Help! New child/adol psych nurse needs tips!

  1. Hi, Im a new grad working at an inpatient psych hospital on two different units. One unit is children ages 5 to 12, and the adolescent unit is ages 13-17. Ive been there about 2 months and Im still orienting. I find that I related better with the adolescents but I dont have a choice as to which unit I work on. I have to go back and forth to both units. Although I like working with the younger kids, I often leave feeling incompetent and like the kids don't take me seriously. I try to set limits with them but it doesnt usually work. And theres always a couple that give me a hard time about taking their meds. Sometimes these kids are oppositional toward all staff so I dont take it personally, but other times they are compliant with other staff, so it makes me feel like I need to learn a new approach. I do understand that Im brand new to the field and Im sure it takes time to develop confidence and effective techniques for working with this population, but I would love some concrete tips! Usually there are 2 nurses working on the unit with a few mental health counselors, but lately it seems that there is only 1 nurse working when someone calls out, and I fear that I am off orientation soon and I will be there by myself with kids not listening to me and refusing meds...Help!
  2. Visit PsychRN29 profile page

    About PsychRN29

    Joined: Sep '08; Posts: 9; Likes: 7


  3. by   Davey Do
    I once heard that coaching Toddlers is like herding cats. So, getting Children with behavior problems to take you seriously is probably like getting a badger to dance a ballet.

    Some Nurses take the loud, strict, in charge approach. I tend to take the follow me approach. Both approaches work. I just happen to like mine better.

    I came up with my approach by emulating Professionals who got results that I admired. I eclectically emulated certain Individuals and came up with an approach that I was comfortable with. The approach that will work for you is the one that feels most natural to you.

    Developing the approach that works best for you takes time and patience coupled with ongoing trials and errors.

    There is no such thing as the all around perfect approach. We have to taylor our approaches to just about each and every Individual.

    Good luck to you, psychRN29.

  4. by   PsychRN29
    Thanks for the encouraging words Davey Do. I agree that everyone has different approaches for dealing with these patients and not every technique works for everyone. I definitely have a more calm apporach as opposed to the loud and in charge approach so Im going to continue to observe those around me that are wonderful nurses and learn more from them. More importantly, guess I have to be more patient with myself as a new nurse and understand the complexity of these children..Thanks again for your advice!