Losing MSurg skills?

Specialties Psychiatric


Specializes in Nonviolent physical intervention.

Hi Everyone,

I graduated this year with my BSN and started working full time in inpatient psych right away. Before I started working, I had heard the recommendation to get two years of med/surg experience. I applied for a couple places with no success, and when I was offered a job in psych (my passion) I had to take it. Well now that I'm here and can see where the recommendation comes from. I work with a lot of psych nurses that can't draw blood, can't insert a foley, and remember virtually nothing about infection control. They admit that it's from spending years and years in psych. Now I'm worried about losing all of the skills I learned in school, and I feel like the longer I stay in psych-the less marketable I will be to any other field of nursing. :uhoh3:

How do you keep your skills up?

Has anyone experienced that more years as a psych nurse equal less options in other fields?

Thanks, Britt

Specializes in Behavioral Health, Show Biz.

unless you plan on moonlighting

on a med-surg floor,

the old adage reigns,

"what you don't use,

you lose."

i use-to-be

a med-surg nurse

then burn-out almost

made me a use-to-be nurse.

but some med-surg stuff

always stays with you

helps me

come to the rescue

and if i were you

i'd dibble-and-dabble in med-surg

just to guarantee

my long-term career marketability.

showbizrn:redbeathe from the heart.

Specializes in Sub-Acute/Psychiatric/Detox.

You will still be using Med-Surg style assessment skills at times.

Of course no tubes, foleys, etc.

Not many nurses can do what Psych Nurses do on a routine basis.

Yes you will lose your med/surg skills. If you love psych nursing stay in it and don't worry. I don't have a crystal ball but it seems psych nursing is doing ok if not better than generic med/surg nursing as far as employment opportunities.

If you are concerned you could try to pick up some ?? one weekend a month or something job on a med/surg unit or even a long term care unit? But if you don't have that much energy or time don't worry about losing med/surg skills and be the best psych nurse you can be.

Hi BSNBritt,

I am in the same boat. I just got my first job in a psych ER. Does anyone think it is a good idea for me to get an ER Tech job part-time?????? To tell you the truth my dream would be to be an ER nurse (forensic, SANE/SART) since many er patients are psych patients.

Specializes in Nonviolent physical intervention.

Thanks everyone for the advice!

I am getting some MS skills working where I do. I did 7 blood draws in one shift once, ha ha. Lately we have been having a lot of more MS patients. . . in sorts. Things happening like seizures, EPS, A-fib, and cirrhosis from clozaril.

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