I applied for a psych position and did not think I would be called for an interview since I do not have any psych experience and am a newer nurse. Well, I was and the interview went well overall and I was asked to come back for a second interview to meet the rest of the staff. My concerns are that I will be working with psychiatrists and social workers, but no other nurses. It is an outpatient program. The description of the nurse's role would be 80% group/individual therapywith the staff/getting referrals/admissions/discharges and daily departmental meetings to discuss cases. The other 20% would be medication administration, VS, and checking lab work for patients. My major concern is not having other nurses to bounce ideas or questions/concerns. I want to prepare a list of reasonable questions to bring with me for the second interview to make sure that I am the best candidate for this position. My biggest concern is being able to give the patients the highest level of care that they deserve. I already have a few questions in mind, but thought that someone on this board could help me with some questions from a more experienced point of view. Thank you in advance! I really appreciate any insight. Rose
Oct 8, '05
If you are a "newer" nurse without psych experience, I would think that this is not the place for you. If you're interested in psych, it would be better if you worked in a facility with experienced psych nurses first for the professional support and to help you learn all those practical aspects they don't teach in school.
If I were you, I'd wonder why this place is willing to hire a nurse with no psych experience--sounds like they might have trouble attracting or keeping nurses. I would ask exactly what the expectations are regarding individual and group therapy. Would you be present to assist in group? And what would be your role with regard to individual therapy. I don't know what state you are in, but in my state the BON requires a master's degree in psychiatric nursing to practice therapy. You could be asked to practice outside your scope of practice. How much do you know about psych meds and the serious side effects they can have?
This sounds like a nice job, so I have to wonder why the position hasn't been filled by someone with psych experience. With all the cutbacks in inpatient facilities, there should be plenty of nurses out there who would be interested and have pertinent experience.
Oct 8, '05
In New York State, any licensed professional can conduct therapy sessions, so that might not be a valid concern in your state. I think you need to check your state Nurse Practice Act regarding this requirement.
I think you need to ask things like:
How long is the orientation?
Who will orient me?
Will I have backup resources for group sessions?
How long are these sessions?
Which patients are required to attend?
What are topics that I would cover?
Are there additional educational requirements that I will need to meet?
What is the required documentation for these meetings?
Many of these sessions are often simple such as you put out a topic like Anger management. Then you say to the group tell me over the past week what has made you angry? Write these things down. Then you ask how did you handle this? And you write that down. Then you ask was this a functional way to deal with anger or a dysfunctional way? Then you ask things like what could you have done differently?
Remember that you will not being providing DSM IV diagnosis. You are not the doctor, you are a facilitator. You are facilitating communication.