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penelopelp's Latest Activity

  1. penelopelp

    Psych nursing under Covid-19

    I’m curious what everyone’s psych units are looking like right now. Are you seeing fewer or more patients? Are your patients social distancing while on the unit? Are your patients still sharing rooms? Are any staff wearing masks? We are told that our patients are pre-screened, so we don’t need masks. We still have some double rooms on the unit. We are encouraging patients to stay 6 feet apart—which involves some creativity during mealtimes. We are keeping groups to 10.
  2. It depends on the situation. If a patient is starting to get agitated and they have a history of violence, I usually try to medicate early before there is an emergency. You wouldn’t withhold pain meds from someone who just had surgery or antibiotics from someone who has pneumonia. In some cases, the patient really needs the medication to stay safe. If other nurses are suggesting that you medicate your patients more maybe they are onto something? Have you been a psych nurse for awhile? If you haven’t, it is good to listen to those who have.
  3. penelopelp

    New grad - best place to start?

    I’ve only had experience in a couple of states so I can only speak to what I’ve seen. Of course substance abuse and psychiatric illnesses goes hand in hand. We have a lot of patients with substance abuse disorders. We’re just not considered a detox unit, if that makes sense. Out patients have been admitted because they are a danger to themselves or others. So generally they are suicidal or homicidal or they have increased aggression. Once they are stabilized, some of them do go to substance abuse treatment. I personally enjoy working with adolescents. They are very challenging, but they can also be a lot of fun. You definitely have to have a sense of humor!
  4. penelopelp

    Are there less dangerous areas of Psych Nursing than Inpatient Psych?

    I was moved from my inpatient unit to outpatient clinic for about 6 weeks. That was very safe. I found it boring. I was doing med refills, calling back patients who had questions/concerns for the doctors, and checking on lab results. The days were really long. However, some people like working in that setting.
  5. penelopelp

    New grad - best place to start?

    I’m glad to hear it is a good RTC. Congrats on the interview. That’s exciting!!
  6. penelopelp

    Violating Theraputic Bounderies as an RN?

    That sounds really ridiculous considering you weren’t trying to touch her chest. Part of therapeutic boundaries is that we shouldn’t touch patients unless we are doing it to provide medical care—like checking blood pressure. I’ve worked with adolescents for years and I don’t touch a patient at all without asking. For example, if they ask for a Band-Aid, I ask if they want me to apply it or if they’d rather put it on themselves. That being said, I have brushed up against a patient or two on accident from time to time. It sounds like this is someone you don’t want to work for anyway. Hopefully you’ll get your unemployment. If you don’t, you can still probably get another job. Just be extra careful in the future—especially with adolescents.
  7. Most of my work has been with adolescents. The issue is that their problems aren’t something that can be easily fixed in a short acute hospital stay. Many of them have been sexually abused. Most have suffered some kind of abuse/neglect or a huge loss. We don’t have a magic pill for that. In many cases, they are going home to family situations that are less than ideal. BTW, there are some really good psych nurses out there who will be happy to mentor you if they know you are willing to learn!! I was once a new nurse and working in psych. Yea, there were some nurses who weren’t so nice. There was one who completely bullied me. A lot of them seem harsh at first, but they are really nice once you get to know them. In general, nurses like to be helpful. So I you tell them that you need help, most will be willing to help you. Just be willing to be a sponge and take in what people are telling you. A lot of the psych techs have a great amount of experience and they can really help you out in a tough situation. Of course you’ll make some mistakes along the way—everybody makes mistakes. Just remember safety is always the first priority, and you’ll be fine.
  8. Most of my work has been with adolescents. The issue is that their problems aren’t something that can be easily fixed in a short acute hospital stay. Many of them have been sexually abused. Most have suffered some kind of abuse/neglect or a huge loss. We don’t have a magic pill for that. In many cases, they are going home to family situations that are less than ideal.
  9. penelopelp

    Pre pulling meds

    Pre-pulling is fine as long as your med cups are labeled and the meds are in a secure spot. I used to pre pull and then double check the orders as I gave the meds to the kid.
  10. penelopelp

    Psych or LTC less Stressful?

    I thought LTC was much more stressful. You don’t have enough staff and you have so many responsibilities.
  11. penelopelp

    Any advice for a new Peds psy nurse

    Ask lots of questions and ask for lots of help!!! Your coworkers are a wealth of information. Find some people who are helpful and don’t mind all your questions. Watch for the people who are really good with the kids—staff and nurses. See how they communicate. Ask them for advice. Ask them if you can watch them de-escalate a situation. My techs were so much help. Where I worked there were people with 10, 15, 20 years experience and I would go to them for help. The absolutely most important thing in psych is to be calm—no matter what happens. You can be totally scared on the outside, but it’s important to be calm outwardly. No matter what kind of insanity is happening, you want to calm the situation—not add to everybody’s stress by panicking.
  12. penelopelp


    No, don’t quit!! I work in adolescent psych in a large hospital network and plenty of my coworkers have transferred to other units. You’re better off being in the hospital you want because that will get you in the door for all units there. I know people who’ve moved onto NICU, ED, and med/surg. I love being in adolescent psych, but I know it certainly not for everyone.
  13. penelopelp

    Psychiatric Peds Nurse

    Congrats on your new job. I don’t have a particular book to suggest. I would make sure you learn the psych meds—dosages, common side effects, what to watch for. Also read up on diagnoses. What kind of therapy are they using at your new employer? Is it CBT? If so, read up on that. I’d also read about trauma-informed care. Most of your patients will come from traumatic backgrounds. Your new employer might have reading suggestions for you. In peds psych I do a lot of limit setting and have to teach the kids about boundaries. Most of them really struggle with social skills/boundaries/communication so you will need to be teaching those skills. Most important will be having a sense of humor and providing yourself with self-care. The stories that you hear working in child psych can be very upsetting, so it’s important to learn ways to cope with everything you hear. You’ll need your downtime—I love to get outdoors to de-stress. I love working as a psych peds nurse. I hope it goes well for you. I see a lot of nurses burn out, but there are some of us who stay because we love it.
  14. penelopelp

    Shoes for nursing school, any recommendations???

    My program won't let us wear clogs, so Dansko's are not an option.
  15. penelopelp

    Is $49,000.00 too much for ADN program?

    Your username makes me think you are in Albuquerque. If you are, your information about the community college is incorrect. There is no waitlist anymore.
  16. I started in Spring 2009 by taking one class at a time. Later, I switched to full-time classes. I kind of went on and off and completed all my pre-reqs by Summer 2011. It is true that you want to concentrate on making the best grade possible b/c nursing school competition is stiff. I think it is good that you are starting at one class. It also depends on your other obligations like work and family. Do you have to take a lab with the chemistry class? You might want to make sure that they are co-requisites.

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