I am new to this site and I don't even know if this is going to appear. To answer a few of the questions I have seen on this BB. As far as giving injections of psych meds. If you are giving a Decanoate which last 3-4 weeks. You draw up the med with a 15G needle and chg needle to a 21G 1.5 inch. The medication is so thick you will be drawing all day if you use a needle smaller than 15G. I use a Z- track it keeps the med from seeping out of the tissue. If you have a large person give in the arm. If it is a large amount use two injections. one in each arm. If you give in fat tissue it will stay there and that is why you get a lump.
Psych meds to look for in a psych rotation depends on the state you are in. Most common ones I have come across in three states are, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Geodon, Haldol, Prolixin, Depakote, Lithium, Ativan, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Klonopin, Xanax, Cogentin. There are probably more but these are the most frequent.
The Dx you want to look up is Schizophrentic. (different types) Bipolar, Major Depression, Personality Disorders. These are the major ones.
Last but not least. A student coming out of school going into psych to me is not a good idea. It is nothing like working on a med surg unit. If you could get some training as a tech or PCA or what ever they call them in your state it would be helpful. If anyone has anymore questions I would be glad to answer if I can figure out how to.
Sep 25, '01
Hello Pat, I read the post that you wrote and just wanted to ask you why wouldn't you recommend a nursing student to go into psychiatric nursing right after graduation?
Sep 26, '01
First off, I would advise anyone to gain some honest to goodness life experience, as an adult, not a student, before commencing "Psych." As with all other branches of nursing, the real learning begins when theory meets reality. The last thing that patients or staff need is an innocent abroad, trying to adapt.
Staffing levels tend to be lower, so support may be less accessible, and managing situations is often less clear cut than in, say, med-surg.
Sep 26, '01
I would seriously discourage a fresh off the farm nurse from going into Psych. It is a very important that a nurse have training and in pysch, it is not a textbook case senario. I think you would find that it is a very complex situation... Such as Dual diagnosis. You have a medical issue such as HTN and Depression and some of the meds can really cause problems with the BP and etc.... and the person who said that they might not find a nuturing environment to be mentored is right on..... so your experience on the first day may be discouraging to say the least
Jan 24, '02
I definitely agree that Psych is not an ideal choice for new nursing grads.
The Comprehensive Degree in Nursing currently in favour here gives very little exposure to Psychiatric settings and very basic theoretical content.
Hospital management has a rather poor understanding of skill mix and consequently new grads are often rostered to acute secure wards and the Forensic Unit.Not only can this be a confronting experience for the beginning practitioner - it significantly increases the work load for the regular staff in terms of maintaining staff and patient safety.
Ultimately, many of these grads choose never to work in Psych again - a real issue when numbers of Psych nurses are diminishing.
Ideally, I would like to see a requirement for a minimum of 12 months general experience prior to employment in Psych.
Ther are always exceptions - "mature age " grads and those with previous experience as Enrolled Nurses often do well , but the average 20 year old grad struggles.
Feb 3, '02
Caroline I totally agree with the bottom part of your statement. Experienced age is helpful. I do disagree for teh most part though that a new graduate will not be very welcome on psych unit. Good staff do what they can to help each other out regardless of training. I recommend that anyone thinking of going into psych fresh out of school hone up on frequently used medications, diagnosis, and treatments.
Apr 19, '02
I agree that it is difficult for the new graduate to succeed in the psychiatric setting.
It is very helpful for the new graduate to gain some med-surg experience before venturing into the psy setting. A large number of patients will have a)underlying physical problems and b)dual diagnoses. Communication skills are also key, and would have improved with experience in nursing and life.
Of note, those of us who have been in the field for some time should make a greater effort to mentor new nurses in psy.
We have such a program in effect and it seems to make things much easier for all concerned.
Apr 19, '02
I agree with most of the posts especially the suggestions about when to start psych/mental training.we have had several new graduates do placements in their first yr after graduation they both went away and did general nursing one has just completed her post grad degree in mental health nursing.
personally I had 30 yrs general and midwfery experience before i did my psych.its the life experience the patients appreciate,your experiences can be believed by them rather than a much younger person.we also have the wrinkles that makes what we say believable.MHN
Apr 19, '02
So what do you experienced nurses think about someone like me? I am 43 years old, I will graduate form my RN program on May 19th. I have been an LPN since 1997 and have worked mainly LTC. Many times in LTC we deal with dementia and other psychiatric problems associated with aging. Thanks for your input!
Apr 23, '02
cindy you are not some young whipper snapper wet behind the ears full of their own importance you will have experienced life and like me if you are unlucky will have the wrinkles i spoke of in previous post .MHN
May 3, '02
If you have your heart in what you do, you will be fine!-nurses who choose psych because they want an "easy" job are in for an awakening-Psych will ry every skill you learned in nursing school as well as in life-BUT there is nothing more rewarding if you do your job well-Good Luck.I have been a psych nurse for 20 years .
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