My thoughts on Mental Health Nursing - page 4

by Elladora

15,601 Views | 34 Comments

I posted this on my facebook wall a while back and thought I would share it here... When I tell people I work in mental health, I almost always get a negative reaction. I get asked if there was nothing else left, am I... Read More


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    I asked an experienced psych nurse about this. He said that when you really think about it, everyone who comes into the hospital is having some kind of mental health crisis, whether it's depression, anxiety, paranoia, hostility or whatever. In order for you to deal with this person, and before you can even get to the point where your "skills" are going to make a darned bit of good, you're going to need to get through this barrier. Patients don't remember how awesome your mad IV skillz were as much as they remember how you made them feel.
    chaisaci likes this.
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    Quote from Kooky Korky
    How about IV's, vents, titrating drips, knowing the latest emergency techniques and the newest M/S meds? It is hard to keep up with all of that while working Psych.
    Depending on the facility you will have psych patients on IV's, vents, and deal with emergencies as well. Psych patients can need O2 and desat quickly, they can have wounds, heart issues etc. Some people don't want to work in a M/S position, they want to be in a psych facility of some sort, some may not need to keep up with the latest and greatest in the med surg. world. Not all nursing skills are med surg. First and foremost a good nurse needs to be able to build a therapeutic relationship in any setting. The psych nurses are generally masters at this. Any one can take refresher nursing skills if they so desire, there are courses offered all around. There is nothing wrong with not working in a hospital setting. There are so many different nursing roles to choose from. Your skills are what they need to be for what you are doing. Not everyone wants to do trachs, vents and IV's. I feel bad for the M/S nurses who say they dislike psych because there was not one day on my clinical rotations on M/S that I did not see at least one psych patient-ETOHers in the DT's, severe anxiety r/t hospital stay, dementia patient who fell. Psych is everywhere that is what people forget.
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    Quote from Kooky Korky
    Unfortunately, a nurse also has to think about his or her own best interests and survival, too. Unless one enters Nursing via a religious Order and has his or her expenses paid by the Order, a nurse is going to have bills, retirement financing, and so forth.
    I don't even understand your response here...the person posts an upbeat response about nursing being about caring and you are talking about bills...
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    My first job after graduating nursing school was as evening shift charge nurse on a hospital adult mental health/chemical dependency unit. This hospital had never offered mental health services before. I literally opened the unit, taking in the first three admissions we ever got. In the beginning, many ancillary hospital staff were fearful of coming on the unit, not knowing what they were going to run into. Sometimes on the elevator nurses from other floors would make disparaging remarks, one stating that we "couldn't be real nurses, because you don't wear uniforms" (my unit preferred casual street attire for work).

    The tide began to turn when there was an incident on our telemetry unit. One evening we heard a code called overhead for a mental health emergency - only it wasn't for my unit or our companion gero-psych unit next door. The gero charge nurse and I went to the unit, and we saw an elderly woman in a virtual fist fight with a floor nurse. I told the other charge nurse "We had better take this over." We talked the woman into her room, talked to her for a while and found that after waking she was confused and she believed that someone had moved her to another hospital. After taking some time to reassure her and calm her down, we started to leave the unit. Tele nursing staff was astounded that we were able to resolve the situation without medication or restraints. From that point forward, we didn't hear the nasty remarks anymore, and we were often called when situations developed on other units, to check for proper restraint placement and so forth.
    ackiepieRN likes this.
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    As someone who has been in the psychiatric ward multiple times as well as starting school in April to be a mental health nurse, I love your attitude! I think all LMHN's should have the mindset you do! In my stays, I experienced some cruel and insensitive nurses. I was having such a bad panick attack that I couldn't feel my arms or legs while laying in bed. It took almost an hour to have a nurse come check on me. The nurse told me it was all in my head and walked out without checking my vitals or anything. I've also experienced some nurses that are so compassionate, one broke the rules and we keep in contact to this day.

    Anyways, as a future LMHN myself, there are alot of people in this field without the heart and compassion for it. I love the thought of being able to help even just one person. Keep on rocking!

    And btw, I get all sorts of weird looks and rediculous questions when I tell people I am going to work in mental health. It's my heart and my passion, so I ignore their ignorance and keep on smiling


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