Jump to content

Do You ever wonder why.....

Do you ever wonder why some people are drawn into the field of psychiatrics? I myself have only been in psych for about 7 months, previoulsy worked in med/surg, and ED. I thought it would make my career a little more well rounded and of course it pays nicely as it was a hard to fill position. Anyways, I wonder at times about some of the folks that I work with, one in particular, whom is highly educated, is always attempting or guessing what she thinks this person or that person dx will be, and 9 outa 10 she's ussally right. This lady is just a nurse like myself, but with a MSN, lately she comes to work saying well her one son she thinks has such and such disorder and her other son she thinks may have something else. Keep in mind these kids of hers are young like 8 and 10 years old. To me its like she looks and looks until she can find something wrong with people and well now they all must be medicated. The more I am around her I think she might be the one with the mental illness, as well as some others I work with. At times it seems hard to determine between my coworkers and the patients sad to say. I am not downing anyone with a mental illness, I just wonder what it is that draws folks to this field. When my contract is up I will go back to med/surg, and yes I will have learned plenty, just not quite what I was expecting. Everybody wants to be medicated these days, including the health care workers. I am sick of seeing the abuse of Adderall being used with are youth, and all the dx the psych docs label these youngsters with, these are dx they are often labeled with for life. Sad just very sad........................


Specializes in Psychiatric, Geriatrics.

Whenever people ask how I can work in psych, I just laugh and tell them I love it it's just like a family reunion. LOL. I guess I really just know how to talk to people in a respectful way, all the while presenting the reality of the situation to them while the're in a psychotic state. I have success with so called difficult patients every day in getting them to cooperate with meds, millieu, etc. When I see their health improve and eventual discharge, I feel I have made a difference. Also I'm not wild about the messines of medical hospitals and LTC's, y'all can have your caths IVs, rampant germs and doctors and nurses with no communication skills. Just my humble opinion , though, there's a niche for every nurse and I feel this is mine.

I have worked in Pscy about 7months so far and I see what you mean about the "Mental illness" of the coworkers. I think to be able to do pscy nursing w/out getting bored or frustrated you have to have a passion for seeing what mental illness is like and after a while you will see all behavior as part of a "Mental illness". I read a study that said that 25% of all people will at sometime over a year period be able to be diagnosed w/ a mental illness.

Anyhow, I personally think that if you look at almost everyone there is something "wrong" with them. Just because you patients are the "Mentally Ill" doesn't mean we all aren't too... :D


Specializes in telemetry, med-surg, home health, psych.

Actually, where I work I would say 75% of the staff do have mental health issues, some have openly talked about their depression, bi-polar,former addictions, etc. Most are on medication.....I think that they can relate to the pts with sympathetic attitudes if they have in the past or present presented with these problems.

One other nurse and I joke that we are the only two there that are not on any "Meds".......I, for one, got tired of all the clinical tasks on the med/surg floor, all the H. politics, understaffing, and stress on the floor and went to psych a few years ago. I love it and will never go back!!!!!!!!! I am a closet psychologist, so I guess that it why this is right up my alley.....

I was just thinking last night that the staff I work with needs medication more than some of our patients. I have had my flirtations (figuratively speaking of course) with therapists in the past and I like to think that I've worked through most of my major issues.

I think I'm most keenly aware of co-workers with "issues" when it affects staff interactions and patient care. One co-worker in particular is very elitist and makes comments along those lines. Often tries to cover up by calling them "jokes", but really they're just mean spirited and meant to put staff and patients down. There is a hystronic nurse on one floor who throws a fit over EVERYTHING. Sounds like chicken little for any little thing. And another who is hostile and passive aggressive no matter how nice you try to be.

At this point, I just identify the behavior and manage them very much like a manage my patients. More amusing anecdotes for my memoirs :)

I forgot to mention, the only psych staff I've met who appear to be relatively well adjusted seem to be the staff that enter psych after being in the regular medical world, or plan on transitioning out of psych.

One of my coworkers is always depressed, one is really sweet and nice, 2 are reformed addicts, 1 is always trying to see what she can get away with, one is super conniving, one is angry, loud, mean to the clients about small stuff like when they can get their meds or coffee or do laundry. I have learned to talk about the weather and otherwise be pretty silent. I don't look for friends at work, I don't tell my personal information. I am lonely there but it is better than being the topic of gossip, although I probably am anyway, as gossip is just human nature. Yes, I think some of the staff, docs and Admin included, are sick. They just still manage to function at work. Such is life.

Do you really think that psych nurses are more prone to mental illness? Or could it be that working in a psych/mental health capacity makes you more comfortable to discuss these issues openly? I have a feeling that these dx. you speak of with psych nurses are everywhere but that psych nurses have evolved past the stereotypes associated with mental illness. Just a thought.


Specializes in telemetry, med-surg, home health, psych.

I think that by already experiencing mental disorders they are drawn to work in a psychiatric capacity.... They can understand their pts., and are able to work with them....Surely on the whole, there are not that many nurses in other areas with these diagnosis !!!!!!

Wildwood Flower

Specializes in med surg, LTC, ER , OB, PSYCH. Has 17 years experience.

I think if you are very lucky , you find what you are meant to do. Psych nsg is not work to me, its my passion. I grew up in any and every type abuse, and survived it without drugs, meds ETOH or any mental health help at all. By the grace of God, I made it and I think He puts us in places where we can help.I am able to understand what my pts are going thru and able to tell them, look you can get thru this. I tell them it really is true the best revenge is living well!, Not to let those who caused you pain win, to move on and learn to cope and be happy.To me, this only makes sense and I truely beleive I make a difference.:twocents:


Specializes in telemetry, med-surg, home health, psych.

bollweevil....Amen to that!!!! There is always something going around about someone....I listen but do not make any comments of my own....

I tend to concentrate on my pts. and steadily work and leave all the gossip to the others...I am much happier and not as stressed that way. I have seen some escalate themselves because of what is being said about another.....I guess this is everywhere, we have to pick our oun prioities. Yes, we have one that is stern almost mean, one that talks non-stop to the point of being hyperverbal herself....one who always says everyone else is picking on her ( the whiner)...one who knows it all...and one with no common sense....and one who constantly brags about her own achievements....it takes all kinds, for sure.....


Specializes in Psychiatric, Med Surg, Onco. Has 2 years experience.

Nurses are human. The side of the desk you find yourself on is not an indicator of your worthiness. Providing mental health care does not make you bullet proof. I am sure that there are people with bad kidneys working as dialysis nurses too...

This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site you agree to our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies.