I'm a recent grad and have been working on a busy Psych floor for 3 months ago. To answer some of your questions... Sometimes I do run around like a chicken without my head, it is nursing after all. My typical day starts with report and organization for about an hour. We have a team nursing concept and have to know what is going on will all the patients on the floor even if its not our assignment. That includes knowing who is going to the medical hospital for medical tests such as MRI or doppler studies. We're heavy on ppd and CXR so we need to schedule that as well so MHWs can go with patients, we do happen to have xray on site. We do the assignment, split of MAR books, go through the Kardex. That's hour one.
Then we go and meet our patients while the charge nurse meets all the patients, I usually go with the charge when I'm not in charge to make sure I know who everyone is especially since nurses do SO's (we check to see where patients are on a list periodically) when we don't have 2 MHWs, which is common. Then the charge nurse starts to get her meds. She/he goes first as they go to Team meeting with the multidisciplinary team (2 Psychiatrists, OTs, Art Therapists, Social Workers) and gives report on the status of the patients on our unit including mental/psychiatric status, medical conditions, issues involving transfer (we're a Short Term Commitment Facility STCF).
We give our meds to our own patients, then start moving to do the assignment of the day. Its usually either treatment planning where we go over the patient's treatment/care plan with them or on alternate days go over their medications and do that education either as a group or with individual patients.
On days where I don't have all my patients meds I'll be calling pharmacy and harassing them to approve things in our pixsys. We do do extensive charting, after all we're talking about psychiatry but it doesn't mean we're not working.
On days or weeks when we have aggressive patients we need to tackle them, put them in restraints, or call security to assist us. We restrain, medicate, and allow patients to calm down before taking them out of restraints..Then we debrief them about why they entered restraints and ways to avoid it in the future. While we're charting patients are constantly interrupting us for socks, towels, problems they're having.. Many of them are very disorganized and can have a hard time verbalizing what they need. It often takes a few minutes of conversation each to figure out what they want.
On the non committed side of the building we're geriatric/non committed. The geri population have medical problems including DM, massive HTN, etc. Last week we had a rectum and a uterus prolapse. I've had one patient with ESRD, rectal prolapse, massive constipation, dialysis 3x a week.. Other patients that need to be straight catheterized. Wrist wounds that need to be rinsed with betadine and covered with DSDs.
Basically I feel psych nursing is just as much running around without all the bending. I don't come home with that aweful back pain from bending improperly. I have strained a muscle holding back a patient from hitting another and have had to sit on a patient to keep him from ripping the stiches out of his jugular (highly suicidal). I risk getting punched regularly and losing teeth. So, its either bending or getting hit. Choose your poison.
Did I forget days during constant discharges and admissions?
I hope this helps you a little. I like what I do, but it is nursing and its a demanding profession on any floor.
Quote from dijmart
I find that most posts in this area of "psych" nursing are so vague or if a student or new grad asks a question, their posts many times don't get answered?... WHY???
Does ANYONE want to say what their day is like? Do you run around like a chicken w/ your head cut off like on med/surg? Do you like your job? Are you glad you choose psych?
I like psych & I liked my clinical, but we were never given a time to ask the nurses any questions since we had a mound of paperwork, had to assess our client and go to group for the rest of the day, then finish are paperwork and go home. So, I haven't a clue what the nurses do or don't do all day???