I applied to a state mental health hospital. I am a May 2012 new grad...no exp. Those who have started at a state hospital and or work at one now, what do you think? Also, at a state hospital, do you do anything med-surg wise with the patients, or do you only concentrate on the psych aspect of it? They don't lose their physical bodies with psych conditions, so that's why I ask.
Any insight is helpful! Thanks!
Feb 10, '13
I work at a state psych facility and most of our patients don't have anything med/surg related. We might do some bandaging to wounds from whatever brought them in but that's about the extent of it. I will say I absolutely love my job there and actually enjoy going to work most days. There are rough days but they come fewer and farther between for me than they did when I was working in other places.
Feb 12, '13
Congradulations on your new position "wish me luck". I work for the State of Nevada with an inpatient psychiatric hospital and have been with them for the past year or so. Prior to that, I worked for another organization affiliated with the state for about a year. They provided outpatient services.
I enjoy my job. The pay is rather low but I do like that they still retain a pension. Like any government job, they tend to be reactive rather than proactive about patient care. That can make change difficult. With young new minds, sometimes new ideas aren't welcomed. Regardless of whether we are psych nurses or not, we do still care for other co-morbidities. For example, many meds can technically prolong QT waves. We have to have the intuition to know when to further assess clients who may have history of heart problems as a result. Many antipsychotics can lead to metabolic syndrome as well. Knowing to look out for signs of significant weight gain or insulin resistance is therefore also important. Still other meds can lower the seizure thresholds. Many clients, especially those with history of seizure disorders thus have to be carefully watched. Teaching in med-surg like conditions will become part of your basic nursing interventions as a result. In other words, that idea of "they don't lose their bodies" may not be completely accurate.
Regardless, I hope you enjoy psych as much as I have. It's been a rewarding experience and I have gained so much from it. I hope you do too.