If you want to work in psych you must be crazy yourself...

Posted

Specializes in psychiatric, corrections. Has 7 years experience.

I want to work in psych when I am done with nursing school. I worked it before nursing school and I loved it. Do other people look at you weird when you tell them that or make comments that only crazy nurses want to work with crazy patients? Or the "takes one to know one" comments?

I have never been a patient in a psych facility, and I consider myself quite sane....Just sayin....

Whispera, MSN, RN

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education. 3,458 Posts

People make lots of remarks. You have to let them roll off your back. I figure it takes different people with different interests and different skills to do different types of nursing. While some aren't suited for psych (this may be the reason for their remarks), I'm not suited for some other specialties.

I do think it's rude to say some things people say, and I wonder the reason they think it's ok to say them!

caliotter3

38,332 Posts

Knew someone who worked in a psych facility, a forensic one to be exact, and he stated that he was told that by one of the psychiatrists, who also pointed out that (at that time) five psychiatrist employees had committed suicide. Gives one pause.

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 29 years experience. 2 Articles; 3,860 Posts

I personally hate psyche, and am without a doubt, no icon of commonly accepted psychiatric normalcy,whatever that entails. In short, I'm a little odd, I think some might say. I think I'm the only sane one, and they're all crazy!:whistling:

JustKeepDriving

Specializes in Forensic Psychiatry. 119 Posts

I prefer terminally unique, thank you very much!

Honestly though, you just have to shrug off what people say. It will go a long way both in your practice as a psychiatric nurse (those patients come up with the best insults ever... Urban dictionary becomes your friend in psychiatric nursing) and in life. Can't take it personally.

The Psych field in general still has a huge stigma (both patients and those that choose to work in the field). You'll hear a lot of things like "psychiatric nurses aren't real nurses", "Only crazy people work psych", "those patient's are disgusting, how can you work with people like that", "It's so violent!", and other things.

I had coworkers and patients in the OR that were legit "crazier" and more violent than the patient's in my maximum security forensic psychiatric unit (criminally insane). The fact is that no matter what area you go into in nursing (or even out of nursing) you'll deal with some level of "crazy". There is this huge misconception that the mentally ill are all confined to nice little psychiatric units where only the crazy psychiatric nurses have to deal with them. Which is just not true.

WCSU1987

944 Posts

Psych is like the black sheep of the hospital no one likes them and doesn't invite them to family gatherings. My experience in Psych has always been met with headbutting from other departments of hospital's worked at. A lot of them look down on the nurse's on the psych unit's. Why who knows I mean think psych goes beyond medical and is more of a challenge. I mean you do have medical crises in addition you also have psych crises on a daily basis.

Edited by WCSU1987

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner. 8,863 Posts

First I could care less what people say about my job or specialty but to play devil's advocate I am more than slightly embarrassed to admit that I made one of the "I heard you all are crazy too" comments to a couple of psych nurses prior to entering the field. I was actually interested in pursuing psych nursing and trying to make a joke. One of my best friends was a psych nurse who used to always say there were a lot of crazy people working in psych. It was not well received by these women, I felt like a heel and I never made that mistake again. I did in fact learn that the truth is there are a lot of crazy people in every specialty and please keep in mind that humans, or at least this human, say stupid stuff very often without meaning any harm.

JustKeepDriving

Specializes in Forensic Psychiatry. 119 Posts

First I could care less what people say about my job or specialty but to play devil's advocate I am more than slightly embarrassed to admit that I made one of the "I heard you all are crazy too" comments to a couple of psych nurses prior to entering the field. I was actually interested in pursuing psych nursing and trying to make a joke. One of my best friends was a psych nurse who used to always say there were a lot of crazy people working in psych. It was not well received by these women, I felt like a heel and I never made that mistake again. I did in fact learn that the truth is there are a lot of crazy people in every specialty and please keep in mind that humans, or at least this human, say stupid stuff very often without meaning any harm.

Honestly, I say a lot a stupid stuff and have "insert foot in mouth" moments more often that I would like to admit. I think I had a filter once (you know -- the one that says "you probably shouldn't say this" and "This is possibly highly offensive to the majority of the population and you shouldn't be laughing")... but one of my patient's may have stolen it.

Some days though, the only way to deal with having to use your riot shield as some awkward dodge-ball prop for bowel movement being flung at you by a patient needing an emergency med while your nurse manager is yelling "dodge poo! dodge the punches!" at your team... is by going back into the chart room and laughing really hard about it (and then maybe posting the nurse manager's quote on their locker as part of locker wars).

Edited by JustKeepDriving

SoundRN7

Specializes in Psych/AOD. Has 6 years experience. 291 Posts

Psych nurses are super human! Or maybe that's just one of this crazy psych nurses delusions. :wacky:

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,488 Posts

Do other people look at you weird when you tell them that or make comments that only crazy nurses want to work with crazy patients?

When Other People's Parochial Perspective becomes so Important that it makes One Question a Worthy Endeavor, it's time to Take Stock.

Self Satisfaction and Happiness is not contingent on what Other People believe. Self Satisfaction and Happiness are the Result of Being at Peace with Oneself.

WinterLilac

Specializes in Psychiatric. Has 5 years experience. 168 Posts

I've found in all 3 sectors I have worked in: disabilities, aged care and mental health, I have ALWAYS had people say "I could NEVER do what you do! You're a special kind of person!". I never really knew how to respond to this so just shrugged it off.

Mental health (psych) has another level of "Oh my! Don't you get scared? Isn't it dangerous? You can't predict what they'll do next!" and yes, the whole "You know what they say about psych nurses! Gotta be a bit mad yourself!". Funnily enough, the people who pull the mickey out of my profession the most are my nurse friends. Some work in palliative, aged care, ED, community and we have crack (mostly black humour jokes) about each other's specialty. In a weird kind of way, it makes us all feel proud and protective of our chosen specialties!

socialworknurse

70 Posts

Most of the time yes, but they aren't paying my bills :) When you find a work place that you like and fulfills you, go there regardless of what other people think. There are too many unhappy places in nursing.