What do pysch nurses do?

  1. I know this question has been asked a zillion times but I genuinely would like to know, even though I've been through a psych rotation. I don't mean to be rude but all I saw them do was hand out meds, talk to patients and answer phones, theres obviously more to it. I'm asking because I'm interested in it and my roration did zero justice.
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    About Novo

    Joined: May '10; Posts: 248; Likes: 268

    6 Comments

  3. by   gcupid
    that's the majority of it. LOL!

    Using therapeutic communication and intervening with actions that foster overall health (physical & mental) to the patient and family members by taking into consideration the patient's psychiatric diagnosis as well as medical/surgical diagnosis & history (as well as following facility guidelines). You have to pay close attention to the patient's behavioral deviations which are considered outside of the norm from the beginning while you are charting endlessly at my facility.

    Seems like many shifts I work, I end up sending a patient out to the hospital bc of medical comorbidities...

    Assess, chart, pass meds, communicate with prescription writers, family & administration. Keep the unit running smoothly. And did I say CHART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  4. by   gcupid
    that's the majority of it. LOL!

    Using therapeutic communication and intervening with actions that foster overall health (physical & mental) to the patient and family members by taking into consideration the patient's psychiatric diagnosis as well as medical/surgical diagnosis & history (as well as following facility guidelines). You have to pay close attention to the patient's behavioral deviations which are considered outside of the norm from the beginning while you are charting endlessly at my facility.

    Seems like many shifts I work, I end up sending a patient out to the hospital bc of medical comorbidities...

    Assess, chart, pass meds, communicate with prescription writers, family & administration. Keep the unit running smoothly. And did I say CHART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. by   Novo
    Really that's it? Very disappointing considering all I learned in Mental Health.
  6. by   Midwest4me
    [font=times]our staffing may be different from that in a ward within a medical hospital. i work in an actual mental hospital. wards range from 17 to 25 patients. typically there are 2-4 rns, 5-8 mhts(depending on how many patients are 1:1 or 2:1). in other words, many wards have as many(if not more) staff as they do patients!

    lpns usually pass the meds unless there are several rns; then the lpns work the floor with the mhts. primary job is to keep the patients safe/secure from themselves and each other and to manage the patient's symptoms as best as we can with prns, walking, use of quiet rooms, etc. many are violent; most have committed horrendous crimes but are too ill to stand trial so need to learn (more like memorize) the ins and outs of trial etc. before being deemed "fit" to stand trial. so we get them "medically/mentally stable". many others are there for most of their lives. the rns usually manage appointments, help with escorting pts to meals, do varied paperwork.

    such a challenging and stressful job(so often we staff are attacked/injured and sent to the medical hospital). there is a lot of secluding and restraining of patients due to violent attacks on peers and staff. we are taught(and expected to) to tolerate any verbal/physical abuse; if we try to protect ourselves or coworkers and somehow harm the patient in the process, there is an investigation. workers truly have no rights(staff have been raped and in the end always blamed for it)...but in this economy where there are few jobs, one stays with what one knows.
  7. by   Hygiene Queen
    I'd also like to point out something that I have found many people do not realize: there are dressings, breathing treatments, O2, IV's, foleys, broken hips, blood draws, ADL's, MRSA and c-diff, feeding tubes, decubes, etc. that need to be dealt with on a geri-psych unit.
    Oh, and these folks are old and "code blue" and the occasional death does occur.
    A lot of folks think it's just passing meds all day. It's not. We have techs on our unit because we have pts that need to be dressed, shaved, showered, toileted, etc.
    Again, this is geri-psych I'm talking about.
    And, as in any psych unit, we are always watching for behaviors that escalate into something dangerous and attempt to nip it in the bud before that happens.
    BTW, not sure what you are "disappointed" about OP, but I can tell you I am never bored, the day goes fast and I see some amazing and interesting cases.
    The best: seeing a pt who comes to us in a state that is a complete mental wreck-- no better than a zombie-- and seeing the most startling and darn miraculous turn-around in that pt with ECT. When you see that pt actually laugh and come alive... well... there's nothing disappointing about that at all .
  8. by   vikkirn
    Ughhh raped really? And I thought where I work was messed up. Shezzzz time to find a new line of work.

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