Why are we as Psych nurses seen as bottom of the barrel? - page 2

I'm just wondering because every time I tell someone that I quit my IVR job to go to children's psych they act appalled. I know it's different but I'm still a nurse. Even my family acts appalled.... Read More

  1. Visit  Irishpsychintern profile page
    7
    Im as proud as I can be of being a psych nurse.. This idea of "well its not really nursing" is ********. Id like to see a general nurse deal with people on an acute admission unit WITHOUT a "chemical straightjacket". Or help someone deal with awful audio hallucinations WITHOUT drugs....
    Psych Nurses ROCK....... the rest are just jealous !!
    eklecticsol, hanasea, GooeyRN, and 4 others like this.
  2. Visit  Ddestiny profile page
    6
    I'm a nursing student that is going to school specifically to become a Psychiatric Nurse. When asked during the first week of school what specialty we were interested in, I said "Psychiatric/Mental Health" and got gasps from a lot of classmates. I don't know that they necessarily look down on the profession but there are a lot that said that would never do it themselves.

    I think that a lot of people don't understand or trust things that they can't see and that they haven't experienced. Look at the stigma surrounding depression even though it is so prevalent in our society. If you think those people are whiners that lack motivation and just need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, then it makes sense that you would look down on the people that treat/"coddle" them.

    Luckily we know better, and slowly society has been waking up to the importance of mental health. It's not where it should be, but it's better. It wasn't long ago that no one had ever heard of PTSD, now there are whole military training courses dedicated to it for a population that, historically, was never supposed to show emotion or weakness.

    Maybe mental health will never get the recognition that it deserves, but you know when you've made an impact on someone's life.
  3. Visit  aloevera profile page
    1
    I'm ashameed to admit I actually was one of those nurses who used to think "oh, so you're depressed, SNAP OUT OF IT!! you are just weak, and want to be taken care of"...........UNTIL.........I took a job on a psych unit as Supervisor (due to my prior adm. exp.) I started working the floors on all units....boy, was I in for a surprise !!! I did a complete turn around in my thinking and have been happily working psych now for 10 years !!!!!!!!!
    I love it and would never go back..........
    SO, IGNORANCE IS 99% of the lack of respect that we get.....we work hard, harder than I ever did on a med/surg floor..........it is emotionally draining.......
    Lucky724 likes this.
  4. Visit  Orca profile page
    0
    Where I work there are both psychiatric and medical nurses employed. I have served in both classifications. One thing that does not help the image of the psychiatric nurses is that many have developed a complete aversion - which they openly state - to doing anything even remotely considered to be medically related (such as running an EKG).

    Some psych nurses are the victims of their own actions in making themselves less accepted by their more medically-oriented colleagues.
  5. Visit  rn/writer profile page
    3
    Psych freaks a lot of people out. Even nurses, who should know better. They don't want any part of it because they either, a) don't have a clue how to manage a patient population that scares them, or, b) think psych issues are bogus and that patients are faking or exaggerating, or, c) a combination of the two.

    That's okay. Less competition for psych nurses.

    Hold your head up, and remember that you are doing something important.
    hanasea, 1uvakindmom, and carolmaccas66 like this.
  6. Visit  carolmaccas66 profile page
    0
    Quote from Orca
    Where I work there are both psychiatric and medical nurses employed. I have served in both classifications. One thing that does not help the image of the psychiatric nurses is that many have developed a complete aversion - which they openly state - to doing anything even remotely considered to be medically related (such as running an EKG).

