Psychiatric nursing... do you really lose all your nursing skills? - Page 3Register Today!
- Mar 7 by natasham11I agree with the last 2 comments above. I have worked at the State Hospital (obviously psych) for 5+ years and graduated in Dec. 11' with my ADN. At first, it was difficult for anyone to call me for an interview in a medical field, and I was getting frustrated, cuz let's face it, if you work psych for a period of time you will get easily irritable and burn out! Finally, after 6 months I stared getting calls for ER positions, L & D positions, and Med Surg positions I applied for. They were offering me jobs left and right. ( Keep in mind I've been in psych for 5 yrs and a CNA before then) I was a total believer that if I didn't get out of the psych field I would lose everything I dreamed of going to school for. ER gets SOOOO many psych cases, they actually benefit from someone with experience since a seasoned psych nurse knows how to handle a manic, grandiose pt that comes to the ER thinking he's Obama and recites the Bible with his eyes closed. Every field has psych related somehow. Depression, anxiety, you name it. I decided to stay in psych and I absolutely love it. Just remember, anyone can say they worked in ICU, Med/Surg, Neuro, ER, OR, or whatever field, but how many can say they survived years in psych? Not many. It takes a special person to work in this field. PLUS, the pay is so much nicer, and working for the State offers way better benefits.
For the " you don't use it you lose it" part: I've removed countless sutures and staples, removed IV's that "medical nurses" forgot to take out, responded to many codes for cardiac arrests, seizures, anaphylactic reactions, you name it, I've pretty much done it. The only lacking part is IV's. I am not trying to talk down about any other field, but no one single person can say they've handled a day in psych AND survived until they dealt with a borderline pt cutting themself and leaving a blood trail up the hall, a person detoxing off whatever drug they were using with a CIWA score of over 20 and b/p thru the roof among other withdraw symptoms, 4 admissions, a man who thinks he is Jesus and "saving" all the other pts for their sins, a pt whose blood sugar dropped thru the basement and gotta get it back up ASAP, and then convincing the old man that the person whom he is speaking with is just his reflection in the window, and not his boss. ( these are all examples btw...)
So if you wanna try psych, go for it. Don't let anyone elses opinion make you choose otherwise. You won't if you like it til you try it! Every day is unpredictable in psych. Mental health is just as important as medical health!
- Jun 27 by lilmoongoddessI want to give an update on my earlier post. I was initially scared about losing all my 'clinical skills' and I must say that the first mental health unit I got hired on was not an overall positive experience. The older nurses were mean to the younger nurses, as well as the patients. Nurses on the unit were not allowed to start IVs or take blood. I am happy to say that I have since moved on to a different mental health unit in another hospital and since the unit takes patients even before they are 'medically cleared,' nurses have many opportunities to practice their 'clinical skills'. I will be IV certified, I will take my own blood samples, I will perform blood transfusions, etc... so things are looking good and I have fallen in love with psychiatric nursing now my long-term goal is to work in the psych ER or in the community
- Jun 29 by MeriwhenQuote from lilmoongoddessAnother one joins the dark sideso things are looking good and I have fallen in love with psychiatric nursing now my long-term goal is to work in the psych ER or in the community
Psych ER is fun, you'd like it. But it's not as medical as the name makes it seem. In the psych ER, you're dealing with patients who are in acute psychiatric crisis--a majority of them are/will be under holds when they arrive, but there's a fair number of voluntaries. There's also lots of intoxicated/stoned/high patients coming in too. But if the patient is medically unstable (e.g., unresponsive, MI), they're going over to a medical ER.
- Sep 1 by Monica H. RNI am so glad to hear this, as I too am getting ready to start a new position in a state facility. I graduated in may this year and at first I was disappointed that I did not land the "new grad" med surg job at a local hospital; however, I have always liked psych and feel like this will be the place for me. I have heard hat it's good to start in med surg but now I believe psych is where it's at. My facility does med surg skills as well as long term psych and I am excited to be a part of their team! Congrats to you on hanging in there, I hope I will be the next to post a good experience
- Sep 15 by silentdivideHi there
I'm an RN (gradded 2012) and work full time in Psych Emerg and Psych Intensive Care in BC, Canada. I can tell you that it has been nothing less than an incredible experience. My clinical decision-making/judgment, assessment, and communication skills have developed substantially since working here. I also work in medical ER on the side (but less and less over the days) and have found that yes, skills do fade a bit, but it has been worth the trade off for my new psych skills. A lot of experience/exposure gives you some excellent psychosocial knowledge as well as ethical critical thinking (treating involuntary patients, for example). I would encourage you to try and keep your understanding of disease pathology and what not through research on your downtime. I've done that and was able to pass the NCLEX-RN (recently) and have barely worked in med-surg the last year and half.
Psych is simply amazing!
- Sep 15 by OfficerRNBSNQuote from NurseCardHow is it that so many arrogant nurses feel as if they're the only people capable of applying critical appraisal to making a decision?As a psychiatric nurse, you will use your critical thinking skills, your assessment
skills, your communication skills... invaluable tools that are difficult to relearn
As a psychiatric nurse, you probably will not start too many IV's, give blood,
insert foleys... except for on rare occasions. After a while you may lose some
of your hands-on skills, but those are so much easier to relearn.
Having said all of that... if you spend six years in psych, you are much much
less likely to get hired to an ER crew than if you spend say, six months to a
year in psych. I've known new grads who started their careers in psych, and
then moved on to ICU, Med Surge, wherever. Good luck!