What's it really like?

  1. I have always worked in healthcare in some capacity, but never mental health, now I've decided to go to college and this is the field (mental health) that speaks to me the most. I think nursing as opposed to psychology or social work for example is my best bet. I like that nursing will expose me to other specialties so I can make an informed decision before pursuing my Master's. So while I am open to other specialties and I realize I may change my mind later, Psych is the one I am always drawn back to.

    So, I want to know exactly what it is like? The good and the bad. Some questions I have in particular..

    1. Is it emotionally taxing? In particular working with young people. I understand many have had bad experiences. Does it ever feel like it gets to be too much?
    2. Is it dangerous? How common is it for patients to become combative? Are there adequate measures in place to protect the safety of the staff? *note: I realize not everyone who has psychiatric issues is violent
    3. What makes a psych nurse a great psych nurse? Qualities of that person and/or skills needed?
    4. If psych does prove to be what I'm still interested in, should I go right into psych or get experience on another floor first like med surgical first?
    5. Do psych nurses deal with a stigma of their own?
    6. What kind of recovery do you see with patients?


    For PMHNP...
    1. Do you get to do psychotherapy?
    2. Are you treated well by Psychiatrists? Do you feel like part of a team and valued?
    3. Do you get to treat more acute cases? If so, do you always feel prepared to do so?
    4. Where do did you receive your training? What are things to look for in a good program?
    5. Any thoughts on what the job market trends should be for the next 5, 10, years and beyond?
    6. Are you also a FNP or would you have preferred doing an FNP instead?

    Thanks!
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   motor_mouth
    Take these answers for what they're worth. I've only been a nurse for ~1.5 years but have been in psych the entire time.

    Quote from julesjameson3333
    1. Is it emotionally taxing? In particular working with young people. I understand many have had bad experiences. Does it ever feel like it gets to be too much?
    YES! Some days more than others. I don't work with young people (I work with patients with dementia) so can't speak to that aspect. I try to take days off often enough so that it doesn't get to be too much to deal with.

    Quote from julesjameson3333
    2. Is it dangerous? How common is it for patients to become combative? Are there adequate measures in place to protect the safety of the staff? *note: I realize not everyone who has psychiatric issues is violent
    That's going to vary greatly. On my unit, I would say someone is hit, kick, scratched, etc. at least weekly. It just depends on the census. There's usually not bad injuries, though those have occurred also.

    Yes, we are all trained in de-escalation and CPI techniques.

    Quote from julesjameson3333
    3. What makes a psych nurse a great psych nurse? Qualities of that person and/or skills needed?
    Understanding, patience, and compassion. Not everyone can do psych, just like not everyone can't do labor and delivery.

    Quote from julesjameson3333
    4. If psych does prove to be what I'm still interested in, should I go right into psych or get experience on another floor first like med surgical first?
    I went straight to psych. That's what I wanted, that was the reason I went to nursing school, and I didn't really like anything else.

    Quote from julesjameson3333
    5. Do psych nurses deal with a stigma of their own?
    Some don't consider psych nurses "real" nurses so there is definitely a stigma of sorts.

    Quote from julesjameson3333
    6. What kind of recovery do you see with patients?
    I've seen patients come in who are hitting, kicking, biting, etc. just to get them changed into clean clothes, and they leave smiling. It's not always that dramatic of course, but those are the ones that stick with you.
  4. by   PsychGuy
    For PMHNP.

    1. No. Could. Don't wish to.
    2. Yes. I'm solo in my region and that's the best treatment I could get.
    3. Double yes.
    4. State U. Cost, time, didactics and course content. Provided preceptors rather than typical find your own is awesome.
    5. Lower every few years. More psych residency slots are filling. Those darn FMGs. More kids picking psych as their NP choice. Who could bland them?
    6. Double no. I don't have the constitution for it.
    7. Great job. Best thing I've ever done and I've done a lot.

    Apologies for the fragments.
  5. by   julesjameson3333
    PsychGuy, APRN, NP. I see your located in the South. If you don't mind being asked, what state are you in?

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