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New pych nurse needs advice

Psychiatric   (1,469 Views 5 Comments)
by dreamBIG dreamBIG (Member) Member

2,541 Profile Views; 50 Posts

I am a new grad and I will soon be working as a psych nurse. I will be working at a hospital with a separate psych facility that includes several units-adolescent, outpatient, detox, gen. psych, and acute adult/gero. I will have the opportunity to work in all the units. I am excited because I love that I can use my communication skills more readily than on med-surg. Med-surg never held any charms for me-I always knew psych was my calling. I will be starting out working nights-two 8's and two 12s a week. Any advice from some seasoned psych nurses-especially night nurses? Thanks!:nurse:

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RochesterRN-BSN has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Psych, ER, Resp/Med, LTC, Education.

399 Posts; 5,404 Profile Views

Well, not to say there is none but there is definately less communication on the night shift! Inpatient that is....most patients are sleeping........except the ones who are too manic to sleep, the voices are keeping the awake, chronic insomnia.....When I worked inpatient (I'm in psych ER now) I found that most of the communication is --please go back to your room, yes I will bring you some Ambien...or Ativan for the the anxiety, or Haldol for those voices....but please head to your room and I will be there shortly with it. They get the med and you try to get them to go to sleep not chat with you. Then there is the angry violent maybe psychotic patient who can't follow direction and you end up restrianing with security and giving IMs to...other then the initial attempt to ed-escalate the situation verbally you don't chat after.....so not a whole lot of chatting if the communication is what you love! You may not even see most of the patients when you come in on the 8-hour unless they get up real early.....at least with the 12- you get to meet them and do some talking then.

Hell I worked with a couple nurses that worked nights so they wouldn't have to do a whole lot of cummunication! lol Sad I know. Like you I love to talk to the patients. So you may find that night shift is not the best for you and what your needs are.

Now where I am now...psych ER, it's pretty much the same 24/7 excepr trying to do the same work with less staff and its hard to get collateral in the middle of the night! lol But I still get to talk no matter what shift!

good luck with your new job.....I think you will love it...sounds like a good match to me. You sound passionate and compassionate and that is what this population needs!!

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inthesky has 1 years experience and specializes in behavioral health.

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I worked nights right out of school. The night schedule messed me up psychically and emotionally really badly. Although, I am probably more sensitive to it than most. Circadian rhythms are no joke. Even though I was disappointed that many of the patients slept though the majority of my shift, it was nice to avoid the bustle of day shift. But you know..if one route is not preferable, then there will always be another.

I like your screen name.. dream big..always =)

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50 Posts; 2,541 Profile Views

I am NOT a morning person...I seem to be tired in the afternoon and when it's time to go to bed, I'm wide awake. I am not disillusioned enought to believe the night shift will be easy. I kinda like the idea of having down time to figure things out at first. I am sure I will be a zombie until my body adjusts! Thanks for the reply.

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