Question regarding requirements of a RPN

  1. Hi there

    I am thinking about commencing my psychiatric nursing training next year, but firstly I would like to hear some views from nurses in the field.

    I am a female, of petite build, and I kind of get the feeling that in this area it is not a good way to be. I have discussed the issue with a few male psychiatric nurses and they feel that females such as I become an easy target for victimisation or munipulation by patients. I have only had 6 weeks experience in the field, and during this time I did not experience such... however, I would like to hear others views regarding it.
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   fawnsternurse
    Quote from L-Sis
    Hi there

    I am thinking about commencing my psychiatric nursing training next year, but firstly I would like to hear some views from nurses in the field.

    I am a female, of petite build, and I kind of get the feeling that in this area it is not a good way to be. I have discussed the issue with a few male psychiatric nurses and they feel that females such as I become an easy target for victimisation or munipulation by patients. I have only had 6 weeks experience in the field, and during this time I did not experience such... however, I would like to hear others views regarding it.
    Hello,
    I am 5'4 and use to be around 120 lbs and now I am 140 lbs and have never been physically harmed by a patient. I just finished working on a 30 bed male ward and I was the only R.N.. I think people respond to you as you respond to them.I think you also need to have wisdom and not walk down certain halls alone, or be alone with patients, etc etc However, I have been involved with inpatient psych since 1997 and have done community nursing with the mentally ill for longer and i have personnally never had a problem.
    I think to be a good psych nurse a person has to continue growing as a person. When you are matured, centered and balanced and are conciously working on your life journey you have a richness to offer people.
    I noticed your age and I think this would be a wonderful opportunity not only for you but for your patients and fellow workers. Sometimes people get "stale" being in an area for too long.
    Go ahead take the job, and continue reading, taking workshops, go to seminars and multiple other venues and continue to grow as a person and professionally.
    Good Luck and God bless you!
  4. by   elkpark
    I agree with everything Fawnsternurse said. After ~20 years in psych nursing, I have found that how you are treated (by fellow staff as well as patients/clients) will largely result from how you present yourself. People will attempt to manipulate if you seem like someone they can manipulate ...

    Also, my observation over the years (for what that's worth :chuckle ) has been that male clients are much less likely to hit/assault a female staff member than they are a male. The "ya don't hit girls" taboo seems to have a pretty strong hold on men until they are really out of control (like, floridly psychotic or v. high). Female clients, on the other hand, will hit anyone (and slap, scratch, kick, bite, spit, etc.)

    There are some basic, common-sense precautions that we should all be taking to be safe at work. In my career, it has been extremely rare that a client has assaulted a staff member out of the blue, without plenty of warning that the situation was building to this. I don't mean it's NEVER happened, but it's been rare. In most of the situations I have witnessed, the client was usually telegraphing that he or she was getting seriously angry and about to lose control (or had been flirting with a female staff member for some time, and escalating the flirting), yet the staff member did not respond to de-escalate the situation or take steps to maintain safety for the client as well as the staff.

    I'm one of those psych nurses who would go hungry before I'd do any kind of nursing -- I recommend it highly! Best wishes on whatever career decision you make --

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