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Is forensic mental health nursing a "real field"?

Psychiatric   (451 Views 4 Comments)
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Good evening nurses!

For the past couple of months, I have been working in a psychiatric unit in a correctional facility with a max census of 32 for incarcerated males with acute/chronic mental health issues, most awaiting trial and seeing if they will be deemed NCR and if they are, they are housed here while waiting for a bed at the state hospital. Many of our patients are admitted here as well because they stated that they were suicidal in general population or some is just admitted here for "bizarre behavior" (psychotic decompensation). The unit is ran similar to how it would be run in a hospital, frequent rounding, medication administration, patient education, running groups, mental health assessments. Administration constantly states that this is the "forensic mental health field" and that it is very rewarding (which I agree with). I just wanted to ask if anyone has ever heard of forensic mental health nursing and if what I am doing as an RN in this facility would really be called "forensic mental health nursing". Thank you! :yes:

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Yes, it's considered forensic mental health nursing. We have a state mental health hospital with a "forensic unit" that sounds similar to what you're describing.

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Yes! Forensic mental health is the sub-specialty of providing mental health care to those who have committed crimes / high risk for crime/relapse into crime (be they incarcerated, in the state hospital, or on parole, or otherwise followed by judicial system) and who have active legal/justice system needs in addition to their mental health needs.

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Yes, I did it for many years as a Psych NP. It was interesting and extremely educational. I appeared in court probably 30 times or more as an expert witness for the state.

I only left for a much better paying job.

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