Resources for new Psych nurses

Specialties Psychiatric


Hello everyone,

Can anyone recommend any useful resources for new grad psych RNs?

I still have my psych textbook so I am going over it again. I got a list of over 100 psych meds from my new job that I need to go over before orientation starts so I'm making index cards and studying them everyday.

Is there a book you would recommend for a new grad nurse?

I know most of my learning will come from actually working, but would still love all the info and help I can get.


Specializes in Forensic Psychiatric Nursing.

Verbal Judo

Thank You for Arguing

The Psychopath Test

Sun Tzu's The Art of War

Yalom's Existential Psychotherapy

Motivational Interviewing

thats great, thanks as well

Specializes in Psych.

Motivational Interviewing is great. We use it a lot with our client population on an ACT team.

Thanks for the info for motivational interviewing.

I don't feel so hot right now with my communication skills when I'm doing new admissions. Ahhh well, still loving my job though and trying to learn as much as I can. I'm still orienting though so I'm pushing myself to get better as the days go by.

Specializes in Forensic Psychiatric Nursing.

Pretend the patients are actual people who have their own individual life stories that make them who they are instead of psych patients presenting for an intake interview. I would venture so far as to say to the patient that, "You can tell me whatever you want, and I'll document it in such a way that the hospital will treat you like you would like to be treated." When I get borderline personality disordered patients, I then document in such a way that the hospital will treat them as a borderline peronality disordered patient with whatever prominent features they display upon intake.

Psych nursing is not like pre-surg intake. Sometimes you have to get a read on a patient and ask them questions that are designed to elicit information rather than inform the patient about hospital policies and procedures.

That's my take on things. Yours may differ.

Try" I Am Not Sick, I Don't Need Your Help" by Dr. Xavier Amador. It is truly eye opening and the best resource I've found. It is about treatment of Schizophrenics but can apply to many many situations and diagnoses.

Specializes in Forensic Psychiatric Nursing.

Update: About a month ago I was doing an intake interview with a patient for a chemical dependency unit. I kept it light and easy, and used the Suicide/Safety Plan paperwork to establish that I don't think he's suicidal, this is just some paperwork the hospital requires because of past incidents. Just play along, pretend this is worthwhile, we'll get through it and go on to the next piece of paperwork we have to do.

I hate paperwork. Let's just bomb through this and get to something worthwhile.

I repeated that line of thought later in the intake interview. I'm still not sure why I started engaging with patients this way but it's had an interesting effect on the intake interview process. I pretend I don't really care about the answers, and the patients tell me things they wouldn't say if it was serious.

This one particular patient wound up confiding to me that he robbed people for drug money. Robbery, I said, what's that? Is that different from burglary? He explained that it's a more 1 on 1 thing, where you take stuff from people and not from places. "Give me your **** or I'm going to pound on you." Well. That was an entirely different thing from what he told the intake staff. "I won't write any of this down. What do you mean, you robbed people?"

He broke it down for me in an interesting way. Afterwards I took him to the courtyard for a smoke and then off to dinner. About an hour later he went to another staff and said he wanted to leave AMA. Internally I was very relieved. This guy wasn't here for treatment, he was here to get the heat off so he could go back to doing what he did. Hey, who am I to judge, but there are fragile patients on the ward who wouldn't appreciate a criminal predator who uses direct threats of violence to intimidate people into coughing up drugs.

We pass out a lot of drugs on the chemical dependency ward.

Not a good mix.

Anything that helps you sniff out a patient like that is worthwhile. The TV show Lie To Me is pretty good. There are tons of good movies and books that will help you out. Find a way to learn about it and go from there.

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

are you saying you get information that's pertinent and you keep it to yourself? knowing someone robs people would be a hard secret to handle in all sorts of ways!

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