Behavioral Med Unit Coordinator

  1. I am about to start working as a Unit Coordinator in the Behavioral Med. section of the hospital. I've been working on the surgical recovery floor for over a year - just transferring from one unit to another.

    I know there is a difference between the two, but can anyone give me their perspective on what those differences are? I assume I will be dealing with many more medications orders/changes and not nearly so many diagnostics testing orders (except for labs)...

    Any advice on how to ease the transition?

    For those nurses out there currently working in psychiatric care facilities, what makes a unit coordinator truly priceless?
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    About asunnys

    Joined: Oct '07; Posts: 2; Likes: 1


  3. by   AlleeBooRN
    i would like to hear the suggestions and advice from others also. i am getting ready to assume this role aswell
  4. by   Davey Do

    I can truly appreciate a prospective Administrative Official utilizing the data gathering pocess of problem-solving PRIOR to taking on such a position. All too often, Administrators hit the ground running. It is a common belief that areas of concern will often resolve in and of themselves. If not, there's always the approach dealing with prolems as they arise. The approach of "putting out fires" is not a good method to sucessfully and consistently deal with concerns. It's merely a short term fix. I applaud your approach.

    There is no way I can cover every area in this reply. I'm sure you're aware of that. However, I have done a little free-verse stream of consciousness thinking. I will note areas that I believe to be in need of discussion.

    First, and foremost, put principles above personalities. Personalities and behaviors become a major area of expended energy on Psychiatric Units.

    Staff Members can sometimes tend to get into power plays with Patients. It's almost like Staff Members say to Patients, "I know what's right for you and you should follow my directions." Even though Patients have been found to have an altered mental status to the point that they cannot adequately function in society, they still pocess the power and the right to make their own decisions.

    But also remember that a logical approach, no matter how well it is put forth, will usually not work with a delusional Patient. That's why it's termed a delusion; a false FIXED belief in spite of evidence to the contrary.

    Expect unexpected behavior. From both Patients and Staff.

    Consistently reinforce with the Staff the fact that Psychiatric Patients are expected to have abnormal behavior. Mental Illness affects the normal Cognitive and Emotional functions of the Individual. Health Professionals do not expect, for example, a liver with advanced cirrhosis to suddenly function normally with a little treatment. Nor should we ever expect a chronic Schizophrenic to consistently behave within the realms of normalcy after being med compliant for a while.

    All too often Staff Members get into "who can top who" on the retelling of stories of unusual behavior of the population they serve. It becomes a gossip and pecking party rather than an objective approach to the behavior with methods to successfully deal with that behavior

    Keep everything objective. Once emotions, on the part of Staff in a crisis situation become involved, logic goes out the window. A logical approach, with obtions and boundaries, is always the best approach.

    Praise in public and critisize in private. We all like to have our successes publically noted. Our shortcomings need to be discussed privately were we can feel free to work on them without pubic scrutiny. Peer pressure should only be used within positive realms. Follow the one who knows the way, so to speak.

    Adopt a Program with guidelines that the Staff and Patients need to follow. The 12 Step Program is a jewel. It pocesses the instuctions for appropriate and productive approaches to life's situations. Emotions Anonymous is an appropriate program for Psychiatric Units.

    Years ago, I owned a book that I believe was titled Meditations for Managers. (My best books are somewhere on somebody else's shelves.) It gave some really good tenets and approaches. As I have not been a Manger in an Administrative role for about seven years now, my focus has shifted. I now focus primarily on Patient and Peer relationships.

    Being an Administrator, like anything else in life, needs to be an ongoing program of progress. You have made a valiant beginning. I believe you will continue your endeavor with a similar belief.

    The best to you, DoniaRNInformatics.

    Last edit by Davey Do on Oct 16, '10
  5. by   AlleeBooRN
    oh wow...THANK YOU!! how encouraging. i wish i could save this post and go back to it when need to. i am really excited BUT i know i need to go into this right...first impressions from staff ect. i am expecting resistence but wow...i am excited.

    are there any psych resources i can utilize online??
    thanks again
  6. by   Davey Do

    Conceptually, you're probably at one of the best online sites you can be at. Where else could you discuss the fine points of nursing, but here where there are "Nurses talking about nursing."?

    Regarding that conception, here is a point in fact: I own a 1951 Chevy pickup truck. I am now actively involved in a website that caters to people (mostly guys) who like to discuss antique trucks. Since I'm a novice, I often throw out questions to anyone who will answer in the forums. However, I have found one individual with whom I feel comfortable discussing the fine points of mechanics. So, I send him a PM when I want to discuss a certain matter in great detail.

    You've got that obtion here, on this website. There are Nurses with untold amounts of experience and knowledge who are willing to share with others seeking information and advice.

    So, in a sense, you are where you need to be.

  7. by   AlleeBooRN
    well i plan on doing just that. i will be starting soon. i am already anticipating some issues. the aides and nurses do not get along. they currently dont have any unit meetings, activities for patients....i know there will be some changes and resistance i need support of others who have been there and start of on the right foot. i am very excited about this new adventure.