I was initially drawn to psych nursing because I have been an inpatient psych patient about four times. Therefore, I am maybe more familiar with some of the stories leading up to mental breakdowns, loss of moral fabric, hopelessness, and general pessimism. It hurts my feelings sometimes knowing how good all of "nurses" have it made. We are able to make basic decisions every day that we completely take for granted. The sharp pain of not saying anything to confront a seeminly cold-hearted nurse because I know that it will interefere with my job -- intereferes with my job. Ironically these statements can be made not only in (without?) regard to psych-stigmatized statements but also simple actions such as an audible rolling of the eyes, withholding information, justifying the condition of the patient, or --sad to admit it-- the dreaded "what are we doing here"?
Through my inpatient and outpatient programs I have been enrolled in many classes for mental health, mindfulness, and cognitive-based methods. I even enrolled in a college-level class. In nursing school it became morally damaging to hear the other nurses speak down on this specialty, or at least how I percieved statements such as "I became a psych nurse because I could not get a job anywhere else", "once you become a psych nurse it is hard to break out of the specialty", "I could never be a psych nurse", and "this rotation is so annoying". I also found that my clinical instructor was seemingly particularly emblazened to find every possible critique about my assignments and school work.
My mom said a few times that she wishes I could go to school speciafically to become a psych nurse. Thank you for asking, Verene.