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Austin State Hospital - To do or not to do?

Psychiatric   (3,330 Views 3 Comments)
by pjatx pjatx (Member) Member

1,086 Profile Views; 17 Posts

I'll try and be brief:

This is my 2nd career (37 yo). Soon to be RN (May '14) with a BS in Hospitality Management years ago. I feel a pull towards psych nursing and would like to start at Austin State Hospital (ASH). I am driven to get my MSN in managment and possilby take on some leadership positions with the State of TX in this great city of Austin. I'd like to use ASH as a stepping stone to maybe a community health/management position.

I love patient care, but don't see doing it 20+ years in any capacity a good long term goal. Is it realistic to think i could expand my opportunities with the state by becoming a state employee at ASH?

Anyone that's worked there- please share all good and bad aspects. I've got thick skin and the right attitude. Just don't want to be too far down the path and realize I should have taken the med-surg route.

Thanks for reading..

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11 Posts; 686 Profile Views

Hello pjatx!

I was about to start a new thread with the exact same question but then I saw this. I'm also an expected May '14 graduate interested in working at ASH hopefully by this fall. I don't see many reviews of it online and would love to get some first-hand accounts on what it's like to work there. At my psych clinical rotation, I noticed that the nurses don't really participate in the group therapies, or rather didn't have time to provide therapeutic care in the midst of crises and staffing shortages. I would love to work in a place where nurses are more involved in giving that care, although I know it's unrealistic to think I won't be documenting and dealing with medications for a good chunk of the day.

I called their HR dept 2 months ago and woman on the phone told me a bit about the perpetual entry-level RN listing. Summary of what she told me:

- High turnover rate because of the "nature of the job." (expected)

- They hire twice a month

- Can go in for on-campus interview, sometimes on the spot! (this may be a problem for me because I don't currently live in Texas)

- Go through initial orientation until you're comfortable on your own

If anyone has worked at ASH, especially recently, please share your thoughts and experience with us (=

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txredheadnurse has 39 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Correctional, QA, Geriatrics.

349 Posts; 10,179 Profile Views

There are also several private pay psych hospitals in Austin which are more geared towards the therapeutic involvement of nurses beyond the "pill slinging" lol. Austin State Hospital is not that bad a work environment for a state owned psych hospital and the state benefits are pretty decent. I would view it as a stepping stone type of job but if you want a smaller, newer building, more hands on psych nursing experience then I would explore the private pay options in Austin.

BTW I am a native Austinite and have worked at Austin State Hospital in the past. The working conditions are basically unchanged for the last decade and a half.

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