changing fields

  1. Hello Everyone,
    I'm new to the forums here at allnurses. I've been reading through the threads posted in the DD specialty folder and I've enjoyed the various topics that have been discussed!

    About me, I am a pediatric nurse practitioner in North Carolina--I've been in active PNP practice for 3 years. Prior to that I had two years of peds RN experience (1 year in med-surg, another year in peds ortho). I work in primary care (doctor's office). I want to switch to developmental/behavioral pediatrics as an NP but I feel like I need to get additional training in that area. Towards that end, I'm thinking of pursuing a post-master's certificate in psych-mental's the closest thing to DD training in this area...or at least that's what it seems like. The program director has strongly urged me to get some experience in psych mental health or DD...but I can't find anything in DD. My question to you all is: would working as a psych mental health nurse also provide some good experience for a future in DD? I have NO experience in psych mental healthy and very little "official" experience in DD--I do work with DD patients in my current PNP practice but it's more about doing their annual physicals, taking care of their colds...and less to do with actual DD interventions. I'm sorry if it seems like a simple question... I'd love to have your feedback!

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    About broadwaylover

    Joined: Sep '10; Posts: 1


  3. by   marsy
    I've worked both psych and DD. I love DD and its nothing like psych at all. The way you interact with them, the way you become a detective when something is wrong with them because they may or may not be verbal, everything they do is completely different compared to pysch. Yes, some of them have pysch issues, but to understand them, you must first work with them. But that's just my of luck!
  4. by   malenurse247
    Hi there. Well the difference between psych and disability is sometimes a fine line. Psych patients can have dd and disability clients can have psych disorders, hence a dual diagnosis. In dd you will be dealing with people who have numerous syndromes and disorders aquired genetically or environmentally or otherwise, from autism to fragile x. Clients can present challenging aggresssive behaviours at one end of the spectrum and are living in communities with good life and social skills in the other. I have little experience of psych but can tell you that both specialities deal with long term care and an emphasis on improving the persons quality of life by improving independance and creating stability in their lives so that they can better integrate into the community. Good luck.