Why did you choose psych nursing?

  1. There are many areas of nursing, so what made you decide psych was the area for you?
    So far, psych has been one of the only clinicals i liked & enjoyed.....is it that simple?
    What did it for you?....detailed answers greatly appreciated!
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Morgan314
    Psych was the only clinicals that I liked and enjoyed too!! And I was the only one in my class who enjoyed psych nursing. With 23 years of nursing, I have enjoyed the past 18 years working in psych. Patients who have chronic mental illness fascinate me. My work is never boring or dull. It is very challenging and can be frustrating at times, but I love it.
    What did you enjoy and like about it? I couldn't work in med surg because I want to spend time getting to know the person with the illness, not just treat the illness.
  4. by   RN1263
    let's see... i liked my psych clinicals, because i felt it wasn't as task oriented as my med/surg clinicals, i didn't feel like i was running around like a chicken w/ my head cut off, i enjoy talking w/ people (even if it's about their problems), my back didn't hurt when i got home, the psych staff actually smiled & didn't seem mean and hateful like most of the med/surg nurses i've encountered. ooohhh and i got to sit down often, which NEVER happens at my other clinicals!
  5. by   Morgan314
    Yes, that describes psych nursing very well. BUT, there are times when things get REALLY CRAZY. Psych patients can get agitated and violent quickly.
  6. by   RN1263
    Quote from Morgan314
    Yes, that describes psych nursing very well. BUT, there are times when things get REALLY CRAZY. Psych patients can get agitated and violent quickly.
    i wouldn't mind an adrenaline rush here and there to spice things up & keep me on my toes! i use to work in an E.R., we had psych pts. in there alot that we had to fight to get into leather restraints for various reasons. many times there were 6-7 of us trying to hold this person down. it was exausting at the time, but i recovered quickly. i "think" (?) it would be better than standing for 12 hours on a med/surg unit though.

    anyway, can you elaborate on times that it's "really crazy".....are you referring to the take downs & restraining? if that is what you mean, how often does that happen (approx.)?
  7. by   Morgan314
    Thankfully, I now work in an outpatient clinic and while we may have a patient get agitated and loud, we've only had one violent incident in the time I've been there (9 yrs). And that event consisted of a 100lb psychotic woman getting agitated and trashing a therapist's office.
    When I worked in the hospital, we had episodes require seclusion and restraint, but not too often.
  8. by   PsychRN45
    Quote from dijmart
    let's see... i liked my psych clinicals, because i felt it wasn't as task oriented as my med/surg clinicals, i didn't feel like i was running around like a chicken w/ my head cut off, i enjoy talking w/ people (even if it's about their problems), my back didn't hurt when i got home, the psych staff actually smiled & didn't seem mean and hateful like most of the med/surg nurses i've encountered. ooohhh and i got to sit down often, which NEVER happens at my other clinicals!
  9. by   kadokin
    Quote from dijmart
    i wouldn't mind an adrenaline rush here and there to spice things up & keep me on my toes! i use to work in an E.R., we had psych pts. in there alot that we had to fight to get into leather restraints for various reasons. many times there were 6-7 of us trying to hold this person down. it was exausting at the time, but i recovered quickly. i "think" (?) it would be better than standing for 12 hours on a med/surg unit though.

    anyway, can you elaborate on times that it's "really crazy".....are you referring to the take downs & restraining? if that is what you mean, how often does that happen (approx.)?
    Sometimes it can get "crazy" w/o a takedown/restraint. It's kind of hard to describe, but, let me try. A lot of psych pt.s are physically healthy. They don't have to lay in bed and wait for you to come check on them. They will follow you around and crowd your nurse's station and interupt your 1:1 w/another pt and decide they need a shower RIGHT NOW when you have 2 codes and 5 mds demanding your time all at once and sweet little confused grandma all of a sudden needs to go to the bathroom and thinks she can ambulate independently when she can't.

    I hope that didn't sound too negative. I REALLY enjoy this population and find it rewarding to help them. However, when things get busy, one of the EXTREME pressures of the job is to stay calm and postive and nurturing toward the pt that needs your attention when you have none to give them.

    Because that is what they need: support and validation. And it doesn't come cheap, let me tell you. It wears you out in a unique way. Oh, and, btw, sometimes we use our backs and spending a lot of time sitting down is a rarity when you work this job all the time.

    There you have it.

  10. by   kadokin
    Oh, and btw, dijmart, the more time, validation and nurturing you can give your pts, the (sometimes) less frequently you have to strain yourself to "take them down". Granted, sometimes, a takedown is all that can be done, but in today's more enlightened environment, we try real hard to avoid such things, and that can be very time-consuming. To avoid a takedown w/less physical techniques, that is.

    Hope this helps:uhoh21:
  11. by   RN1263
    kadokin,
    Thanks for your reply! Do you work w/ adults, children or elderly?
    I guess I'm just going to have to try psych when I'm done (in May) & see if it fits me?
  12. by   kadokin
    Quote from dijmart
    kadokin,
    Thanks for your reply! Do you work w/ adults, children or elderly?
    I guess I'm just going to have to try psych when I'm done (in May) & see if it fits me?
    I work w/adults and elderly. Can't do the children. Tried it. Burnt to a crisp. But if that interests you, give it a try. There's always room for another compassionate care-giver in that particular mine-field.
  13. by   RN1263
    Quote from kadokin
    I work w/adults and elderly. Can't do the children. Tried it. Burnt to a crisp. But if that interests you, give it a try. There's always room for another compassionate care-giver in that particular mine-field.
    no, not that interested in working w/ children. I'd prefer adults, but as a new grad I may have to start in geropsych which I don't know too much about since my psych clinical facility didn't have a geropsych unit.

    other community hospitals in my area have geropsych floors that may be easier to get in to as a new grad than the psych hospital, but if it's too much like doing med/surg I probably wouldn't last long there to be honest. I don't like running around like a chicken w/ my head cut off, never get to sit down or pee, ect.
    sooooooo, is geropsych like working med/surg?

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