Recently I was hired and began orientation for a new position working in the adult psychiatry specialty. I'm coming from a strong med surg background so I know I'm going to need a bit of a refresher. Does anyone have any advice, tips, tricks, etc for those new to the specialty?
Is there also helpful apps as well? I used quite a few reference apps before but not sure if there were some available for psyc as well?
Dec 12, '17
Don't take anything a patient does or says personally, number one.
Know all your psych meds and which ones that doctors you work with generally prefer. Every facility and every doctor has different preferences.
Know your dosages and interactions. Know EPS symptoms. Common side effects of the common psych meds. Onset/duration and half-lives of these common meds are helpful to know, too.
With a strong med-surg background, you're going to be great. You already have physical assessments down to a science and be a wonderful addition to your unit! Congrats!
Dec 13, '17
ALWAYS keep yourself safe and be aware that patients can change in a second number one!! Definitely know your psych meds. Look up the ones you don't know, study them, understand them. Know deescalation techniques and any other behavioral interventions to deescalate, review your therapeutic communication its a vital and especially important in this specilty, and learn the policies for your facility regarding restraint and seclusion if this is applicable to your facility. All these things are important. Ask questions! Look up things, if you don't know the answer, find it. Learn learn learn! It's a unique specialty therefore you have to be willing to learn a different nursing specialty. I've been working my first psych nurse job for a month now and these are vital things that make your job a lot easier. Trust me.
Dec 13, '17
Don't underestimate geriatric patients; some of them pack quite a punch. Avoid concomitant administration of IM Ativan and Zyprexa. If you have to draw blood, be persistent; pt's might refuse today but allow it tomorrow. Some pt's will behave aggressively if they think you fear them; others will behave aggressively whether or not you fear them. Don't turn your back on anyone. Be a good listener and if you make promises, follow through. (I never make promises.) Good luck!
Dec 13, '17
Biggest piece of advice....safety...pts will be much more mobile. Know where your patients are. Risk assessments - triad of lethality. Risk factors for violence, AWOL, suicide. Code white procedures. Look into trauma informed nursing care; review how trauma affects everything from development to mental health. Psychiatric nursing is an incredibly rewarding career, but its also a different animal alltogether!
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