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Seeking Nurse Psychotherapist Point of Veiw

Nurses   (462 Views | 6 Replies)
by KatieB. KatieB. (New) New Nurse

KatieB. has 3 years experience .

68 Profile Views; 2 Posts

I have been a "floor" nurse for 3 1/2 years, I love being with my pt's and actually providing care for them. I want nothing more but for them to feel the best they can. I love the small amount of time I do get to spend with them and love it when they ask for me by name or smile when I enter the room. Those times I feel like I'm able to make a difference for them. 
The last 2 years I have noticed I am not the same as my counter parts. I tend to advocate harder and tend not to wait as long as most would to seek help. But the other side of that coin is that I feel more responsible for my pt's outcome. I feel the need to catch everything and put an extreme amount of pressure on myself to care for my 20 something pt's. 

I work in a small nursing home in a small town and yesterday was the first day in a LONG time I did not feel the heavy weight on me. Yesterday I worked as a CNA and my entire shift was spent with my pts. Don't get me wrong I'm not a good CNA, its an art and take incredible stamina. I felt exhausted but so satisfied with how my day was spent. 

Being from a small town I have no resources to reach out to. My question is for anyone who has been where I'm at and is where I want to be. Me and my husband have talked a lot about me returning to school so I can preform psychotherapy. Is the stress better/different than what I'm being faced with now. And if it is and it is as liberating but difficult as I imagine. What is the best way to fulfill it making sure I have the education I need to be successful as a psychotherapist. I currently hold my BSN and am contemplating PMHNP school but fear the focus is not on psychotherapy but the other aspects (meds, Dx..).

Confused as what to do. Help please. 

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Jedrnurse has 25 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in school nurse.

1,655 Posts; 14,829 Profile Views

Maybe consider a LICSW route? Then you could do therapy as well as have some inside expertise on the medical aspect of care.

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FolksBtrippin is a BSN, RN and specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

3 Followers; 1,785 Posts; 15,454 Profile Views

I'm not a psychotherapist, but I work in community psych and I am like you.

PMHNP is more focused on dx and meds, but programs should also prepare you for being ready to lear. psychotherapy skills like CBT, etc.

You could go the MSW to LCSW route, but you will spend a lot of money on school and make a lot less than a nurse. 

Same goes for LPC.

Before you decide, I'm going to recommend that you try a nursing job that involves more 1 on 1 patient interaction and some patient education, especially within psych. Because that may do it for you, it can't hurt, you'll learn more about what psychotherapists deal with and do. 

Look for an ACT team or other community psych job, nurse family partnership, group home, addictions, homeless shelter, etc to get a feel for this kind of work.

 

 

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Davey Do has 41 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

17 Followers; 1 Article; 6,844 Posts; 85,064 Profile Views

On 6/26/2020 at 7:08 AM, KatieB. said:

 I felt exhausted but so satisfied with how my day was spent. 

Often times, we believe that gaining more education and/or possessing more power will result in a higher level of consciousness and allow us to give more to those we serve and subsequently feel  more satisfied. When, in fact, the result is that we lose sight of our goal.

3 hours ago, FolksBtrippin said:

Before you decide, I'm going to recommend that you try a nursing job that involves more 1 on 1 patient interaction and some patient education, especially within psych. Because that may do it for you, it can't hurt, you'll learn more about what psychotherapists deal with and do. 

Look for an ACT team or other community psych job, nurse family partnership, group home, addictions, homeless shelter, etc to get a feel for this kind of work.

As an LPN, I had much more patient contact than I did as an RN. As an ASN, I've had two positions as a nursing supervisor in home health and community psych and had even less patient contact. Although being promoted to administrative positions was a real rush for my ego, I lost sight of my goal: Directly helping patients.

The last 17 years of my nursing career was spent working predominantly in geriatric psych which I found to be very satisfying. I was able to use experience gained from working both in the medical and psychiatric arenas and spend quality time with those I served. I was  able to comfort patients, both physically and psychologically, perform some basic medical interventions like injections, catheterizations, and tube feedings, and also wiped my fair share of butts.

I guess what I'm saying, KatieB, is that you don't necessarily need more education to do more or feel more satisfied, you may just need to bloom where you're planted, or like FolksBtrippin said, try another nursing job. 

Whatever you decide, you have my respect and admiration for being a patient advocate and desiring to further your abilities.

The very best to you, KatieB!

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beckysue920 specializes in Psych, HIV/AIDS.

134 Posts; 5,711 Profile Views

Davey Do stated so eloquently why I refused to give up my LPN status.  The patient exposure fulfilled what I was meant to do in my life. The one on one interactions were priceless and not having to deal with administrative BS kept me where I wanted to be. 

Even with the promotion I received, being the Executive Director, I was able to maintain my "dream job" and help my patients.

This may help you decide your future, KatieB.  Good luck!

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32 Posts; 827 Profile Views

Hi!

I am an LCSW/RN.  I currently work in Developmental/Behavioral Peds.

I think you have gotten good advise to try to work in a job that more closely resembles what you believe your want to do.  If possible find someone who has your "dream job" and shadow them if you can, and at the least interview them about their days. If you can find a few people to talk to, even better.  

While there are a variety educational paths to becoming a therapist, they are all long and demanding.  As a social worker, you have to complete a masters program and then work under supervision for 2 years before you can practice.  PMHNP programs will focus more on medication management, but some may have more of a therapeutic focus depending on the program and preceptors.

Each state has requirements for private practice, so if this is something you want to do, check out the requirements in your state before embarking on any program.

Being a therapist is satisfying, but therapists also often suffer from burnout, similar to nursing.  You may find that the work suits you, and if so, go for it! I just suggest doing all you can to best understand the work before you begin a new program.

Good Luck!!

 

 

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Mywords1 specializes in nursing ethics.

63 Posts; 909 Profile Views

The Ph.D. in psychology or similar is the standard degree and most respected (except for psychiatrists) in field. But it takes a few years of graduate school and a dissertation or equivalent. It can be very expensive. If you are into private practice, the money is better than social work therapy. You'll need a license. The courses are deeper, I think.  Some therapists do not know the right questions to ask their patients, much less the answers. Sounds critical, I know --but true. (Recently Obama said that about many people in authority.)

The Psy.D is also a possibility.

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