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ajt575s

ajt575s

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ajt575s's Latest Activity

  1. ajt575s

    Psychiatric RN Vs. Counselor

    I get to talk with the patients quite a bit. RNs aren't usually only doing med passes, though that can encompass much of your time. We usually have a nurse assigned to meds and a nurse assigned to charge, and we rotate these responsibilities. I was disappointed that I don't get to lead groups at my facility, but I've known nurses to do this at other facilities. Our patients have a whole plethora of problems/psychological issues. The majority of the adults I work with are psychotic, suicidal, or suffering from substance-abuse disorders. A good part of my job when I'm not passing meds is managing patients who are escalating, though I also deal with acute and chronic medical issues, since it is an acute care facility. Some of my patients have been victims of rape, but I've seen most of that on pediatric units (very sad). In my line of work, you also may work with people who have sexually victimized somebody else, so that's something to keep in mind with psychiatric nursing. If you want to focus on rape victims, you can become a SANE nurse. Also, as I already mentioned, working in peds will give you more opportunities to work trauma/rape victims. I find working with these patients very rewarding. I'm not a SANE nurse, but it's something I would consider doing later in my career. It's an additional certification that you can get after finishing your BSN degree and becoming an RN. I'm not sure how much experience you need to have to get the certification, but it should be at least 2 years I think. You may find some good information about that on the forensic forum on AN. Here is a thread on the topic: https://allnurses.com/forensic-nursing/sexual-assault-nurse-152900.html Most SANE nurses that I know are ER nurses who are certified. They rotate as on-call nurses and are called in if a rape victim presents in the ER. I know a nurse who works at a crisis center, so that could be another option. If you have a local crisis center, you can probably inquire about volunteering there to get some good experience and get a better idea if this is an area you want to pursue further.
  2. ajt575s

    RN who's also a psych patient?

    I agree with you. Do not apply to a place where you have been a patient--it's a conflict of interest. We have had patients who wanted to apply as techs after spending some time in our facility, but they were not allowed to do so. Also, we've had patients who came in and had been roommates or coworkers of employees currently working there, and they were not allowed to be on the same unit due to conflict of interest. I don't see a problem with you going into psych, but it needs to be somewhere where you haven't been a patient.
  3. What about the Red Cross or local hospitals? Also, you might look into local low-income clinics. Best wishes!
  4. ajt575s

    Psychiatric RN Vs. Counselor

    I'm a new grad who started in psych, so it can be done. I would strongly suggest that you shadow a counselor/therapist and a psych RN to better understand what their roles are, because they do very different things. Depending on your facility, of course, a lot of psych RN's don't even get to lead groups, for example. My idea of what psych nursing would be like has been very different from the reality. I have a friend who went to nursing school with me and had originally wanted to be a therapist. Once she started doing nursing school clinicals, it really hit her that the nurse's role was not what she wanted after all. (She did not enjoy the technical/hands-on stuff that nurses do). She ended up dropping out of nursing school and studying to be a therapist instead, and she has been very happy with the decision. However, she wasted two semesters of money and time on nursing school to figure this out. Hopefully, you'll find the best fit for you! Good luck with your decision!
  5. ajt575s

    Thinking about changing fields

    Forgot to mention--I know for sure that Cox Health in Springfield, MO does have a "experienced nurse internship" program for critical care and several other areas. It's about 3 hours south of KC. Just call the HR department if you're interested.
  6. ajt575s

    Thinking about changing fields

    I would recommend calling Truman, KU medical center, and the VA. The VA may be a surprising one for you, since most VA hospitals don't seem to offer fellowships, but the one in Kansas City offers critical care fellowships for new grads, so I wonder if they don't for experienced nurses, too? I would just call the HR department of these hospitals to see. From what I understand, Truman has an awesome program for new grads, so it might for experienced nurses, too. I've heard of these "experienced nurse internships" before in other cities, and the application process is often similar to or parallel to new grad programs. With your background, I think you stand a good chance of transitioning into one of these programs. Good luck!
  7. ajt575s

    No, I am not going to do that

    This gave me a much-needed laugh today!
  8. ajt575s

    Mandatory overtime?