    Some psych nurses are the victims of their own actions in making themselves less accepted by their more medically-oriented colleagues.
    I'm a BSN RN and I'm studying for my Graduate Diploma in Psych Nursing. I was the only one on two large, busy psych floors the other night who could do an ECG (EKG) - none of the RMHN's could do it, so it's good to have the general nursing experience. Just letting students know do your BSN first, then psych - it will stand u in good stead.
  7. Visit  aloevera profile page
    0
    anyone can learn to give a shot, hit a vein, follow the diagram to do an ECG, etc. etc...............but........not anyone can calm a schizophrenic, talk to a labile pt., LISTEN to a heartbreaking story from a 13 yr. old of how her father molested her, etc. etc. etc............
    We are unique...............I agree with the post.......good thing, we have less competition for our jobs !!!!!!!!!!!
  8. Visit  rn/writer profile page
    0
    I thought of another answer. Why are psych nurses seen as the bottom of the barrel? Because somebody turned the barrel upside down. I used to work psych (and liked it). Can you tell?
  9. Visit  MrChicagoRN profile page
    3
    Lots of stigma for a poorly understood phenomena. Mental Illness is largely mood & behavior, not readily demonstrated by blood tests CT scan, etc, do it doesn't seem "real" to some.

    In contrast the "hard sciences" of med-surg nursing; the multitude of blood tests, EKGs, Xrays, et al, that allows us to monitor the disease state of heart disease, diabetes, renal & liver disease...

    Perhaps we'd get better respect if we had our own "Machine that goes Ping!!!"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arCITMfxvEc


    I often use the term Behavioral Health, as it is a more positive term, and indicates not the present pathology, but our end goal. People seem more receptive to this term.
    MUUGUZI, rn/writer, and Meriwhen like this.
  10. Visit  Meriwhen profile page
    1
    Quote from MrChicagoRN
    Perhaps we'd get better respect if we had our own "Machine that goes Ping!!!"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arCITMfxvEc


    I think that's what makes psych hard to understand for some. It's not like most other fields where we can give a medication, insert a tube or perform a procedure, and usually see instant results/effects. With the exception of giving someone an Haldol/Ativan cocktail to deescalate someone, it takes longer to see results in psych...and those results aren't always pronounced.
    MUUGUZI likes this.
  11. Visit  rn/writer profile page
    2
    People think psych patients are all delusional screamers or borderline manipulators or smoldering powder kegs ready to blow if someone says the wrong word, and they want to run screaming. Then there's the fallacy that psych is just a matter of willpower, that these ill-mannered patients would get better if they'd just stop frogging around and their practitioners would stop enabling them. Psych is seen as a dodge for criminals and an excuse for bad behavior. We psych nurses (and former psych nurses) are like Rodney Dangerfield--"we don't get no respect." And yet, if someone starts acting out on a med/surg floor, see how quickly they call for a psych consult and cross their fingers, hoping for a transfer.

    I like the term "behavioral health."
    Last edit by rn/writer on Oct 11, '11
    GooeyRN and MUUGUZI like this.
  12. Visit  aloevera profile page
    1
    We get referrals and 1013's from many ER's in our state........no matter what medical problems the pt. has, they try to get him to us as soon as possible as soon as they become aware there is a psych issue.........if there is a psych issue, they want them OUT THE DOOR, even if his B/P is 210/110 !!!!! we have to haggle with them constantly to get them stable before we will accept.....they either don't give us all info, or sometimes fudge on it......we have to scrutinize q one so closely.........they just don't want/can't deal with them.........it is sad.........
    Hygiene Queen likes this.
  13. Visit  TerpGal02 profile page
    0
    I am a student graduating in Dec, Lord willing. I have always been interested in psych, it was my favorite clinical so far, and I will hopefully get my preceptorship in psych this semester, after were done with all our critical care stuff. People look at me like I have 3 heads when I tell them I want to do psych. I think some are just afraid, others don't think its real nursing bc you aren't managing IVs, putting in foleys etc etc etc. People fail to understand that psych is EVERYWHERE. Last semester in med/surg I got allllll the pts with co occuring psych stuff b/c my ci knew I was into psych. Managed a pt with the worst DTs I've ever seen, EVEN after having already had my inpt psych clinical. I learned this weekend there is a TON of psych stuff in ICU too, dealing with panicked and terrified family members, and then the pts themselves when they start to improve and realize how close to the edge they were.......and it really bothers me when I see RNs in more traditional acute care settings immediately start discounting pts the minute they see a psych med on the pts MAR.

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