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Pre nursing student has a question for current RNs

Nurses   (1,644 Views 34 Comments)
by HotSauce77 HotSauce77 (New Member) New Member

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16 hours ago, FuturePsychNP21 said:

Going to have to disagree with the second paragraph, I personally don't think there's anything better than seeing a patient come in to the psych unit unable to function and leave stable and with a support system built up around them. 

So totally agree with this.

You’re certainly going to have your frequent flyers, yes. But I’ve seen my fair share of success stories in inpatient psych too.

I’m not in nursing for the calling, and my first career as a teacher wasn’t either. I’m good with where I am, learning every day. I work both neuro ICU and psych; there are days that are rewarding, and days where the shift can’t end soon enough ... but I certainly learn. And I make good money doing it.

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16 hours ago, FuturePsychNP21 said:

Going to have to disagree with the second paragraph, I personally don't think there's anything better than seeing a patient come in to the psych unit unable to function and leave stable and with a support system built up around them. 

Those are the kind of tangible results I was referring to!

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hppygr8ful has 15 years experience and works as a RN - Adolescent Psych.

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22 hours ago, FuturePsychNP21 said:

Going to have to disagree with the second paragraph, I personally don't think there's anything better than seeing a patient come in to the psych unit unable to function and leave stable and with a support system built up around them. 

I love that feeling when someone totally psychotic begins to clear up and function - take a shower, ask for a haircut, go to groups etc.... Many of my patients will return but we just patch them up again and hope it sticks this time.

Hppy

 

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Psych needs people all the time around my parts. Just make sure you can really handle it and don’t end up on the psych ward yourself friend. 

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On 2/14/2019 at 6:20 PM, FuturePsychNP21 said:

Going to have to disagree with the second paragraph, I personally don't think there's anything better than seeing a patient come in to the psych unit unable to function and leave stable and with a support system built up around them. 

That may be true, but when I think tangible results, I think I like fixing a plumbing problem or putting a tourniquet on a limb. Psych isn't exactly likely that most of the time.

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umbdude has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a RN.

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On 2/12/2019 at 11:00 AM, HotSauce77 said:

I want to become a nurse because I love science and anatomy and I can see myself enjoying learning about the body, talking to people, figuring things out, and seeing tangible results of my actions.

To me, "helping people" and "calling" are pretty vague reasons to want to be a nurse. What you said up in quote are far more concrete and believable. Also, it is not evil to want a career that pays the bills and then some.

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I went into nursing for the same reasons... I loved the science, I'm compassionate and good with people. It was not a calling for me. Unfortunately, the profession is so task oriented that I feel as if I don't have the time to truly focus on the science.  A nurse once told me "nursing is grunt work".  That basically sums it up.  I feel as if I learned so much that I don't even have the chance to apply.  Just go into the profession with your eyes wide open. 

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hppygr8ful has 15 years experience and works as a RN - Adolescent Psych.

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It's true that you rarely see long term tangible results in psych and the remitting nature of psychiatric illness can be disheartening for some nurses. Others become frustrated working with a population that is unable to cope with the simplest things. It can be frustrating and at times exhausting spending 8 to 12 hours  redirecting people to the next indicated task. 

Secondly if you are into the science behind the job you may be disappointed in psych because so much of what we do is based on so called "Soft Science" There is often no clear pathophysiology to psychiatric illness and therefor no clear path to wellness. The best many of our patients receive is temporary reprieves from their illness based on how well they can comply with a medication regimen. 

Still when you look at nursing theories and definitions I always go back to Virginia Henderson: 

"The unique function of the nurse is to assist the individual, sick or well, in performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery (or peaceful death) that he/she would perform unaided if he/she had the necessary strength, will or knowledge."

This uniquely applies to psych nursing because our patients often lack the strength, will or knowledge to help themselves.

Hppy

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2 hours ago, hppygr8ful said:

It's true that you rarely see long term tangible results in psych and the remitting nature of psychiatric illness can be disheartening for some nurses. Others become frustrated working with a population that is unable to cope with the simplest things. It can be frustrating and at times exhausting spending 8 to 12 hours  redirecting people to the next indicated task. 

Exactly. Look, I'm not going to sit here at my keyboard and tell anyone what's ultimately right for them. I just think taking some pause is necessary. I don't think it helps the OP to have people that are still in school telling her that psych nursing is full of tangible and satisfying results. Yes, it can be like that some of the time. But it is often back breakingly and soul crushingly hard with little result to show for it. And, yes, although relatively rare, it can be dangerous.

You will see patients stabilize and walk off the unit with support systems in place. You will also discharge homeless patients to room and board knowing they'll be down at the river in a few months. You will see the same patients with bipolar and BPD admitted over and over again. You will deal with "providers" that barely know their patients and prescribe meds off-label like they're candy.

Yes, it's hard. Yes, you will get the chance to go home at the end of the day feeling like you did some good. 

Hppy, thank you for being so candid about both the good and the bad. 

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24 minutes ago, SecobarbSundae said:

Exactly. Look, I'm not going to sit here at my keyboard and tell anyone what's ultimately right for them. I just think taking some pause is necessary. I don't think it helps the OP to have people that are still in school telling her that psych nursing is full of tangible and satisfying results. Yes, it can be like that some of the time. But it is often back breakingly and soul crushingly hard with little result to show for it. And, yes, although relatively rare, it can be dangerous.

You will see patients stabilize and walk off the unit with support systems in place. You will also discharge homeless patients to room and board knowing they'll be down at the river in a few months. You will see the same patients with bipolar and BPD admitted over and over again. You will deal with "providers" that barely know their patients and prescribe meds off-label like they're candy.

Yes, it's hard. Yes, you will get the chance to go home at the end of the day feeling like you did some good. 

Hppy, thank you for being so candid about both the good and the bad. 

I don’t think anyone here said anything that psych nursing is FULL of tangible and satisfying results. And those who said that there are some tangible results in this thread are not still in school.

I say this as I’m taking a quick break getting ready for a 12 hour shift on an inpatient psych unit. Acuity has been high, and shifts have been challenging. We’ve used the restraint chair more often than I’ve liked lately as de-escalation et al hasn’t been as successful. But if I walked into every shift going, “damn ... this shift will be a repeat of last time” I wouldn’t want to walk in the door.

There is always *something* tangible, however small, that makes you feel like you did a small bit of difference, patient or staff wise. Even me-wise. Either that, or I just couldn’t walk through those doors... 

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