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Does psych nursing affect ur home life?

Psychiatric   (9,151 Views 29 Comments)

ProgressiveThinking has 7 years experience and specializes in mostly critical care.

12,655 Visitors; 359 Posts

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I've been a tele nurse for a few years, and I want change. I'm considering doing psych as a loved it in school. I'll keep a PRN tele position to keep my skills up, so that's not a concern. My concern is the affect that psych has on your home life. Everyone jokes around saying that psych nurses eventually blend in with the patients. Is there truth to this? Does psych bring out the craziness in you? Has psych changed the way you act with friends and loved ones?

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SoundRN7 has 6 years experience and specializes in Psych/AOD.

6,174 Visitors; 291 Posts

Does working in psych make you crazy? I think most of us that work in psych have at least a little crazy in us already. I work psych and I believe it has helped me become a better listener to my family/friends at home. On the negative side, since I deal with "crazy" all day, when I come home I don't have nearly as much patience or tolerance for BS from my family.

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4,176 Visitors; 161 Posts

"Crazy" isn't exclusive to psych units. I've dealt with several people on an acute floor with Axis I & II dx.

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marydc specializes in Psychiatry.

5,096 Visitors; 58 Posts

Last year I wrote a thread about how 25 years in psych has affected me. Here is a bit from that: "I have been challenged and blessed in more ways than I can count throughout these years. Have even experienced, at various times, what many patients do. Major depression, anxiety, chronic insomnia, even assault, PTSD and chronic pain. Certainly brought about growth in empathy and humility, which helped me to be a better nurse."

Those same experiences (including the assault and resulting chronic pain and PTSD) could have happened to me no matter what field of nursing I was in.

I don't believe it has affected my home life any more than any other type of nursing. I also do not think it has "brought out the craziness" in me. The mental issues I dealt with would have happened to me no matter where I worked. The hours I worked (night shift) was the main culprit, not the environment.

I love psychiatric nursing and yes it has affected me, just like many years in any field would. Best of luck no matter what you decide.

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Meriwhen is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

2 Followers; 4 Articles; 59,229 Visitors; 7,878 Posts

Psych nursing has made me more understanding--or at lesat tolerant--of behavior in others that non-psych people may be quick to label (and often incorrectly).

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638 Visitors; 12 Posts

Yes it does affect your home and social life.. by being a better listener, a more patient individual and you tend to get better at deciphering what is going on inside people's head without passing judgement.

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362 Visitors; 1 Post

I think the hardest part for me as a psych nurse is that I can't sleep because I'm constantly thinking about my patients. I have noticed that my tolerance is definitely lower when I get home from work. wear and tear.

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Orca has 24 years experience as a ADN, ASN, RN and specializes in Corrections, psychiatry, rehab, LTC.

1 Follower; 25,969 Visitors; 1,784 Posts

About the only effect it has on me is that I shrug over things that other people wind up about. I have a very high threshold of what is considered strange. Unlike Nerdynurse, I have always had the ability to check my job at the door, and I don't spend off duty time thinking about things at work or what is going on with this patient or that. That is what my shift is for.

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wingding has 4 years experience.

3,631 Visitors; 76 Posts

Psych nursing has made me a better person & continues to make me stronger. I quickly realized that we are all just 1 or 2 events away from being a patient ourselves - everyone has something that will break them. I once prayed to God to help me with learning patience -- & then I got a barrage of true Borderline personalities + Bipolars in a 2 week string. Careful what you wish for. Psych follows me at home - dealing with my husband, family & friends --- I am able to cope better, & I now can walk with confidence knowing everyone has something. I hope that Psych nursing will help you too. A lot of raw nerves shown to me about myself - I see myself in each patient, who I am, who I could have been, who I fear of becoming - but understanding that is what makes me able to help them the best I can. I pray for them all on my way to work, ask for guidance in prayers during my shift & when I leave, I go home & sleep well. I hope you will be able to do that --- it is different for everyone.

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2,344 Visitors; 80 Posts

I think anytime you work with the public you become cynical and increasingly crazy. I know I have, lol. How do you feel about that? Ha, jk. Seriously though, in psych, out of necessity, one has to develop some patience and refined communication skills. I'm guilty of saying canned psych phrases when I get steamed sometimes or don't want to hear what I'm listening to outside the workplace, but fortunately non-psych people usually don't recognize it.

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3,735 Visitors; 127 Posts

I have a warped sense of normal. Guy on the corner talking to unseen other? Woman cursing at grocery cart? Okay. Woman offering to show her surgical scars in middle of the bank? Sure. Closing the door with foot behind? Okay. Checking the door before you open it? Check. Scanning rooms and listening to others chitterchatter for info. Check check. Nightmares? yep.

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RNcashy89 has 4 years experience.

1,115 Visitors; 20 Posts

Dealing with severe incidences of self harm (ie the amputation of a limb or suicide) will effect everyone - but always to varying degrees. I was involved in a severe incident recently, and could not sleep for three days after the event. However, now I feel completely "recovered" - with only the lingering memories that you can never lose. In short - yes! As a psychiatric nurse you deal with situations that most people could not possibly envisage. Not to mention that dealing with mental illness day in day out can be emotionally draining. But if you like the work, you don't resent the inevitable effect it has on your personal life. Its just an occupational hazard, and you rise to meet the challenge. For me personally, the job is like a hard gym session - you don't really enjoy doing it, you don't really like the feeling directly afterward, but you get a rush from your achievements over time.

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