Unit is the wrong word, but I couldn't think of another! Maybe site? Area, etc. You get the idea :)
Basically, as a psychiatric nurse, where are you working? What's the environment like, how much time do you get to spend with your patients, how therapeutic do you find it?
I'm currently working on an acute unit in the UK but moving to America, and wondering what sort of place would be best to look into.
Reading some of the posts here has me a little concerned with how restrictive some places seem to be. I'm genuinely not sure if this is a cultural difference or it just depends on which kind of location you work in?
Our unit is far from perfect (like, FAR ha) but I'd say I enjoy our ward. Patients wear their normal street clothes, they're allowed personal items, room searches are only conducted when there's a suspicion of drugs/weapons or when a patient has been deemed a risk to themselves/others. Patients eat with regular cutlery, make their own hot drinks and are allowed headphones/razors/other risk items within reason, though they need to sign them back into the office when done using them. We have regular groups running and patients typically get 1:1 time with a member of staff on each shift, if they want it.
We're a 17 bed unit, mixed genders. We go through peaks and troughs; at the moment it's quite calm, but toward the end of last year we had a horrible few months of having half our patients on enhanced observations, seclusion, assaults, etc.
We do of course have a lot of people come in with self-harming/suicidal behaviours and violent tendencies anyway, but these tend to be addressed on an individual basis rather than with blanket enforcement of rules.
I'm a bit worried that I'm too soft to come to America, and work in a place that is maybe more restrictive to patients. Although I understand the safety aspect (having been punched in the face yesterday, lol), some of the posts seem to describe places that are more prison-like and less person centred or therapeutic.
Anyway I've rambled on enough so please tell me where you work and what it's like :)