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what does it take to be a good psych nurse?

Psychiatric   (2,177 Views 3 Comments)
by MadameFreckles MadameFreckles (Member) Member

2,108 Profile Views; 33 Posts

Just wondering, what kind of special skills/abilities/personality does it take to be a good fit for psych nursing. I have worked various psych related non-nursing jobs such as respite foster care (lots of kids with mental health issues) home for autistic indiv., etc. I am in nursing school right now. The field really interests me bc I briefly toyed with getting my MSW for a while, and it just appeals to me for some reason. When I worked with foster kids, I felt like I had a good ability to connect with those who were deemed "weird" or antisocial, probably bc I spent so much of my life as kind of the weirdo shy kid. I am not sure I have what it really takes to be a psych nurse though. I have always been rather introverted, which I've mostly overcome as an adult, but still I am not the warmest bubbliest personality.

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microserf has 1 years experience and specializes in Psychiatry/Mental Health.

7 Posts; 635 Profile Views

I am an introvert myself, and I think introverts make great psych nurses. I find that I can connect with some of my patients better because of my some-what reserved-think-before-I-speak nature (depressed, anxious clients). Although I do have a harder time with manic clients (I can't keep up, lol).

Because introverts tend to think long and hard before speaking and are great listeners, they can do really well at establishing therapeutic rapport. If you think about it some of the most intimate interactions (interviews, MSEs, etc.) as a psych nurse entail 1-on-1 situations (aka. introvert friendly scenarios).

I can entirely relate to being the "weirdo shy kid" too. Lol. I think it does help to reframe your client's situations and experiences.

That being said, I think a good psych nurse still needs to be firm when needed especially when setting limits.

Regardless of your personality type, being "genuine" and "professional" is the way to go. If you aren't the bubbly personality type, that's completely okay!

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15 Posts; 788 Profile Views

The ability to be more than just listen, but to understand. The ability to form connections quick. The ability to stay calm. The ability to have great team work. The ability to stay neutral and not be judgmental. The ability to switch fast (e.g. Interacting with someone who is super depressed and the next minute you are interacting with someone who is manic). The ability to see the person behind the illness that s/he is suffering from. The ability to take verbal diarrhea.

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