Why do one year Med surg nursing before going into Psychiatry Nursing - page 4

I want to go into psychiatry as a nurse but my coworkers a re telling me to go into medsurg for one year before going into psych. they explained about going straight into psych would not be as... Read More

  1. by   counsgreen
    Ok I am counselor and then became a nurse. I didnt want to do straight med surg nursing but i also didnt want to be a psych nurse that can't do simple procedures and whose nursing head-to-toe assessment skills are subpar. So compromise- I work in CDU ( clinical desecion unit) which is stable ER patients who need furthur work up. Learned interesting things, have gotten exceelnt assessment skills plus tele training-useful for inpatient detox nursing. now I am preparing to move on to ER Psych/Chem dependency
  2. by   HM2VikingRN
    I know that the state facility I work at in MN is paying a substantial premium to new grads to come work for the state. 3 of my classmates accepted positions at 31/hour. 1 is in the forensic hospital units and 2 are working geriatric psych....

    If your heart says psych go for it. I think that with a proper orientation by a preceptor it will turn out ok.

    (I am not applying because I want to work in a different organization after 25 years.)
  3. by   Eric Scott
    That is unbelievable! That is the reason that I would want to get into psych nursing.
  4. by   RN Zeke
    I am use to an IV team starting IV's, so as the patients aren't used for pin cushions. Just as we all have special areas to work in and on so do th IV teams. That is their specialty. I shudder to think about working in a hospital with out an IV team ready to spring in action, just like the code team being ready for anything.


    Quote from psychrn03
    As I tell students when I get the opportunity to talk to them... you need to get a little medical experience because it is in your patient's best interest; and it is in your best interest. And keep in mind that I have never ever, absolutely, positively had any interest whatsoever on God's green earth to be a m/s nurse. I did it for a few to get the experience and left without looking back.

    patient's--managers want to see you are well rounded and will provide their patient's competent, compassionate care. Medical patients come on psych floors, and you need to know how to start an IV, assess for a DVT, know what to expect when giving lasix, know what to do when a pt. c/o cp, know s/s and tx. of hypoglycemia etc.

    yours--the best way to put it is that you are much more marketable with some solid m/s experience; also, you just spent several thousand dollars and 2+ years in school to learn how to become a prudent caregiver, but once you pass the NCLEX, that's all you've done--EARNED A LICENSE TO LEARN how to become a prudent practicing nurse; you owe it to yourself to take that opportunity to learn while the info is still fresh in your head

    so let's pretend you get on a psych unit that does not take any significant medical patients; you work on that floor for 10 years, all the while never doing a tube feeding, never changing a decub. wound dressing, never suctioning, never inserting/removing/assessing a foley, etc; then say that floor is closed and there is no other psych unit within 75 miles; let's just say the transition to m/s will be quite challenging after 10 year of not using many of the skills you never really learned in the first place

    Personal experience--I worked on a ortho/neuro floor for a few months and went into psych immediately after; I knew I didn't want to be a m/s nurse; only became a nurse to be a psych nurse. So I went to a psych floor that did numerous ECTs. Part of the routine for these folks was to get an IV placed. There were only a couple nurses who knew how to start IVs, so as the only night nurse who knew, I was able to help them out a great deal, and they were very very appreciative. Look at it this way...it gave me an "in" with the experienced staff, which made my experience that much more enjoyable

    so, yes, you can become a psych nurse when you graduate, and yes, you could very well be a very compassionate psych nurse, but it's really better for all parties involved if you have some solid m/s experience.

    Good luck to you.
  5. by   sarmedic70
    AMEN to you Cay............I never had ANY intentions of being a M/S RN either; however..................I am essentially a "trauma junkine" in that I am also a medic; however, psych has interested me immensely. I am so thankful for the time I did spend in M/S for "just in case"..............it's not as if NONE of hte psych patients ever have medical issues, eh?...................yeah, right...........Diabetes R/t the various psych medications they are on, and so forth..........

    I think many loose sight that psych patients do and will have M/S issues..........even in state psych hospitals (of which is where I work as a charge RN).................

    When we get nursing students coming through for their clinicals, one of the things I ask them is what they are planning on doing once they graduate. I HIGHLY emphasize and recommend M/S experience depending upon what they will be going into..................

