The Older Psych Nurse

  1. It has been said that if a staff member is unable to fully participate in psych codes, restraints, etc., then they should not be working the floor. So what happens to the older psych nurse who may have a wealth of knowledge and ability to connect with patients, who is a master at de-escalation, but who can no longer handle some of the physical aspects of the job? Not everyone wants to move off the floor to management. I'd like to think there is a place for those folks, but I do understand the frustration that other staff feel--"I'm required to act and risk getting hurt, but she can just stand back out of harm's way." Are we looking at mandatory work in an outpatient clinic instead of acute psych? Do any of your acute units utilize these folks? (By the way,lest I be accused of ageism, I realize there are older nurses who can "kick butt" and I'm obviously not talking about them.) Thanks in advance for your replies.
  2. Visit maxthecat profile page

    About maxthecat

    Joined: Mar '03; Posts: 251; Likes: 956

    6 Comments

  3. by   showbizrn
    older psych nurse
    that's me.
    but what's so difficult
    about grabbing an arm
    that's part of our duty.

    you speak of physical aspects
    there better be
    at least more than three
    hey
    more than me:d

    the last time
    one night
    when no other staff was in sight.
    the patient had a plan
    to kill me
    so i picked up the garbage can.
    lucky thing
    a male cna was notified
    and stopped the whole thing.
    not bad for
    an older psych nurse
    things could have been much worse.


  4. by   Jules A
    I think this is a very important topic. For me the answer is to continue with my education so that when the time comes that I am not able to be a full participant I can teach, do therapy, work in admissions etc. At my job there are several nurses that whether it be age or disability are not able to participate in the physical aspects of a code. Thankfully no one has been hurt as the result but there is always that possibility and there is a bit of resentment from other staff members. Then again there is one able bodied nurse who never lifts a finger in a code either so not much difference there I guess. I personally wouldn't want to be the weak link in a code but perhaps thats just my ego talking.
  5. by   aloevera
    we have many "older" nurses in our facility.....I would say 1/2 of us are over 55........there are enough other staff (techs, etc.) to handle the strong arm situations while we call the doc, get orders, and administer the meds.....the nurse does not need to be in the middle of the struggle....someone must give direction and handle the calls and meds.........
  6. by   Jules A
    Quote from aloevera
    we have many "older" nurses in our facility.....I would say 1/2 of us are over 55........there are enough other staff (techs, etc.) to handle the strong arm situations while we call the doc, get orders, and administer the meds.....the nurse does not need to be in the middle of the struggle....someone must give direction and handle the calls and meds.........
    I agree but still prefer to work with nurses that are willing and able to step in to physically help if necessary. You just never know when or where the codes are going to happen. Its not really about age as much as about "who got game".
  7. by   wonderbee
    The maturity and life experience of the older psych nurse provides presence when that is exactly what is needed. Instincts are well-honed. Fear is replaced with wisdom. There is a comfort level the mature nurse has reached that makes it possible to get past self to be therapeutic in many situations and provide leadership for the team.

    The young nurse has energy, quickness of mind and strength to bring to the table and an eagerness to participate in codes and intense situations that require physicality that the older nurse may lack.

    There is no reason that there can't be a mix of both to make a recipe for a strong unit. I'm an older nurse who enjoys working with younger nurses. The younger nurses enjoy working with me. As a team we give from the best of both worlds.
  8. by   aloevera
    Quote from wonderbee
    The maturity and life experience of the older psych nurse provides presence when that is exactly what is needed. Instincts are well-honed. Fear is replaced with wisdom. There is a comfort level the mature nurse has reached that makes it possible to get past self to be therapeutic in many situations and provide leadership for the team.

    The young nurse has energy, quickness of mind and strength to bring to the table and an eagerness to participate in codes and intense situations that require physicality that the older nurse may lack.

    There is no reason that there can't be a mix of both to make a recipe for a strong unit. I'm an older nurse who enjoys working with younger nurses. The younger nurses enjoy working with me. As a team we give from the best of both worlds.
    Well said.............Perfect..............that is what I experience, also......

close