    I think I should have been more specific. I mean mandatory overtime (which we call "being mandated") in that you are already there, getting ready to finish your shift and leave, then you get a call from the supervisor stating that you are "mandated" and are forced pretty much to stay another 4 hours, if you worked a 12. If you have to come in and work again that night/morning, it's too bad for you, because they don't seem to care. If they were calling me at home and I wasn't actually at work, I could just avoid the call. This is happening more and more frequently, and you can see why it destroys employee morale. It's very difficult for nurses with children especially, because they aren't given enough notice to make arrangements to pick up their kids or anything.
  9. ajt575s

    Mandatory overtime?

    How many of your facilities use mandatory overtime as a staffing solution? My employer staffs us inadequately to begin with, then if there's a call in, we end up getting mandated. This has been happening at least once a week lately, plus people find out they're getting mandated at the last minute. It seems like it happens more and more frequently as I continue to work there. It's very hard on employee morale and unsafe for patients. I'm curious what other nurses' takes are on this topic.
  10. ajt575s

    How to deal with mean old men

    I think you did the right thing really, and dudette10's suggestion was good, as well. I work in psych, so I have to deescalate people all the time who are often aggressive and rude like this guy. Usually, the trick is to remain very calm and not really react to what they are saying while validating their feelings. Maintain a non-threatening, relaxed type of posture (no crossing arms, tapping the foot, etc.). It can be a balancing act in this situation, since you don't want to criticize your colleagues, either. I like the approach of saying, in a calm tone of voice, "Mr. Smith, I hear what you're saying. I'm sorry that you feel this way--what can I do to help you right now?" Sometimes, it's helpful to give the angry patient a decision: "Mr. Smith, I'm sorry that you're feeling frustrated right now. Would you like me to help you with X or Y first?" They have to stop and think to make the decision, which can calm them down, too. You'll find that using a calming approach like this will often mean less trouble/episodes from the patient later, while giving the patient a sarcastic type of response will probably mean the patient is going to act out again and staff is going to continue having problems. I'm often surprised by how well this can work with patients who are very violently agitated (i.e., throwing things, cursing, yelling, etc.). It sounds like he's actually upset about something else to me--something I tell myself to be calm in these situations is: don't take this personally. This person's anger really has nothing to do with me. That helps you maintain the placid mannerisms/expression necessary to deescalate the person quickly. Hope that helps!
  11. ajt575s

    Army Nursing

    Thanks for your help, guys! I appreciate it!
  12. I saw somebody call an ambulance for a "sore throat" once. It was post-nasal drip, I believe, not even strep throat or anything like that. I've also seen people come in for menstrual cramps, "thick" semen, peeing too much while pregnant, etc.
  13. ajt575s

    Army Nursing

    I'm interested in joining the army as a mental health nurse in about a year. I am burdened with student loan debt, and the Army offers a very good repayment option, plus excellent benefits/opportunities to travel, etc. I have a BSN, and I'm currently working at an acute psych facility and want to finish out at least a year of experience there prior to joining. So, I am thinking about this well ahead of time. What I'm wondering is: how long do you have to wait between signing up to join and actually starting your training/job? I'm hearing that there is a waiting list or something like that? Also, does anybody have any experience as an Army nurse or as a military mental health nurse? If so, what is it like and do you have any advice/words of wisdom? Thanks so much!
  14. ajt575s

    Psych Nurses

    Thank you so much! I've worked as an aide in oncology before, and I have nothing but respect for oncology nurses as well!
  15. ajt575s

    Pearsonvue Trick - Does it Work Every Time? Part 2

    The trick worked for me! I got the good pop-up and just found out yesterday that I passed!
  16. ajt575s

    Private Loan Debt Stressed Out New Grad! HELP!

    Can you consolidate the private loans? That's the best route to take to give yourself a smaller monthly payment, plus the consolidation process generally puts loans in forbearance and buys you a little time. Consolidate your federal loans through Direct Loans at https://loanconsolidation.ed.gov/AppEntry/apply-online/appindex.jsp. I know you can't consolidate private and federal loans together, but this will still help lower the payments and you only have to deal with two entities/two bills this way. Contact your private loan lender to find out how to consolidate. Also, they usually have income-based repayment plans or extended payment plans, so ask about that, too! Good luck!
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