Why are we as Psych nurses seen as bottom of the barrel? - page 3

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  Meriwhen profile page
    0
    Quote from aloevera
    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.........
    I had one ER nurse tell me a detox patient's internal bleeding was "not an issue."

    Another nurse called to give report about an incoming patient but wouldn't say anything--talking to this nurse was like pulling teeth. It turned out this nurse was calling from the patient's room, so the patient was right next to them. Of course you're not going to state a patient is a borderline when they're in front of you.

    I think the minute they see "psych issues" on the patient's chart they freak out...like you said, they just want to pass them along as soon as they can.
  2. Visit  jawij profile page
    5
    I'm graduating in December and currently work as an MHT at a behavioral health hospital and plan to transfer in as an RN when I pass the NCLEX. I've always wanted to work psych, it's what I got into nursing for (for a long list of reasons debating the DNP in psych vs a PsyD, I won't name here). I've learned to just not tell other nurses that I work in psych if I get a good feel of them. Some are more open minded/accepting of it, others aren't... if I feel that they'll be one of the latter, I just keep my mouth shut. I already know you clearly can't handle your patients with mental health issues, thanks, I don't need to hear a lecture about it. : )

    Through the ton of med/surge clinicals we've had, I can see how some nurses could get frustrated with a psych patient in a non-psych (milieu) setting. When your med-surge patients can "order" snacks, ice, whatever they want 24/7, some of them can get pretty demanding and hard to deal with. It's easier in the milieu environment. Still, that's no excuse for some of the behavior I've seen out of med/surge nurses... it's what's really appalling. As soon as a psych history or med is found on the chart, their patient is instantly "crazy", gets subhuman treatment and "should be transferred to psych" even if they aren't acting out at the moment and/or have legitimate medical issues that need to be handled before they get a transfer.

    I never let anyone get me down for my career of choice--there will be hard parts, I'm sure, but it's what I want to do and no one can deter me from that.
    eklecticsol, VanLpn, xenogenetic, and 2 others like this.
  3. Visit  RN58186 profile page
    6
    I think psych nurses are highly under-rated. I have never worked psych, but have required numerous admissions to mental health units over the past 11 years and I am so thankful for the psych nurses I have met who have taken the time to listen to me, make sure I get the right meds, made suggestions, and those who just took the time to sit with me when I couldn't stop the tears. I have the utmost respect for them; I have been an RN for over 20 years and one thing I know now is that I could never be a psych nurse. And, having been admitted to mental health as many times as I have, I now have a mission to teach the other staff I work with a thing or two about pts with mental health concerns.

    I will forever be grateful that those mental health nurses were there when I needed them.
    hanasea, Lucky724, jahra, and 3 others like this.
  4. Visit  IdrilRN profile page
    0
    I love psych nursing, It's what I wanted to do all my life.
    My mom is an ER nurse and when I went to see her the other day, her co workers responded to me like this,
    "Oh, you're the daughter that's the psych nurse."
    I said "Yes I am and I love it"
    I then got the obligatory "I don't know how you can do that"
    Well I just went and said, "I don't know how you can be an ER nurse......
    It's hard to explain and for anyone else to understand unless you want to do it.

    I think we are lucky. We get to wear our own clothes, and we are not spreading MRSA or VRE all around. And the patients have to come to us for their medications. Well the last part sometimes we have to highly encourage them to come to us and or go get them
  5. Visit  IdrilRN profile page
    1
    Oh and I agree about the social stigma of mental illness. But it really is the best nursing out there.
    Meriwhen likes this.
  6. Visit  Hygiene Queen profile page
    0
    Quote from Ddestiny
    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 straight-out said that I went to nursing school to do 4 specific things:
    1) support myself
    2) work with the elderly
    3) work with the mentally ill
    4) teach CNA class.

