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Psychiatric Nursing Assistants

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Hi all!

I was just hired on a week or two ago for a 11 p.m. - 7 a.m. shift Psychiatric Nursing Assistant position at the state hospital in town. I start September 16th, and I get a month's paid training M-F 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. for the job.

I was just making this thread to see if I could track down other psychiatric nursing assistants and see what a typical day on the job is like for them. I am not worried about typical horror stories for the job, as I have been on several different employee review sites and the state hospital I am working at hardly has any bad reviews, especially from psychiatric nursing assistants. Plus, the pay and benefits are awesome, and the fact that they give a month long training program isn't too shabby either.

So, are there any psychiatric nursing assistants out there who can give me some idea of what I'll be doing?

verene, MSN

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

Hi, I'm not a psychiatric nursing assistant, but I do work as a caregiver/CNA in an out-patient psych setting (mental health ALF). I really enjoy working with all my residents. In my role I get to deal with being a jack of all trades around the house, and providing emotional support to residents, and a lot of administrative type support to the facility. Because my role is not the same as yours I'm not sure what exactly you'll be doing, but welcome to the psych world. :-)

I applied to a local psychiatric hospital but my application is "under review." Congratulations on the job!!! :)

I'm not a psych tech/assistant, but have served as one through a registry. In the facility I worked at the most, we had to do quarterly checks on the patients. Basically, we had to check on each one and see if they were asleep or not (this was at night), and document it. If they needed to be watched 1-to-1, it was our job to watch them, and make sure they didn't hurt themself or someone else. There was little to no drama among the nursing staff compared to other types of units/facilities. Very good teamwork, and positive work environment. I've worked in three such places, and was pleasantly surprised at how well everyone worked together.

I work in Psych LTC in a county run facility. We have a few residents who are total cares but most are independent. A lot of my day is spent making sure everybody is where they need to be, comes back from leaving the unit in time, eats their food and takes care of themselves, etc. We do rounds on the hour every hour, plus there are others who are 15 minute checks. Some residents are combative, manipulative, and/or flight risks so it's not all a cake walk (actually some days are very, very, very hard) but I love it. Coming from a straight LTC facility to this one was a huge change. The work is physically less demanding by a long shot but it is mentally exhausting. When I leave, most times I don't even turn the radio on because I need to let my brain leak out of my ears a little. Make sure you find a buddy at work to vent to if you have to. Psych patients can be very trying people, but it is rewarding work.

Stephalump

Specializes in Forensic Psych. Has 2 years experience.

I'm not a PNA, but I spend a lot of time with them 😀

The 11-7 shift at my facility is pretty dull. Most patients are less psychotic at night and are sleeping or up preoccupied and pacing, so the PNAs spend a lot of time filling time in between crises. They play cards and talk with the patients who can't sleep, clean, do laundry, read, study, do hourly patient checks (making sure there are signs of life), and socialize. More people get in trouble for falling asleep or phoning in patient counts than anything else.

But I think it really depends on your unit. Anyone who's dealt with Geri-psych knows they're way more active later in the day, so yeah...that's just a snippet of my world!

Hi kcsunshine! I'm so happy for you! Please tell how is your training going? How do you like it? I'm 2 month close to finishing my HCA program and want to apply for acute care training to work in the hospital. But I can do it only after 600hr of working as HCA. ( I'm from BC Vancouver) I want to continue my education in mental health field, so I'm very interested in becoming a psychiatric nursing assistant. And later a RPN.

Thank you all for your unique perspectives! It has only made me more excited to start my job. I will be starting training on Tuesday, and I am so excited to take this first step into the nursing world! I realize it will be very demanding work, especially mentally and emotionally, but it will also be very rewarding, so I'm ready for the challenges I will face.

Hi kcsunshine! I'm so happy for you! Please tell how is your training going? How do you like it? I'm 2 month close to finishing my HCA program and want to apply for acute care training to work in the hospital. But I can do it only after 600hr of working as HCA. ( I'm from BC Vancouver) I want to continue my education in mental health field, so I'm very interested in becoming a psychiatric nursing assistant. And later a RPN.

I haven't started training yet. I start on Tuesday. I will keep you updated when I start, however. I believe most of the training we will be doing is defensive training for emergencies, and how to calm patients/residents down in difficult situations.

I will keep you updated when I start

Thank you! I will be waiting for your updates!