    At any rate, lots of good "conversation" about the need to have a strong M/S background.............I am so glad I had the experience................and have benefitted by it.........but I sure as heck do NOT miss it by a long shot. My worse day/shift on my psych unit sure as heck beats any shift I had in M/S.........and I have the MOST active and volitile unit of the entire hospital..................

    Cheers everybody
    :-)
  6. by   wonderbee
    Put yourself in the shoes of a patient. You're coughing so hard you're unable to sleep and you've got stress incontinence. You can't get enough breath to satisfy the air hunger and you're wheezing. You're miserable. No one will take your temp (which is 101). You've got pneumonia but there is no one on the floor who can identify the lung sounds as rales. The nurse think's you've got a cold. There is no medical MD to round in the AM and you know this. You're begging for some kind of relief but no one hears you. How therapeutic is that?

    If you were that patient, wouldn't you want to know someone could take care of all your needs? It's not like you can walk out of there. Just looking at things from the patient's perspective.
  7. by   elkpark
    Quote from Cay
    I am use to an IV team starting IV's, so as the patients aren't used for pin cushions. Just as we all have special areas to work in and on so do th IV teams. That is their specialty. I shudder to think about working in a hospital with out an IV team ready to spring in action, just like the code team being ready for anything.


    I've worked in everything from very small, rural community hospitals to major urban teaching hospitals in three different states over 20-some years in nursing, and I've never worked anywhere that had an IV team. All the RNs were expected to be competent at starting IVs (of course, like anything else, some are better at it than others!). If you "shudder to think" about working somewhere without one, you'd best stay where you are for the rest of your career ...
  8. by   PMHNP10
    yeah, I've never worked in a hospital that had an IV start team either. In my current job I serve as backup phlebotomist which includes attempting to suck blood out of IV drug users with little to no available veins. Although drawing blood is a bit different from starting an IV, I'm certain my ability to perform my current job would have been much more challenging without that previous experience.
  9. by   sarmedic70
    So very true......................TOO many times patients are somewhat ignored in that too often, as well, it is viewed as the illness "being in their head" and not really sick........especially when you are dealing with the Borderlines; however, all it will take is that one time when "they" are truly not crying wolf and if you don't take heed each and every time "they" complain of something, it could end up being disasterous. I think that is what possibly happened on one of our other units. A patient passed away and it was found that had a major bowel obstruction; however, due to the patient's "history" and all else, I have no doubt in my mind it was "missed".............I am pretty sure nobody truly listened to bowel sounds, and it goes from there. I have worked with other RNs at this hospital who have had very little to NO M/S experience (other than during nursing school clinicals) and have worked only at the psych hospital. There is soooooooooooooooooooo much that covers M/S and to think that psych patients will never ever have any of these medical issues...............hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......... .......

    With regards to being in a hospital with an IV team. The hospital my Mom used to be the DON of finally got an IV team going, but it is a larger hospital. The larger hospitals will generally have specialized teams in them that is not afforded at the smaller hospitals. I worked in a smaller hospital, and I, too, had ot know how to do IVs. Of course, I am also a medic so I can not only do IVs but also intubate and so forth.................

    Have a great day everybody...............
    Cheers
  10. by   sarmedic70
    WOW............methinks I need to move to MN.......$31/hr............in a state facility????????? And as a new grad??? What if one is not a new grad and has psych experience?

    Our state facility is around $20...............I would LOVE to work in the Forensic unit.............geriatric no thank you though. That is the only unit in our hospital I just simply cannot work................

    That is awesome...................
  11. by   RN Zeke
    I have traveled since 1997, so will continue to do so. I'm sorry you have such a bad attitude about what my experiences has been.
    Good Day
  12. by   sarmedic70
    Who do you travel with? Are there many psych travel positions for RNs..............I am seriously considering eventually doing travel nursing; however, where to start and what agency............so many to choose from................ugh!

    Cheers and thanks!
    :-)
  13. by   PMHNP10
    I traveled with Supplemental Health Care. They have a division committed to psych staffing and have assignments throughout the US. If you are truly flexible to travel anywhere at any time, they are a valid option

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