psych nursing for me?

  1. Hi, I am a fairly new ADN graduate (May of 2000)I've been employed as an RN in a telemetry unit for the past 6 months. I know that I no longer want to do this type of nursing (any medical/surg/floor type nursing). It seems to me that It's a flurry of meds, treatments, tubes, labs, more tubes, equipment blah blah with little time for the patients. 4-5 really sick, often incontinent patients with major health problems and rush rush rush, lucky if we have a tech or CNA to help...I can't take it, I'm not made for this. I am completely unhappy with my position (although I enjoy the staff)....So I start thinking about an area of nursing that has always intrigued me, although I didn't want to jump into it right out of school...PSYCHIATRIC NURSING. Now I'm not saying that this would be EASY nursing, but different. I look at it as software nursing as opposed to hardware nursing (which I am doing now). I really enjoy working with patients, even crabby ones. When a psych-type patient gets admitted to our unit, I am always interested and more than willing to take them. The human mind fascinates me. I'm not a voyeur of other's problems, I have enough of a family hx to feel empathy for these people and I am very non-judgemental.

    I am eligible to begin posting out for positions and I am considering psych. Any pointers, opinions, etc? I'd love to hear from current or past psych nurses...thanks!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   rncares
    Hello, always nice to hear when a nurse is interested in Psych.... I have been a Psychiatric Nurse since 1982. This specialty has allowed me to work in various locations and with all developmental levels of patients. If you realize it or not,you are already "doing" psych nursing where you are now.... we can not seperate mind/body of our patients. We are integrated beings and if one area is affected... so is another!! I would suggest a literature review and perhaps crosstraining to the specialty area you are interested in. This will give you some insight without losing the positon you currently have. Lots more I could say and will at another time.

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    peace to you and yours
  4. by   voban
    rncares, thanks for the reply. I did some research, asked lots of questions and accepted a position in our adult Behavioral Health Unit recently. I am very excited. I think this will be a good choice for me. Thanks again.
  5. by   mustangsheba
    Voban: Most nurses are vehement about not liking psych nursing. If you are interested at all, you will probably do very well. I was always amazed that so many dislike psych. Mcares is right. You are already doing psych.
  6. by   lew
    I'm a 45 yr old male student with thoughts of focusing of Psychatric Nsg. I am a natural here from the experience I've had will various disorders in my family. I've also acquired experience with substance abuse clients and CEUs from workshops. Is the pay as competive in Psyc? I'm thinking to get the work experience I need the state facilities my be the best way to go. Perhaps later to work in a private setting and one day as DON in geratric. Any insights are welcome. I'm sort of old getting going here. Thanks Lew

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    Lew in Durham at NCCU
  7. by   ikelly
    Originally posted by lew:
    I'm a 45 yr old male student with thoughts of focusing of Psychatric Nsg. I am a natural here from the experience I've had will various disorders in my family. I've also acquired experience with substance abuse clients and CEUs from workshops. Is the pay as competive in Psyc? I'm thinking to get the work experience I need the state facilities my be the best way to go. Perhaps later to work in a private setting and one day as DON in geratric. Any insights are welcome. I'm sort of old getting going here. Thanks Lew
    Hi Lew,
    I'm really not sure why you want to go into psych nursing? Have you had any psych clinical experience in school? Psych nursing can be very rewarding but it can be very stressful. There is always the chance that you may be injured by a patient. Also you need to be aware of countertransference. In your post you mentioned that you had
    experience with illness re: family members.
    Patients are admitted with medical illnesses in many psych units. The population in urban areas include the homeless, remands from the court systems, chronic long term psych patients-many with history of violence, and sweet little old ladies suffering from depression and loneliness.
    Psych nursing is not an easy out. If you relate well to all types of people and enjoy a challenge, then psych might be for you. You can always try it. Go with what you think
    will be rewarding. Good luck.
    Ida
  8. by   blindog45
    Originally posted by ikelly:
    Originally posted by lew:
    I'm a 45 yr old male student with thoughts of focusing of Psychatric Nsg. I am a natural here from the experience I've had will various disorders in my family. I've also acquired experience with substance abuse clients and CEUs from workshops. Is the pay as competive in Psyc? I'm thinking to get the work experience I need the state facilities my be the best way to go. Perhaps later to work in a private setting and one day as DON in geratric. Any insights are welcome. I'm sort of old getting going here. Thanks Lew
    Hi Lew,
    I'm really not sure why you want to go into psych nursing? Have you had any psych clinical experience in school? Psych nursing can be very rewarding but it can be very stressful. There is always the chance that you may be injured by a patient. Also you need to be aware of countertransference. In your post you mentioned that you had
    experience with illness re: family members.
    Patients are admitted with medical illnesses in many psych units. The population in urban areas include the homeless, remands from the court systems, chronic long term psych patients-many with history of violence, and sweet little old ladies suffering from depression and loneliness.
    Psych nursing is not an easy out. If you relate well to all types of people and enjoy a challenge, then psych might be for you. You can always try it. Go with what you think
    will be rewarding. Good luck.
    Ida
    Hi Lew,
    I have been a Psych nurse for 2 years, and worked in a psychiatric facility for the past 13 years. I dont mean this in a bad way, but problems in our life and family problems do not qualify us as nurses to work with psych pts. If anything, we should stay away from this type of nursing unless we have resolved any issues we have as individuals. Psych nursing is all 'mind', thinking thru crisis and dealing with some very manipulative people. If we are unaware of our own issues, we will fall victim to there manipulation in a heartbeat. Be careful with this decision, psych nursing can be very stressful. Good Luck!!

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