Ok, I might not have time to answer em all but here goes...
1) I'm a psych RN. I work nights. The pts have to be in their rooms from 12a to 6a (or we "assist" them there). The main focus is to keep everyone safe, administer any as needed meds, and pick up the brunt of the paperwork that they don't have time for on the day/eve shift. Oh yeah, we have to do admissions too, which includes a 15 page assessment, calling the doc on call, transcribing and giving them the meds the DOC orders, orientating them to the unit, and answering any questions they have. On the detox unit we also have to assess how badly they are in withdrawal and medicate them appropriately.
- Arrive and get report from the evening shift
-Until 12a, hang out w/ the pts, get them meds, answer their questions, basically meet their needs (whatever they are at that moment). Midnight bedtime rule is subject to change at discretion of Charge nurse (me) for things like sports playoffs, the Grammy awards, or a movie that's going to end in a few minutes.
-Bedtime... most pts know the rules and go on their own. (we also give 10 and 5 min warnings) New pts are informed of rules. If they refuse to go to their room (they don't have to sleep) we find out why and try to fix the problem. If they are just being obstinate (or aggressively psychotic), we offer them the choice of going on their own or w/ "help". If they make the wrong choice they are physically escorted to their room as many times as is necessary. If they won't stay in there, we have a mental health associate sit outside the door. That almost always works. If it doesn't we offer them a prn med. If they are escalating and refuse meds, occasionally they have to be put in restraints as a last resort. When that happens they get a shot too, and when it kicks in we are usually able to release them.
- 24hr chart checks. We check all orders written in past 24 hrs and make sure they are transcribed in the right spots and fix any errors
- Then we deal w/ admissions as they come. If no admissions we read or talk quietly.
- 5:30am Neaten the nurses station and make coffee, prepare AM report
- 6am Some pts actually get up! we give them coffee, toast their bagels/bread, and get them their stuff if they want to shower. No shaving though, no sharps allowed on the night shift!
-6:45am- Day nurses come in, we give them report and then scram! This hospital is good about letting us out on time. We always get out at 7a
3) Psych hospital... Usually adult or adult dual diagnosis (detox) but sometimes I get floated to reg. adolescent or adol. dual.
4)Kindness, understanding, the ability to stay awake all night, and the ability to deal w/ scary people w/o showing fear. Also, extensive knowledge of psych meds, interactions, and disorders, as well as detox protocol and how to use it.
5) Psych 101?
6) Working with pts in general... working as a mental health associate in a psych hospital would be very helpful.
7) Started at $25/hr (psych pays crap) have only done 4 years but make $27 and change now, plus differentials for night shift
8)Different age groups, detox. Grad degree I'm going to go for is Psych CNS. Like a psych NP (has prescribing authority in my state)
9) Very secure. Not many nurses want to deal w/ psych, even fewer want night shift.
10) I love teaching pts about their illness and how to work around it so they can lead a normal life. Occasionally I get hit, and that sucks.
11) Very high... most nurses don't really like psych
12) same thing... I love my job!