New Graduate RN Just got a new job in a county Psych hospital!!! - page 2

Hi Everyone! I just recieved my RN in May! I feel so lucky to have already had an interviwe and been asked to work at a county Psych hospital here in San Diego California. New graduate nurses here sometimes have a very... Read More

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    Congratulations on the new job!!

    As a psych nurse for a first time job, I think you WILL be marketable as you gain more experience and make attempts to move into other fields of nursing. Keep in mind, PSYCH is EVERY WHERE!!! I often hear med-surg nurses say, "I'll never work with psych patients!" But guess what....med-surg nurse DO work with psych patients---EVERY DAY!!!. Many, more than you think, patients that come to an oncology, med-surg, OB unit have PSYCH issues!!!! While their chief complaint may be diabetes, GI issues, cancer, etc. many patients in today's world also have psych issues (PTSD, schizoaffective disorders, bipolar, etc.)

    So your new job as a psych nurse actually puts you AHEAD OF MOST in regards to patient mentalities.... Consider it a "stepping stone" to all the nursing experiences that you will encounter.

    Best of luck on the new job!!!

    Advise on what NOT to do.... Don't be a best "friend" to the psych patients. Psych patients are smarter than you think. They listen to EVERYTHING you (and your coworkers) say and they watch EVERYTHING you (and your coworkers) do. And...they will use this against you without you even knowing...if you allow it. They even know who your workplace enemies are before you do! Also, don't talk about where you life, who you live with, where your children go to school... Keep your relationships professional. I say this because I have worked on forensic units of state psych facilities, and I'll tell you this, the murders may appear to be the quietest patients in the day room but they know everything that's going on in the building!!!.....

    Once you get comfortable with your new psych position (about 1 year in), look for a part-time, PRN/per diem position at a facility that allows for "self scheduling" where you can select the days you want to work. This way, you can get some correctional, med-surg, oncology (or whatever your desire) under your belt on a part-time/per diem basis. Then, after awhile you (and only YOU) can determine if you want to continue in psych or try another field of nursing to add additional skills to your resume.

    As for your new psych position (and any nursing job for that matter)....ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings. Be safe!!!
    HangInThere, FireHorseNinja, Macann, and 3 others like this.

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    Multicollinearity Thank you! Thats awesome advice! I agree with you on the fact that I may have trouble transitioning into correctional nursing coming from a psych position. My plan is to work for about three months or so in psych, just for the experience, and than begin applying for state prision jobs. We have a good amount of prisons here in California and I plan to go anywhere. One of my instrucors told me that the more rual prisons (like in cow town lol) takes new grads. Do you think this would be a good idea? I have a bsn, a bs in chemistry and a masters in public health (applying for PHN certification as we speak). I am 26 years old and I begin my MSN in the fall. Do I stand a chance? thnak you! I appreciate your advice! I need guidence.... bad
    hakunamatataRN likes this.
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    Oh well I didnt think of that! Thank you veyr much meriwhen! I am going to start applying today. Do you think part time in a nursing home or hospice would be ok too?
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    Hi Pedal This county job I recieved had a pretty in depth health screening process. The only thing I had to submit was a TB skin test twice. I thought that was weird but oh well.
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    smn2009 you rock thank you! I am so motivated now! Well, even more than I already am, belive it or not! Do you think any hospitals take new grads per diem? I mean since I need practice with my skills and what not? Do you think nursing homes would be sufficient for me to learn my med surge type skills?
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    lyttlemomma - many long term care facilities (ltc but nursing homes as you call them ) are also rehabilitation centers also. they always need rns and are open to hiring new grads because you will come into their facility with an open mind, eager and ready to take on all new challenges that are put before you. many of my classmates went directly to ltc facilites that had acute care floors right after graduation and they now work on progressive care units at large hospitals. in hampton roads (virginia) there are ltc/rehab (acute care) facility combinations. they are not just geriatric. the facilities have separate units where they admit patients that transfer in from area hospitals after knee replacement, hip replacement, back surgery, etc. and come to these ltc/rehab facilities for physical therapy before going home. there are also various other patient skill sets here also. patients (young and old) stay only 2-5 days. so, you will gain experience working with ortho patients, for example, that have colostomies/ileostomies, g-tubes, possibly ng-tubes, along with the typical secondary health concerns such as diabetes, gout, gi concerns etc. these facilities are always looking for part-time/prn rns. a ltc/rehab facility on their acute/short-term stay floor/unit (not the geriatric side) would be a great avenue for you to check into as far as a part-time job is concerned. for one, you won't have the "stress" of a hospital setting. ltc are more laid back although some facilities may not be as "modern" with computerized charting. but, don't let that stop you. you get a lot of experience when you utilize paper charting because you gain a better understanding of the nursing process, time management, charting (handwriting) as you go. so hand charting will be helpful for you if you must do it. although, most ltc's are slowly transitioning their patient/resident data to the computer system so you have some paper charting and some computer charting at the same facility. but, all ltc's have to be computerized by 2014 (i think that's the year?! )... so, don't let paper charting hold you back if you want a job in ltc/rehab while doing your psych.

    as a side note, when looking for any job, don't just apply to facilities that have positions posted online, in the newspaper, etc. take some initiative and send an "exploratory" letter to the director of nursing (...or to whoever is in charge of the nursing staff (chief nursing officer, director of hr...) you may have to call human resources to get the correct name (or email address) if it is not located on the facilities website). by sending an exploratory letter, you will be letting the person in charge know of your interest long before they may be thinking about placing an ad online or in the paper.

    ...sorry for the lenghty response...... i just get carried away/excited when people find a job in today's economy and with so many nurses applying for the same position these days...

    p.s. while on the new job, don't let the unhappy nurses (or other staff) ruin "your" day with their constant negativity. listen quietly, take the information "in", retain the information, smile, but mainly focus on "your" new job/responsibilities that need to be learned. in time, you will become more and more aware of the highs/lows of your employer/coworkers so you don't need the senior nurses drowning you with their complaints when you first start working.

    enjoy the new job!!!
    HangInThere likes this.
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    smn2009 Thank you so so much for taking the time to reply to me! I am so greatful and love and appreciate your advice, I like that your responses are long and detailed thank you! I think your right about sending in my resume and application to the heads of the facilities that I want to apply for, this shows that I have initiative and that I am very interested. I am going to do my best and give it my all!

    Thank you for the advice about not letting other nurses bring me down. I kind of experienced that kind of attitude with some nurses when I was in my clinical rotations as a student and it was hard. I will kill everyone with kindness I suppose
    HangInThere likes this.


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