For experienced psych nurses- what changes have you seen in the field and yourself?

  1. Hi there guys! I'm just finishing up my first year as a psychiatric nurse (and a nurse in general). I love it and I found that I have definitely found my niche. I was thinking about how I've changed in the past year, and how I will continue to change as I plan to continue the rest of my career in psych. I also wonder about the things we do now that are "best practice" that I will cringe at later. For those of you who have quite a few years under your belt what ways have you changed and how has psych nursing changed. Also, thanks for paving the way and mentoring us baby psych nurses!
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    Joined: Mar '16; Posts: 2; Likes: 1


  3. by   3peas
    At our hospital we do not use physical or chemical restraints. A 30 year plus psych nurse told me she was shocked when they introduced the idea of doing away with restraints because they were so common place "back in the day." But now it's just not used and she couldn't imagine going back to it.
  4. by   Davey Do
    It is good to hear about your attraction and love of psych nursing, psychrnhopefully. And thank you for your interest in those of us who have years under our belts along with some adipose on top of them!

    Lessee- off the top of my head, as I started in psych nursing in 1984 as an LPN: The first ward I worked on was not a locked one. The high acuity patients went to the state facility.

    We were allowed to give both IM and PO placebos. Patient stays were as long as three months. I didn't get into restraining patients until I worked at a state facility. The majority of our patients were docile and easy-going, like giving valium to blue-haired elderly ladies. The main antipsychotics were Haldol, Thorazine and Mellaril. Atypical antipsychotics weren't used much until 1996.

    We gave choral hydrate as a sleeping aid, as well as Seconal. TCAs were commonly prescribed. Desyrel ws the first SSRI antidepressant I gave which came in a white and orange package. Mood stabilizers, like Tegretol and Neurontin were unheard of, other than Lithium.

    There's more, but I have to go for now.

    Thanks again for asking!