First Job as a Psyche Nurse

  1. I just started a job fresh out of nursing school as a psyche nurse, and I have a couple of concerns. First of all I don't use my nursing skills that I learned in school. I don't even pass meds. The LPNs do that. We basically sit in the back and type on an old DOS system, and do paper charting. I have some graduate work under my belt in Counseling, but I don't use any of it as a psyche nurse. They also put me working graveyard, which means that I don't even see patients at all. I tend to be rather hyperactive despite my age (55), and this is boring.

    I will be starting a leadership Master's Degree in the Fall, and my current job is working as basically a charge nurse on a psychiatric ward.

    Further, there seems to be some horizontal violence in regards to --NOT the Nurses-- but the CNAs (they don't even have a CNA, but they are similar) tend to bully the nurses. I have been on the floor for two weeks and every ward I have had to deal with a loud, obnoxious, bullying Tech. I had heard that nurses do that, but I never expected this from Techs.

    Any ideas that would be helpful?
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  2. Visit Kaylight profile page

    About Kaylight, ADN

    Joined: Aug '15; Posts: 9; Likes: 13
    from WA , US
    Specialty: <1 year(s) of experience

    10 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from Kaylight
    I just started a job fresh out of nursing school as a psyche nurse, and I have a couple of concerns. First of all I don't use my nursing skills that I learned in school. I don't even pass meds. The LPNs do that. We basically sit in the back and type on an old DOS system, and do paper charting. I have some graduate work under my belt in Counseling, but I don't use any of it as a psyche nurse. They also put me working graveyard, which means that I don't even see patients at all. I tend to be rather hyperactive despite my age (55), and this is boring.

    I will be starting a leadership Master's Degree in the Fall, and my current job is working as basically a charge nurse on a psychiatric ward.

    Further, there seems to be some horizontal violence in regards to --NOT the Nurses-- but the CNAs (they don't even have a CNA, but they are similar) tend to bully the nurses. I have been on the floor for two weeks and every ward I have had to deal with a loud, obnoxious, bullying Tech. I had heard that nurses do that, but I never expected this from Techs.

    Any ideas that would be helpful?
    If you've only been there for two weeks, my advice would be to do a lot of observing and very little opinionated talking. Things aren't always what our first impressions lead us to believe they are.
    And if you're unhappy with the specialty, put some applications out elsewhere and see who calls back.
  4. by   NurseCard
    Sounds a lot like my first psych job. A LOT.
    I liked it at the time because I was used to a super-stressful
    Med Surge job.

    It was really boring at times though.
    I agree with Sour Lemon in that, maybe you need to give
    it a little more time. Mental health does require
    very strong assessment and critical thinking skills.
    You will have that occasional night when someone who
    can't sleep decides to raise holy hell. Then it's up
    to you to decide what the right course of action is.
    Don't let your CNA's decide the course of action. Just DON'T.

    You'll also have that occasional patient complain of something
    like chest pain. Again, assessment skills are key.
    You can really learn a lot in psych.
  5. by   Crush
    Shoot, last time I floated to psych we were starting an IV for fluids on a pt needing to detox. Chest pain complaints with anxiety. You may need to do an EKG, draw labs, and more. Give it time. I agree with the above 2 posts. I do find that having some psych (from floating) experiences is helpful when I float to other units as well.
  6. by   Been there,done that
    Far from being bored, you should be on guard. You are there because the facility needs an RN in the building to retain their license. You are responsible for what goes down.. and plenty will.

    Learn the roles of the staff. You are referring to mental health technicians, that know the patient better than you do.
  7. by   Kaylight
    Shoot, last time I floated to psych we were starting an IV for fluids on a pt needing to detox. Chest pain complaints with anxiety. You may need to do an EKG, draw labs, and more. Give it time. I agree with the above 2 posts. I do find that having some psych (from floating) experiences is helpful when I float to other units as well.
    We won't do those. We have a medical team that does this. It would be nice if we did though. The entire hospital is psyche. I would float to another psyche ward, possibly forensic.
    Last edit by Kaylight on Mar 9
  8. by   Kaylight
    Far from being bored, you should be on guard. You are there because the facility needs an RN in the building to retain their license. You are responsible for what goes down.. and plenty will.

    Learn the roles of the staff. You are referring to mental health technicians, that know the patient better than you do.
    We are on guard. We have census every 15 minutes, and I am well aware that I am working in the most dangerous facility in my state.
    Yes. The techs have more contact with patients than I do. It does not mean that they get to insult me whenever they like, however.
    Last edit by Kaylight on Mar 9
  9. by   Kaylight
    Quote from NurseCard
    Sounds a lot like my first psych job. A LOT.
    I liked it at the time because I was used to a super-stressful
    Med Surge job.

    It was really boring at times though.
    I agree with Sour Lemon in that, maybe you need to give
    it a little more time. Mental health does require
    very strong assessment and critical thinking skills.
    You will have that occasional night when someone who
    can't sleep decides to raise holy hell.
    You are probably right about this. I did know another nurse who left the state hospital so that he could regain his acute care skills. I am afraid of being pigeon-holed, but I should hang in there a bit more.

    I can say that one good thing about my hospital is that it has a good balance between male/ female, and we have a very diverse team. I will say also that we have some very good techs, and some wonderful nurses who keep the milieu going.

    It's a bit more difficult on graveyard, but I might have the one person waking up who may need to speak to someone in the middle of the night. It does get very slow, and I feel like I don't have enough time for bedside care.
  10. by   kimpossible4real
    Agree with the previous posts, evaluate and get to know the techs.
  11. by   Been there,done that
    Quote from Kaylight
    We are on guard. We have census every 15 minutes, and I am well aware that I am working in the most dangerous facility in my state.
    Yes. The techs have more contact with patients than I do. It does not mean that they get to insult me whenever they like, however.
    I detect an attitude, the techs do too.
  12. by   charisma00
    Quote from Been there,done that
    I detect an attitude, the techs do too.
    I'm just lurking. I kinda agree here with everyone else. I have done other jobs where I can identify with how you are feeling yet, you should not be bored when you are brand new, what are you not taking advantage of given your feeling of having free time. You are just too new to be this defensive. Slow down and be a bit more humble, you have a ways to go. Including learning to appreciate the contributions of people who work with you.

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