Scared of the required psych nursing... - page 2

Hey all, Hope everyone is doin' well. I haven't posted in such a long time it seems...but I read every post faithfully and they are all so helpful. I was wondering if anyone was also as worried... Read More

  1. by   JudithL_in_NH

    I have two weeks left of my Psych rotation and I will be glad when it is over. Just not my cup of tea. I have found my comfort level there, though, and don't detest going--it's just not an area where I feel I'd like to practice. It's a unit where folks are admitted straight from the ED, so they can be a little raw--but I've never felt endangered. Most of the patients are more sad than dangerous. Your patients probably won't be nearly as "loony" as you're worried about.

    I do feel the rotation has equipped me to be more sensitive to medical patients who may have psych issues; I've also learned tons about substance abuse treatment--I now have a much clearer picture the challenges these patients face and some understanding of how to work with them. There is a lot to be learned from seasoned mental health nurses and the social workers, so try to align yourself with staff early on--most seem really happy to work with you if you show an interest and pitch in where they need help.

    BTW, I have found there is a lot of "down time" in psych--I usually have two patients, and if they're both asleep or in group, well, you sit and write out care plans, chat with other patients, try to help out at the nurse's station, whatever--but I am so used to being *really* busy on a med/surg floor that the slower pace has been hard for me to adjust to.

    Do talk over your worries with someone and work through them--faculty or a counselor. Maybe there's a senior student who's been through the rotation who could tell you more about it, too. Despite apprehension, you *can* make it through this rotation.

    Also, my children and I have been stalked in the past, and I felt no similarity between the creep who frightened us and the folks who I've had as patients.

    Best of luck to you!
  2. by   BSN2004NSU
    I understand what you mean about being scared about psych because I am too. We go to critical care and psych this summer, but the students that are in psych now say that's it's not that bad because they go to AA meetings. They said that they're never on a one on one basis with the patients. I don't know if that's the same for all programs, but I think you should talk to someone that it is in psych now in your program and let them tell you how it REALLY is. Maybe that will settle your anxiety and fear.

    I hope everything works out for the best and whatever you do, PLEASE DON'T LEAVE THE PROGRAM!
  3. by   Ruylupez
    During my psych rotation we were not allowed to be alone with any patient. Students were paired up and were to stay with their partner at all times. The instructor and staff made sure they could see us at all times and they warned us if they thought anyone might be a problem.

    Many of the students were nervous about the psych rotation but once we had been in there and seen what we were dealing with everyone relaxed and it was no problem.
  4. by   FutureArmyNurse
    This morning I was walking to work and in my path a homeless man (who is always in the same spot) was sitting on the sidewalk, leaning against a building and arguing with himself and pulling his hair. I was thinking about my fear and decided that I would not cross the street as I always did, but would walk by him (at a safe distance of course) and try not to be afraid -because I had overreacted at the store yesterday with the bagboy. Well, I was feeling brave so I did it, well guess what. As I went by he suddenly crawled across the sidewalk and touched my leg. I'm telling you, I jumped at least 100 feet in the air! He then asked me for money or beer, and I was outta there in 1/2 second flat. I think that would scare anyone, but I literally felt faint for a few minutes and had to sit down on a nearby wall to calm my nerves. I was too embarrassed to put my head between my legs :uhoh21:

    Sincere thanks to everyone for your responses. In reading them, and because of this morning's incident, I have realized that I have to come to terms with the fact that I have some degree of PTSD. That is hard to admit, but there, I did it! I HAVE PTSD! I HAVE PTSD!
  5. by   Altra
    Quote from FutureArmyNurse
    Sincere thanks to everyone for your responses. In reading them, and because of this morning's incident, I have realized that I have to come to terms with the fact that I have some degree of PTSD. That is hard to admit, but there, I did it!

    As others mentioned, PTSD is treatable. Please take care of yourself and take whatever steps are necessary to overcome it. We're pulling for you!
  6. by   nurseshawna
    i haven't had mine yet, but i can't wait! it is one of my choices of what i will wnt to go into after school.

    however, i can imagine being freaked out if something traumatic happend. best of luck to you.
  7. by   orrnlori
    I'm glad you've decided to get some help. I think this is exactly what you need to do. My psych rotation was totally uneventful. The students who worked with the disturbed kids really got an eyeful. I preferred to stay with addicted adults. Being the kind of person I am, I just was frustrated with them, wanted to shake them and tell them to grow up. Not very compassionate, huh? Well, that's why I'm not a psych nurse. Good luck and let us know how you are feeling.
  8. by   Carolanne
    Psych was one of my favorite clinicals. I was able to talk with a lot of people from all different walks of life. Once you sit down with them and get into a conversation, they will open up to you. They're just people like you and me who usually have some kind of chemical imbalance in their brain which is easily controlled with medication. The frustrating part is, many of them get well again, are discharged, and then are noncompliant again with their meds and in they march again. So a HUGE part of our teaching in this rotation will be compliance, compliance, compliance. But I really did enjoy it. I think a lot of us have visions of people flipping out and screaming and hanging themselves with their bed sheets, but the staff is trained to see escalating behavior before it becomes full blown and will medicate them appropriately with what they need to readjust again. I found it fascinating to see what these little tiny pills can do.
  9. by   Chaya
    I also dreaded psych, more because it was hard for me to initiate the less structured interactions than for fear for my safety. Once I got going, I found it managable. Keep in mind that this experience is designed to provide you with the tools for better dealing with anyone with psych issues. You will need these skills frequently in any branch of nursing, as well as with people you encounter in your personal life (as you have found!). Next time you will have the skills and preparation.
    Last edit by Chaya on Apr 25, '04
  10. by   shortsteph12
    I am currently in Psych, and I too had reservations. I chose to go to the state mental hospital because I figured it would be a good experience for me. That I would get to see alot. My husband didn't want me to gothere but I know that they really have quite a bit of security and safety is a big issue. What made it scarier was that it was on the forensics unit so we have to interact with criminals. But since I do not plan on going into psych nursing I feel this is great educationally, besides that you don't have to make beds, give baths, or change diapers....YEAH