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

  1. 1
    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.
    carolmaccas66 likes this.
  2. 41 Comments so far...

  3. 10
    It is unfortunate but just like the individuals we serve, mental health professionals are often stigmatized.
    WantAccel.BSN, GooeyRN, Lucky724, and 7 others like this.
  4. 16
    I think a lot of people don't understand what happens on an inpatient psych unit and then what the nurses role is. I think med/surg nurses don't realize that a psych rn is often the only nurse for the entire unit and is responsible for all the med passes, assessments, code situations that may occur for all 20-30 patients.
    I also think children's psych particularly is misunderstood. Many people think that kids are over medicated, that ADHD is just an active kid etc. They don't understand these kids are often a danger to themselves because they are so impulsive and hyperactive. I think a lot of people think it's like a daycare not kids who are actively hallucinating, suicidal or homicidal. Much like the stigma our patients and their families get we have to justify the seriousness of the situation. I remember one of my engineer friends joking why would a 9 year old want to kill themselves, did she loose her teddy bear? And replying "Nope, she's been raped by multiple family members since she was 3 so I think she has a pretty damn good reason for not wanting to live anymore."
    People can not/do not want to think about what the lives of these kids (and adults) are like so they trivialize the disorders and therefore minimize the skill and talent of those who take care of them.
    Gelfie68, GooeyRN, pseudomonas, and 13 others like this.
  5. 1
    My gf is a Clinical Nurse, and couldn't undertand why I went into studying psych nursing for my Grad Dip.
    After the way I've been treated lately, I'm even beginning to question myself. You won't be seen as doing anything & are certainly not on the same level as the often glamourised ED/ER nurses. I've worked nearly everywhere now & I can tell you, psych is no easy job.
    Psych patients are pretty much seen as a waste of space, who take up too much of nurses time, etc. I sometimes agree, and am thinking of getting out of this crazy profession next year (after my debts are paid) for good.
    A doctor said to me once: you don't study to make others happy, you do it for yourself, to make you feel proud of you, even if no-one else appreciates it. I always try to remember that, but lately, it has been very hard to keep in mind.
    mentalvision likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from marshmallowstar
    I think a lot of people don't understand what happens on an inpatient psych unit and then what the nurses role is. I think med/surg nurses don't realize that a psych rn is often the only nurse for the entire unit and is responsible for all the med passes, assessments, code situations that may occur for all 20-30 patients.
    I also think children's psych particularly is misunderstood. Many people think that kids are over medicated, that ADHD is just an active kid etc. They don't understand these kids are often a danger to themselves because they are so impulsive and hyperactive. I think a lot of people think it's like a daycare not kids who are actively hallucinating, suicidal or homicidal. Much like the stigma our patients and their families get we have to justify the seriousness of the situation. I remember one of my engineer friends joking why would a 9 year old want to kill themselves, did she loose her teddy bear? And replying "Nope, she's been raped by multiple family members since she was 3 so I think she has a pretty damn good reason for not wanting to live anymore."
    People can not/do not want to think about what the lives of these kids (and adults) are like so they trivialize the disorders and therefore minimize the skill and talent of those who take care of them.
    What an awfully sad story. How dreadful. I really admire people who can work in paeds, especially psych paeds. I've worked paeds lately and even with kids who aren't emotionally traumatised, it is VERY draining work!
  7. 0
    "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."

    You are now in psych, it is their issue. I agree with the above,
    it is lack of understanding about psych and especially child psych.
    If you enjoy this , realize that you are doing important work
    and yes, the kids are listening. It is amazing , and your reward
    will be the feedback you will get from your patients on how
    frightened they were and how your nursing care and listening
    made a difference...

    I spent over 7 years in psych outpatient and never tuned into
    the "oh, horror you're a psych nurse" verbal statements from peers.
  8. 11
    I don't give a hoot what people think about my speciality. I love it, most days.
    Lucky724, MissPiggy, Mashira, and 8 others like this.
  9. 5
    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..........
    hanasea, Lucky724, Hygiene Queen, and 2 others like this.
  10. 3
    I agree. We are the bees knees. I've helped so many people. How many people can say that? I can appreciate how tough it can be to be in a difficult inpatient setting in psych - been there and done that! Even that was a great learning experience. But in my world I am well respected and I respect myself and my clients. In short - I love the work and always have.
    gallatea, Meriwhen, and Jules A like this.
  11. 4
    There is still a vast amount of stigma against mental illness. Both in society in general and in health care. Our patients tell story after story of the poor, non compassionate care they have receive at the hands of nurses and other health professionals. Some of it comes from a lack of knowledge, of fear, of purposeful ignorance. For others, it hits too close to home.

    Just remembers - their opinions are not a reflection of what you do, it is a reflection of what they know.
    Lucky724, IdrilRN, Meriwhen, and 1 other like this.


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