Hi I will be going back to school this fall. I will be starting off with psych nursing. Could someone give me an idea what clinicals are going to be like. Also I like to get a jump on things, could someone give me an idea what I could focus on now, such as reading, drugs ect. I have no experience with this kind of clinical setting. I really appreciate any advice
Jul 2, '01
I think you should try some summer reading about the psychiatric care experience:
Mount Misery by Samuel Shem. Shem is the nom de plume for a real live psychiatrist, who wrote a classic medical novel (_House of God_) about the rigors and pains of medical training over a decade ago. This book is about that character's residency in psychiatry. Shem is making quite a statement about managed care, the turn from talk therapy to reliance on drug therapy and a number of other topics. Well worth reading. He uses some hyperbole and some of his plot line is simply hyperbole, but some if it cuts pretty close to the bone (in both House of God and Mount Misery). Read 'em both for good measure.
An oldie but goodie you can get from the public library in any community: I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. About a young woman who is dealing with schizophrenia. If I read this, it was a long time ago, but it comes highly recommended and reflects the pain of living in a world where you cannot be sure of your reality.
I also learned a lot about psychiatry by reading _Sybil_. This is supposed to be a real life story about a woman with multilple personalities and I have since heard that her story was a sham, but what the psychiatrist writes about her story is still pretty compelling and gives a realistic picture about how psychiatric illness can cripple people's lives. Her story came after _All about Eve_ and spawned others, but it was very compelling to me. My own psych rotation was a low point in an otherwise decent nursing education and I learned alot about classifications of illness in this book that I didn't learn in my classes.
Irvin Yalom is a psychiatrist who comes from the tradition of talk therapy and he is truly a wise man. You should read something by this man even if current practitioners would tell you he is passe. Go to the library and get his beautiful book, _Love's Executioner_, subtitled "tales from psychotherapy", or something like that. This man is candid about himself and candid about psychiatry, but a beautiful person to person learning experience.
Rent Sandra Bullock's film _28 Days_, about drug and alcohol tx.
Anyone else have some reading or viewing to recommend? It's summer--have a little fun and a little insight.
Last edit by MollyJ on Jul 2, '01