Quote from dan.ed
to rivs; i'd say - go for it.... sure you can learn alot from a year on the med/surg floor, but you'll learn alot in psych, too. a large number of psych pts have medical problems you will be dealing with and learning about; diabetes, cancer, heart problems, respiratory problems, pregnancy, resistant infections, gun shots, self inflicted cuts, overdoses, and many more. ..... and when you are a psych nurse, it is very easy to ask the medical specialty docs who come around to see their patients to explain a little about what they are assessing and why... most medical specialty docs will be glad to give an attentive psych nurse a brief tutorial on what is happening.... you see, psych nurses have the advantage of being able to say to the medical guys/gals , "we may have to send your pt back to the medical floor if we can't care for him here"..... and medical docs hate nothing worse than having a psych pt on their nice calm medical floor.
if you develope a rapport with a medical doc, you will find that after a while they will start asking for you to take care of their pts on the psych unit...
good luck with your decision... dan
re: psych nurse right out of school?
i like you wanted to do psych nursing right out of school but i was scared of losing my skills and everyone said to do med-surg first. so i ended up working on a medical floor for 10 months. on the plus side, it did increase my organizational skills and get me some practical experience in dealing with poeple who are "medically ill." it also made me realize that psych is where my heart is and i began looking for a job in psych. i now work on a psycho-geriatric unit & my medical experience helps. i don't regret going to the medical floor, i trusted my gut feeling that i needed to go there but i didn't put a time limit on how long i'd be there. for me it was the right decision. good luck, i'm sure you'll make the right decision for you.
the two posts above answer one of most "burning desire" questions. i will graduate lpn school in march and plan to go immediately on to rn. i was very interested in psychiatric nursing, but during my clinical rotations, i saw other possible areas of interest. however, my heart and mind keep leading me back to psychiatric nursing. my thing is that i really love bedside nursing of patients and i am afraid that i won't get to do that in mental health. of course as the years pass, i may change my mind because i don't really have nursing experience yet.
as a psychiatric nurse, do you still perform physical assessments, etc.?