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ACT nurse interview

Psychiatric   (202 Views 5 Comments)
by Kbearden Kbearden (New Member) New Member

395 Visitors; 4 Posts

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Hello! I just had a phone interview for an prn assertive community treatment nurse position. Hoping to get through to the second round...

Any nurses who have done ACT? What kind of role does the nurse have? I’ve been at home with kids for several years and am wanting to go back. Prior to being home, I worked in ortho, home health, and also at a medication assisted treatment( methadone) clinic. So while I do have experience with addiction, not much else in the psych world. I’m willing to learn and eager. 

Any advice on how to prepare? 

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908 Visitors; 47 Posts

I worked at an ACT program for about 1 yr before moving to an Inpatient setting. I thought it was a really good model for how to treat mental illness. It not only treated the illness itself, but also the aggravating factors that may be contributing to it. Where I was at, we has nurses, Psychiatrist, Social workers, Housing specialist, Employment specialist, and Peer Support. I feel like I had much more autonomy working at an ACT program when compared to inpatient setting. A typical day.......

0800: morning meeting where we go over each patient one by one, decide what needs to be done for them, see the last time they where contacted to see if someone should check in with them

During the Day: Tasks include seeing Pt that live close and walk in. Driving to Pt home to give them their bubble packs and do quick psych assessments. Also give LAI if they are due. Often take Pt to medical appointments if they have one. Also, if we have Pt on something like Clozaril, we may take them to Labs if they aren't able to transport themselves. 

End of Day: If you have some Pt that live on your way home we would leave a little bit early and do that on our drive home. 

 

I can only speak for the one I worked at so I am not sure how similar or different they may be. For me it was a very good experience. It was my first job as a new grad nurse. I will tell you, people seem to be pretty curious when this is on your resume. I think it more has to do with it being somewhat of a unique place to work. I get asked about it quite a bit. There where a few occasions that got a little sketchy but overall I really enjoyed it. learned a ton, got to know each one of my patients better than I would if I had worked anywhere else, and actually feel like I did some good. If you want to prepare yourself for it, I would get the books 1) Memorable Psychiatry 2) Memorable Psychopharmocology 3) Medication fact book for Psychitric Practice (these are the ones I am using in my PMHNP program right now). I think if you read #1 & 2 and kept #3 on you to look up any meds you arent familiar with you would be set.

If you have any other questions let be know. I will answer them the best I can. 

 

 

Edited by SDStudent1

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Zookeeper44 has 8 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych.

1,887 Visitors; 82 Posts

On 7/2/2019 at 9:28 PM, SDStudent1 said:

I worked at an ACT program for about 1 yr before moving to an Inpatient setting. I thought it was a really good model for how to treat mental illness. It not only treated the illness itself, but also the aggravating factors that may be contributing to it. Where I was at, we has nurses, Psychiatrist, Social workers, Housing specialist, Employment specialist, and Peer Support. I feel like I had much more autonomy working at an ACT program when compared to inpatient setting. A typical day.......

0800: morning meeting where we go over each patient one by one, decide what needs to be done for them, see the last time they where contacted to see if someone should check in with them

During the Day: Tasks include seeing Pt that live close and walk in. Driving to Pt home to give them their bubble packs and do quick psych assessments. Also give LAI if they are due. Often take Pt to medical appointments if they have one. Also, if we have Pt on something like Clozaril, we may take them to Labs if they aren't able to transport themselves. 

End of Day: If you have some Pt that live on your way home we would leave a little bit early and do that on our drive home. 

 

I can only speak for the one I worked at so I am not sure how similar or different they may be. For me it was a very good experience. It was my first job as a new grad nurse. I will tell you, people seem to be pretty curious when this is on your resume. I think it more has to do with it being somewhat of a unique place to work. I get asked about it quite a bit. There where a few occasions that got a little sketchy but overall I really enjoyed it. learned a ton, got to know each one of my patients better than I would if I had worked anywhere else, and actually feel like I did some good. If you want to prepare yourself for it, I would get the books 1) Memorable Psychiatry 2) Memorable Psychopharmocology 3) Medication fact book for Psychitric Practice (these are the ones I am using in my PMHNP program right now). I think if you read #1 & 2 and kept #3 on you to look up any meds you arent familiar with you would be set.

If you have any other questions let be know. I will answer them the best I can. 

 

 

May I ask, what lead to your leaving this position and going inpatient?  I have considered trying out a position like this (although they very rarely open up in my area).  I am currently in the position of deciding whether to go back to psych nursing either inpatient or something like this.  Thanks 😃

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908 Visitors; 47 Posts

It was a somewhat hard choice for me. I enjoyed working at ACT and really liked the autonomy. There was two main reasons. First, we had a really good program direct that moved up in the company and he replacement was unethical and incompetent. She was fired, about 6 months after I left, for both of those reasons. Second, my overall plan was always to get well rounded psychiatric experience under my belt before going to Psych NP program (which I am finishing up now). Having experience in the ACT program as well as at an Inpatient locked unit has been EXTREMELY useful every step of the way in my PMHNP program. So, either way, I am very happy with the fact I got some experience working in a ACT program and feel I am better for it. I keep in touch with my previous coworkers at the ACT program and would certainly consider going back as a prescriber if the opportunity presented itself (minus the terrible program director 😄)

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DCLPN has 5 years experience as a ADN, LPN and specializes in Psych.

124 Visitors; 6 Posts

I’ve been doing ACT for five years.

My Team is made up of different specialties. The easiest part is the autonomy and the therapeutic relationships you build with clients.

The hardest part is documenting  because I’m always driving. Additionally, you might start feeling more like a social worker than a nurse if you have a bad clinical director. 

It’s also an eye opener with how little the community cares for our population. I can’t count the number of times I had to beg a hospital to admit or keep my client. 

Typical day is a morning meeting with the team. Then I go see my assigned clients. The other nurse and I work on medication management, psych education and facilitating their medical appointments in the community. Most of our clients get monthly injections. Some of my clients are housed and some are street homeless. I’ve administered meds and checked vitals in a public settings. Some agencies work weekends and/or have on call. 

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