New to psychiatric nursing and would love any and all advice/suggestions! - page 2

by Life_is_good_1973

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I am brand new to the world of psychiatric nursing and am finding it VERY interesting. I have had several years experience in trauma ICU, then about 6 months of dialysis. So obviously, my knowledge base is very limited when it... Read More


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    Quote from Life_is_good_1973
    Thank you for your responses. I don't have anything really specific; I thought maybe there might be some good advice from seasoned psych RN's about things they have seen and heard over the years. I'm also looking for some suggestions on good books to read that may give me some insight on the psychiatric world. I just finished my Crisis Prevention Training today and learned a LOT of helpful information in dealing with clients. It also made me realize just how unpredictable psych patients can be.
    I would like to know how your job is going. I just applied for a position like that and I wonder what it would be like. Any information is greatly appreciated.
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    This thread is great! I start Monday in psych...it wasn't my first choice out of school, but since I'm here I'm throwing myself into it the best that I can. So I need all the help that I can get
    Last edit by Meriwhen on Aug 29, '09
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    Congrats Meriwhen on your new position in psych nursing. I hope all goes well.
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    be openminded - compassionate - yet firm. Stick to the rules. Some pts will try and split staff and manipulate. Treat them respectfully, but remember - there is a REASON they are in the hospital. They are not well, as normal as some of them seem. Do not be trusting of them - because the second they see you trust them, they will run with it.

    Encourage participation in group activities. Some are there because they are there under warrent or the family had them admitted. They feel like they should not have to do any of the activities. This gives them a feeling of superiority over the other pts. This can be harmful. It may also cause them to become more isolated and depressed. Once they start participating - they will learn the other pts - and gain coping skills.
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    Also, do not show them fear - even if you are intimidated by them. During a psych crisis you need to be quick to act because things can easily break out into a code (fight) You are the nurse, you are in charge and not them. You are here to help them. You need to be able to make quick decisions about PRNs or the choice to restrain or seclude. Be ethical, and be SAFE. Pt saftey is FIRST. Worry about the details later.

    Also, practice communication, ideas for coping skills, and verbal de-escelation. When a child is holding a chair in the air- ready to toss it at you - clear the room, and TALK to them. WHY are they upset. What can you do to make them calm. What do they want? How can they achieve what they want without throwing the chair.

    And pay attention to them. There will be some that just want attention, but you will learn to see who really needs to talk or not. Sometimes a pt will act out violently because they didnt get attention or someone to talk to when they needed it - sort of "look, i have your attention now - now you have to listen to me"

    And be positivie! It really is interesting and fun at times :]


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