My "Psych Career" began when I took a position as Intake Coordinator for an Addiction Treatment Facility. Before that, I was all ICU, ER, Flight Nurse, Level I Trauma, Military Combat Casualty Care, Paramedic, O.R.; go, go, go. Do, do, do. !!! This need to succeed was beat into my brain practically from birth by parents, teachers, military superiors, TV ads, internet ads, billboards, etc. etc., etc. My entire identity was totally defined by what I could do and how well I could do it; i.e., better than other people.
I eventually crashed and burned, almost losing my hard-earned license, my career, my family and my life. Personal morals and ethics became non-existent, as long as I was the Golden Boy and didn't get caught.
I have had several mental health diagnoses but overall, my problem was me. The sum total of my genetics, my upbringing, my life, my experiences. I found in Psych Nursing the opportunity to use this amalgamation of living to help others who, while not having identical situations, have bits and pieces that I can help them with. I am borrowing from a twelve step program here but; I share my experience, strength and hope with patients entrusted to my care. The essence of Nursing for me has always been being able to help others who would "do" for themselves if they had these three things in their own lives; experience, strength and hope. The Psych Nurse career path started in 1992 and continues today. I have been a Registered Nurse since 1975 and currently work as a Travel Nurse at a facility for Forensic Competency Restoration. ALL of my 24 patients have serious (some very serious) mental illness diagnoses and have "allegedly" committed crimes, from trespassing to murder. My job today, my reason for being here every day is to help these tortured souls to cope with their lot in life. I cannot affect their legal proceedings but I can, and will, help them any way I can to make the most of the hand they are dealt. I will retire next year but continue my work with Veterans like me who need a helping hand.
I don't know if this answers any questions or even is on-topic. But, this is where I am, warts and all, for whatever us I can be.