Don't ya just hate it....

  1. Yet another newbie question!

    I've read just about every post in here, so I'm not just being lazy. I'd really like some advice from the experts.

    I start my first semester of clinical in August (4 semester ADN program) and should graduate May '05 (man that seems like FOREVER away). I plan on externing as soon as I'm eligible (at the local teaching hospital that's at the end of this year) and would like to go right onto the psych unit.

    I know EVERYBODY suggests getting med-surg experience, but if you really know that psych is the place you are SUPPOSED to be (and I'm not talking about as a pt) would it really be a bad decision to just jump right in and start learning?

    I've always been the one that "listens" and tries to help and I really see that being my calling, but from all that I've read in this forum I'm really starting to doubt trying to get into it so early w/o the other experience.

    We're planning on moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth area (or Houston) after I finish school and really don't know what the job opportunities there are. I've looked at the cost of living comparisons and at's not the money I'm worried about, just the opportunities. I will be gleaning the Dallas Morning news for the next two years, but maybe one of you lives in the area and could give me the low down of the jobs there...Do they exist? Are they hard to come by? Would I be better off just not doing it at all?

    I'd really appreciate a little guidance.

    Thanks in advance for reading my LOOONNNGGG post and for sharing your input.
    Last edit by 2ner on May 19, '03
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    About 2ner

    Joined: May '03; Posts: 109; Likes: 1


  3. by   gwenith
    For many many years here in Australia Psych was a different training to general nursing. So yes there is no reason for you not to go into psych EXCEPT it is a difficult job that relies on you having the interpersonnal "savvy" not to be manipulated by experts.
  4. by   2ner
    I agree with you 100%, nursing in GENERAL is a hard job (not that I'm an RN yet or anything, but...).

    I have a way with people, both in listening to and in communicating with them. I am a very compassionate and empathetic person. I'd really like to use my qualities to help people (or at least try to help them have a better day).

    Thanks for the input, gwenith!

    Anybody else with any opinions or advice?
  5. by   lucianne
    I didn't get any med/surg experience beyond a little during orientation right after I graduated. I was an older graduate and was fairly certain I'd be doing psych for the rest of my career. If I'd been a younger grad, I'm sure I would have gotten some med/surg experience under my belt. Your psych patients will often have medical issues as well. And you always deal with psych issues no matter what area you work in.

    good luck
  6. by   2ner
    Thanx, Luci! I appreciate your input!
  7. by   shrinkyrn
    I went right into psych after nursing school 29 years ago. Any med surg I would have done then would be way out of date now!! We get psych pts. with medical problems but we are usually able to deal with their needs, if not, then they are sicker then a psych unit can handle and need to go to med-surg. I have NEVER regretted going right into psych!!!!
  8. by   USA987
    I went into psych as an LPN graduate. Spent some time there before going into RN school. I'm now graduating but going into a new grad ICU training program.

    Never for a minute have I regretted my experience in psych. I truly feel that I can provide my patients more "holistic" care!!!

    Best wishes! 2005 will be here before you know it!
  9. by   BadBird
    Some people know immediately what their speciality is, if psych is for you then by all means pursue it. I think the only reason that nurse managers want you to do a year of med/surg is because very few nurses want to work there and if it wasn't for the new nurses they would have no staff at all. Ok, only my opinion, I am not bashing Med/surg nurses, I think they get dumped on something terrible. You will develop your skills and perfect them over time in whatever unit you decide. Good luck.
  10. by   Legoflower
    "For many many years here in Australia Psych was a different training to general nursing. So yes there is no reason for you not to go into psych EXCEPT it is a difficult job that relies on you having the interpersonnal "savvy" not to be manipulated by experts." -Gwenith

    Short question, probable long answer : How are psychiatric nurses manipulated by experts?
    I am interested in psychiatric nursing and was just curious about this. Thanks!
  11. by   mag48293
    I'm sure the post "Psychiatric nurses are manipulated by experts" refers to the patient's in Psych units being able to 'see' a newbie and run their games with them. There is a great deal of manipulation that goes on with psych patients. Many have been in 'the system' before and know that if they "make a staff feel good about helping them" they are more likely to get what they want from this staff person......not in a healthy way...just in a manipulative way. This is especially true when working with adolescent psych patients. Read some material on 'co-dependency' before you go straight to Psych. Your good intentions might make you a target for this behavior!

    Just my 2 cents! Have been a Psych nurse for over 15 years!
  12. by   2ner
    Thanks so much for the advice and the encouragement! I'm looking forward to pursuing my career in Psych nursing. I really do think it is where I'm supposed to be. It doesn't seem like 2005 will EVER get here though! I'm so excited and anxious to get my feet wet.

    Last week we were in Dallas for a training session my hubby had to attend (he's a Honda tech). We were able to check into the areas that we were interested in and look into the job opportunities for techs and new grad nurses and were fortunate enough to get a lot of advice from people he was going to school with. I think we've determined that Houston is a better match for us. There seem to be a lot more opportunities for both of us there. Not to mention things to do and a great location. Wish us luck!

    Thanks again for all your input! I really appreciate it!
  13. by   Murt
    I also went straight into psyk/ drug treatment after graduation 6 months ago, havnt regretted it really.
    The reason i took it is because i sort of like the psyk branch and had allways planned on giving it a go but mainly it was the money.
    The general hospital in my area paid useless wages, i got 20% higher with my present job, much better conditions, hours, holidays, xtras etc.
    Personaly i was so sick of older "more experienced" nurses etc telling me to go work in the general hospital to get a bit of experience. I paid for 3 yrs at Uni and ill be buggered before i take a wage cut from my previous job "abbotoir" to "get warm in my clothes" as the swedes say.
    Anyway i enjoy my job, dont regret going against the grain, most of my class mates went into general nursing but then again most of them hate the wages. I know i sound mercenary but a man has to have his principles.
    Try whatever you want, you wont regret, every job in this branch is an experience if nothing else.
  14. by   Sherda

    In Western Canada we also have a program just for psych - Registered Psychiatric Nurse so we just do psych - although we do it in many different areas from ER's to community to forensics.
    I loved the suggestion of a newbie being manipulated by experts. HA! I have seen very experienced nurses manipulated by the great borderlines of the world. (yes including me
    but there is no better place to be than in acute care psych.