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New Grad: from oncology to psychiatry

Psychiatric   (1,465 Views | 3 Replies)
by laurster1991 laurster1991 (New) New

670 Profile Views; 13 Posts

Hi There Everyone,

I am in a current situation as a new grad where I have anxiety issues at my job. I am working on a very busy, very intense oncology floor, one of the best in the country, actually, and I can't seem to get a handle around my anxiety. Looking back during nursing school, I remember loving psychiatry, being close with both my clinical professor and my teacher, and being naturally good at it. At first, I had problems overidentifying with my patients, but with time and practice during clinical, I was able to get a handle on it. I've always wanted to "wait" to go into psych because my teachers told me that old saying, "Do med-surge first, you'll lose your skills." However, I find that the longer I stay at my oncology job, the more I come to hate it. It's not what i want at all. I want a job where I can interact and have more one on one time with my patients. I have shadowed and work with all populations in school and know I want adults, know the risks and know that psych isn't all dandelions and roses, but I think it's more what I'm looking for....but i do have BPD, anxiety, and depression, but I'm fairly stable, or as stable as you can be when you're MI. That's the only thing that's holding me back at the moment. I'm not getting into psych nursing because I want to find answers to my treatment, but rather because I understand what it's like to be mentally ill, have experienced the stigma around it, and suffered from it for so many years and overcome alot of odds.

Advice?

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mtsteelhorse has 16 years experience and specializes in Correctional Nursing; MSN student.

1,635 Posts; 20,119 Profile Views

One of the great advantages we have as nurses is that we can change specialties. I think many people drawn to working with patients with mental illness have personal experience. If you feel passionate about psych then perhaps it's time to make a change. ;)

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163 Posts; 1,885 Profile Views

I just interviewed for a psych position. I worked previously in a adolescent psychiatric long term facility and I loved it. It's not roses and dandelions and there are dangers to it. You can become a target very easily and have to watch your back at all times. I never turned my back at my patient's ever. I got thrown stuff (mainly meds and juice) and had to run away from a 13 year old who hated me and was ready to tackle me. Funny because some days I was her favorite nurse. I'd say that if you love it you should go for it. I'm even thinking into going for psychiatric NP. I don't think there's many of them and mental health is a growing field as more and more understanding of mental illness arises.

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nickfitz1969 has 15 years experience and specializes in Mental Health.

92 Posts; 1,004 Profile Views

Stop wasting time and working in an environment that you don't like. Ask your oncology patients, with their limited time left on this earth, what they would have changed in their lives. Most would say, "don't waste time'!

Also, you should not be defined by a diagnosis that has questionable validity or reliability and are vague at best! Too many people are wrapped up in a bunch of behaviours that may cause emotional turmoil and interpersonal challenges. Just because a book says that you have a mental illness, it might not be necessarily true. I would suggest that you have a look at the nursing diagnoses for mental health conditions and you might see noticeable differences.

Psychiatrists have developed these frameworks (DSM) to protect their guild interests and promote psychiatry as a valid medical field. I would encourage everyone to review the "Mad in America" website to gain a fuller picture of psychiatry and it's history. I wouldn't be surprised if they still taught nursing students that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, for which there is no evidence! Good Luck!!

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