescents: The most frequent staff injuries at my institution are on the adolescent program. Adults with a psych problem usually have a past history of sane behavior. Children have much less sane background to fall back on. They are more likely to be impulsively aggressive and less likely to have any positive experience with non aggressive problem solving.
  6. by   Thunderwolf
    Quote from CharlieRN
    In the psych setting we are the ones concerned with the patient's physical health. In a med/surg setting nurses are the members of the team concerned with spirituality and emotional health.
    I think Charlie got this backward, but we know what he meant.

    Thanks Charlie for the input.

    Excellent feedback as usual.

    Wolfie
  7. by   Nurse Ratched
    I like psych because at least you know what you're getting into. Knowledge is power. You are prepared for such things, unilke on a med floor where you may also run into such situations.

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