    Each and every single one of those reasons caused a lot of gasping, chest-clutching and fainting spells....
  7. Visit  Hygiene Queen profile page
    1
    Quote from IdrilRN
    I think we are lucky. We get to wear our own clothes, and we are not spreading MRSA or VRE all around. And the patients have to come to us for their medications. Well the last part sometimes we have to highly encourage them to come to us and or go get them
    On gero psych, we are up to the armpits in MRSA, VRE and c diff!
    We do have IVs, fractured hips, dressing changes and heavy ADLs.
    We call it "mini med-surge"!
    I like this mix of psych and medical and enjoy my job!
    Meriwhen likes this.
  8. Visit  Lucky724 profile page
    1
    Hygiene Queen: I am about to begin as a psych RN for a senior mental health hospital run unit. I would LOVE any advice you could offer...I've been an RN for over 20 yrs, love working with the senior population and enjoyed psych when I rotated through years ago in school. This opportunity presented itself and I'm having 2nd thoughts since I have no psych unit experience. Obviously I've worked with psych patients over the years, addicts, etc. and have personal, family experience with depression (clinical), anxiety and a bipolar family member. The shifts are 12 hrs, 3 days/wk as with other flavors of nursing...I just don't know...as much as I want to do this...to branch into something different..more..in nursing..I'm not sure what to expect or what is expected of me..........if you are willing would you respond here or private message me with wisdom?
    Thank you
    Hygiene Queen likes this.
  9. Visit  Mish56 profile page
    1
    Quote from aloevera
    Bottom of the barrell????????????? R U insane?

    We are top of the heap, icing on the cake, the best of the best !!!!!!!!!

    It is all attitude, my friend..........
    My thoughts exactly "TOP OF THE HEAP!" (Do I hear Frank Sinatra singing?)

    I usually DO NOT tell people I'm a psych nurse, but it has nothing to do with "gasps", it has to do with too many hours listening to some strangers life story about themselves, their mother/brother/aunt etc etc etc. Hairdressers, nail techs, airplane pals (those are the worst-can't escape!), people are every where and they all LOVE to talk. About themselves. Ad nauseum.
    Meriwhen likes this.
  10. Visit  Hygiene Queen profile page
    0
    Quote from Lucky724
    Hygiene Queen: I am about to begin as a psych RN for a senior mental health hospital run unit. I would LOVE any advice you could offer...I've been an RN for over 20 yrs, love working with the senior population and enjoyed psych when I rotated through years ago in school. This opportunity presented itself and I'm having 2nd thoughts since I have no psych unit experience. Obviously I've worked with psych patients over the years, addicts, etc. and have personal, family experience with depression (clinical), anxiety and a bipolar family member. The shifts are 12 hrs, 3 days/wk as with other flavors of nursing...I just don't know...as much as I want to do this...to branch into something different..more..in nursing..I'm not sure what to expect or what is expected of me..........if you are willing would you respond here or private message me with wisdom?
    Thank you
    Oh heavens! If you can combine LTC, med-surg and enjoy psych, you've got it down.
    You assess, pass meds, chart, call the doc and interact with the families and help with ADL's on occasion.
    It's not bad and nothing that a nurse of 20 years couldn't do.
    I'm a newbie nurse so far be for me to share any wisdom.
    You should try it!!
  11. Visit  Kooky Korky profile page
    0
    Are you sure they think you're "bottom of the barrel"?
  12. Visit  Kooky Korky profile page
    1
    Quote from Hygiene Queen
    I straight-out said that I went to nursing school to do 4 specific things:
    1) support myself
    2) work with the elderly
    3) work with the mentally ill
    4) teach CNA class.

    Each and every single one of those reasons caused a lot of gasping, chest-clutching and fainting spells....
    First, who cares what they think? Also, less competition for you. Not least, they will soon learn to never say "never".
    xenogenetic likes this.
  13. Visit  dirtyhippiegirl profile page
    0
    Quote from RN58186
    I think psych nurses are highly under-rated. I have never worked psych, but have required numerous admissions to mental health units over the past 11 years and I am so thankful for the psych nurses I have met who have taken the time to listen to me, make sure I get the right meds, made suggestions, and those who just took the time to sit with me when I couldn't stop the tears. I have the utmost respect for them; I have been an RN for over 20 years and one thing I know now is that I could never be a psych nurse. And, having been admitted to mental health as many times as I have, I now have a mission to teach the other staff I work with a thing or two about pts with mental health concerns.

    I will forever be grateful that those mental health nurses were there when I needed them.
    Similar type of patient. Similar beliefs. I hope you guys (psych nurses) realize how much of an impact you can make. I was told that I would either be dead or institutionalized by the time I was sixteen. And then eighteen. I still remember the nurses that "raised" me/kicked my ass when I needed it/let me be a normal teenaged girl (one of my fondest and probably most "normal" memories was checking out the hot construction workers across the way with the nurse on duty) ---) my moment was actually doing clinicals in the peds psych where I'd spent most of my adolescence ten years ago and the look on certain nurses' faces because, hey, I'd made it. And they'd helped me do it.

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