I have a BA in Psychology, and I entered nursing school thinking that I really wanted to go into Psychiatric Nursing. After thinking I was going to have to do my transitition to practice on a med. surg. floor, I was just offered the opportunity to be on the psych unit of our local hospital. While I think this would be an amazing experience, I have some concerns. I haven't really had much experience with the nursing skill set I feel I should have after graduation from nursing school (caths, wound care, shots, etc.), and I'm also afraid of pigeon-holing myself. What if it turns out I really hate inpatient psych? Then I have absolutely not training (for all intents and purposes) in any other area. Any advice would be very much appreciated. I have to make this decision ASAP! Thanks in advance for your help!!! :-)
Aug 9, '12
It all depends on the Psych Unit at your facility. I am an LVN Psych Charge Nurse. The RN supervises but I do all the med passing, treatments and documentation. He/she does the assessments but I do them with her. As for care plans
, we both do them. So I am the one who utilizes their nursing skills the most. My suggestion to you is if you want to retain your nursing skills and gain additional experience, then you will want to stay in a medical unit. What you can do is per diem in a Psych Unit to get a feel for it. Some nurses don't care for the direct patient care & prefer Psych Nursing so it all depends.
Aug 9, '12
I went into mental health nursing right after graduation as an RN. You really do lose your med/surg type skills, and after only one year now, it would probably impossible for me to get back into a general hospital medical floor. Maybe you could try mental health nursing as a part time thing to try it out? Everybody warned me about losing my skills .. and they were right. I guess it just depends on how passionate you are about mental health. I thought I was passionate about it, but I am finding, that I am not. Just my experience tho!!! That being said, mental health nursing is a specialty, and you are using skills appropriate to that population.
Aug 9, '12
If it is your passion, though, from what I've read, psychaitric advanced practice nurses are in demand, and paid well.
Aug 10, '12
Hi pinkfish333, what you said were my exact concerns. I just recently graduated and I thought about going into mental health nursing for a while. I was having concerns about whether or not I should start out on a general med floor to develop my skills before going elsewhere. Can I ask what you liked/didn't like about your position? And what are your plans now after discovering that you're not passionate about it? Thank you
Aug 10, '12
if you go into any specialty you are pidgeon holed....an l and d nurse would have a hard time getting a job on a medsurg floor...i chose psych as my first nursing job b/c i love psych...it's interesting to me and i don't like IV's, NG tubes, trachs lol... plus i like actually having time to talk with my pts...I love just sitting down and trying to teach coping skills or just be a listening ear...i love all the crazy stories that come from my pts lol...i love seeing a psychotic pt come in bc they got off their meds, and then we get their meds straight, intense therapy, and d/c them home as a brand new person...
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