Psych nurses similar to other nurses?

  1. I need quick replies as I need to write a position paper on this but haven't picked a side yet. The real question is do you agree or disagree with the statement

    "mental health nursing require many skills and interventions that are also required by other areas of nursing (ie. peds, med-surg)"
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Loray
    :hatparty: :hatparty:
    Quote from ferfer
    I need quick replies as I need to write a position paper on this but haven't picked a side yet. The real question is do you agree or disagree with the statement

    "mental health nursing require many skills and interventions that are also required by other areas of nursing (ie. peds, med-surg)"
    ALL Nurses are given two ears and one mouth. Learning to use our senses
    is part of our skills learning.
    Last edit by Loray on Apr 2, '04 : Reason: did'nt write anything
  4. by   nursedarla
    I agree. I work in a 12-bed psych unit in a small rural hospital. More frequently than not, the people we take care of have medical diagnosis' as well as psych. We admit from ages 14 and up. One week might look like teen week and the next like we're running a geriatric ward. We get a lot of pts with conditions like fibromyalgia. We get diabetics and heart conditions. The worst part is when someone is there who has more medical problems that have been overlooked because some practitioners see the psych diagnosis and look no further. Anyone who's ever cared for someone with severe DT's will tell you that you better be confident in your assessment skills and medical knowledge.
  5. by   aurora_borealis
    Yes, they do. I used to work in an inpatient substance abuse unit, and while it's easy to become complacent, when you have chronically ill patients with medical needs you have to be hypervigilant. The problem, at least where I worked, is that most of the nurses had little med-surg experience and had no idea what to do if something went wrong. You have the added burden of assessing (especially the elderly ) whether someone is wacky because he/she is, well, wacky, as opposed to something organic.

    Now, a subject near and dear to my heart is the treatment of ETOH withdrawal. DT's are preventable folks, trust me. The problem is that most physicians are clueless, as are nurses, when it comes to assessing and treating ETOH withdrawal. The mortality rate for withdrawal is a staggering 15%, which in this day and age is absolutely unacceptable. When I worked med-surg, the standard order for ETOH withdrawal was 25-50mg Librium q 6 hours, prn. You have got to be kidding me. It had the same effect as pissing in the ocean.
    When I transferred to substance abuse, we used Valium, and for those in acute withdrawal we assessed q15 minutes, and were quite liberal in giving that Valium. We had patients who were uncomfortable during withdrawal but no one ever went through DT's. It's been my position for years that there is absolutely no excuse for the medical profession to not prevent DT's.
  6. by   zambezi
    While I don't work in psych, I think that it depends on what kind of psych unit that you work on. In our hospital, the patient has to be medically cleared before they can be placed in our inpatient psych unit...so as far as straight up skills such as ivs/nts/...some of the more procedural things don't get done as often...I know that some psych units have to care for both mentally and physically sick patients. So, in answer to your question, I think that they need the skill used in other units are important as the psych RN may have to use them but, at least in our "behavioral health" unit, they are not routinely used and therefore are probably a bit "rustier" on certain skills.
  7. by   walterrn
    Managed Care - we find more psych with medical issues and more medical with psych issues. Nature of the beast.

    Walter the Nurse



    QUOTE=ferfer]I need quick replies as I need to write a position paper on this but haven't picked a side yet. The real question is do you agree or disagree with the statement

    "mental health nursing require many skills and interventions that are also required by other areas of nursing (ie. peds, med-surg)"[/QUOTE]
  8. by   walterrn
    Are psych nurses like other nurses?

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    You have to be a little bent to work psych.........I'm the perfect example.

    Walter the Nurse



    Quote from ferfer
    I need quick replies as I need to write a position paper on this but haven't picked a side yet. The real question is do you agree or disagree with the statement

    "mental health nursing require many skills and interventions that are also required by other areas of nursing (ie. peds, med-surg)"
  9. by   TinyNurse
    Most definitely psych nurses and med-surg/other nurses need the same skills. Research has it ( or at least I learned last year in nursing school) that 1 in 5 beds has a mental illness. I've also heard from psych nurses at my hospital that some patients need o2, or an IV on their floor. Not to mention you are always therapeutically communicating whether it is the patient or family.
    xo Jen
  10. by   Mister Chris
    Quote from walterrn
    Are psych nurses like other nurses?

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    You have to be a little bent to work psych.........I'm the perfect example.

    Walter the Nurse
    The following may upset some of the 'general' nurses, however - (I trained in psychiatry first, then mental and physically handicapped, and finally general).
    I found that most of 'general' nursing was definable and possibly routine or anway by the book, and could be almost in a lot of circumstances be mechanical. Whereas in psychiatry very little was 'by the book' and certainly always needed, in fact demanded an individual or special approach. Infact could be said to be 'real' nursing - needing the many special skills that could only be aquired by experience and were not found in books or learnt in lectures.

    Yes too you possibly have to be a bit 'different' or bent a bit! :chuckle

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