switch to psych or detox nursing

  1. i am working in insurance nursing. i would really prefer to be in a counseling role...working with detox of drug/alchohol with teens. i feel there is a need.

    however, the jobs all seem to want experienced rn's. how to get the experience? i know i could work at a state hospital. however, i have heard that they are just horrible. ..that people who work in state hospitals have lower 'standards,' and that if they take a dislike to you, they may do really mean things.

    so, how does a diploma nurse with very little psych experience break in to this field?
  2. Visit yasmina profile page

    About yasmina

    Joined: Jul '04; Posts: 27


  3. by   walterrn
    Good morning,

    Why do they have chemical dependency in psychiatric hospitals? Cause people like me are CRAZY. Throwing away life, love, income, friends, God for anothr drink/drug is nothing but insanity.

    Every discipline out there is hurting for nurses. Just go up to the recruiter for a psych department, tell them your desire, and I'll bet they hire you. The strictly drug/etoh ward is pretty much a thing of the past. With managed care out there, very few places will house a client for a month of recovery training. Now it's, get them detoxed, give them some coping skills, point them in the right direction and cut them loose.

    Although it can be amazing and highly rewarding when you use your people skills to reach an ex-addict and he/she sees the light and heads off to soberland. I am a CD nurse (although dont have much use for it where I work) and if you use a little psychology and a lot of people skills/or life history examples you can reach alot of potential recovering etohics/addicts. Psychiatric nursing is 95% mental and 5% medical.

    Good luck in your pursuits................Walter the nurse
  4. by   traumaRUs
    What about applying at some of the local hospitals. I know where I live, if you are willing to learn, the hospitals are willing to teach you. Good luck. Other things: volunteer with crisis phone line, suicide prevention center.
  5. by   yasmina
    soberland. I am a CD nurse (although dont have much use for it where I work)

    Walter, what is a CD nurse?

    In my area, the hospitals only seem to need night psych nurses if any. (at least entry level).

    Have you had many physical altercations? I was told by one psych nurse she got bit, hit, etc on many occasions.

    What do you think about the state hospitals?

  6. by   walterrn
    CD=chemical dependency

    Yes lol, you can get bit, scratched, spit on (my breaking point), kicked, hit, kneed in the groin...............I've had to go to occupational health 3x in the 15 yrs of psych/CD nursing, due to breaks in skin barrier. All of those were done by adults. You wanna work with adolescents..............I can pretty much guarantee all of the above happening from teens.

    Oh well. Psych hospitals are not gonna throw you onto their floor without a little self defense training. After my first encounter with a remorseful etohic, where he tackled me, and choked me with one hand and pummled me with the other, I became very proficient in self defense. I now hold instructor certification in MAB (management of aggresive bx), PMAB (prevention and management of aggresive bx) and CPI (crisis prevention institute).

    Plus, you're not going to defend against a crazed individual one-to-one (like me and that drunk). It will be a team of 4 or 5 staff to the individual. Psych nursing is not for the faint of heart. You have to be mentally tough.

    I think a State hospital would be an excellent place to begin your psych resume. And there's alot to be said about noc nursing. You do have less staff (yikes), but, most of your clients are sleeping, more mental less physical, more money (with noc diffs), no administration (buttheads), no doctors (bigger buttheads). I've been doing noc's for the last 5 yrs and it works great for me. There are just some tricks you'll have to learn to be able to sleep when the sun is up.

    Hope this answers and doesnt pose too many questions. If you'd like, you can personally e-mail me with any thoughts, questions, whatever at walterrn@yahoo.com

    Walter the nurse