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Thinking of psych nursing?

Psychiatric   (2,345 Views | 6 Replies)

867 Profile Views; 16 Posts

Hi! Im a new grad nurse in paeds (in my interview they asked me what my top choices were and I said I didn't have my heart set on anything and was just looking for good experience, and they put me in paeds?). Anyways, i don't love paeds, my hearts not in it.

Prior to going into nursing I worked at a homeless shelter where I did a lot of talking, listening, crisis intervention, dealing with substance use. More of a social-work type job really. I decided I really liked helping people and went into nursing school. However, I don't love the inpatient medical-floor type work at all. I'm just not passionate about it I suppose.

I was thinking of asking to get trained in emerge because of the experience, and I would get really good at my skills, but i've met a few nurses that have left emerge because of the ridiculous amount of stress they dealt with every day (and these were nurses with 5+ years experience in emerge), and I don't think thats something I see myself really happy in.

I LOVED my mental health nursing class, it was probably my favourite one. I find the science of it fascinating but also love (what I perceive to be) a greater focus on talking to patients and healing in that way? But i've never worked in mental health and my worry is that asking to switch to mental health might close other doors for me in the future (I'm still not super confident with skills like central lines and IVs and feel like I won't get as much experience with that in mental health). I think the smart thing to do would be to spend a year or two on a medical floor but my friend is on a medical floor at my hospital and talks about how she's always putting in overtime for missed breaks, frequently has a patient load over 9 on nights, can never find another nurse to help with turns...... and even all those sort of issues aside I think I would genuinely hate it.

Sorry I am ranting so much. I guess what I'm asking is, is it stupid to go into mental health so early in my career without having mastered certain skills, or is it stupid to slog away learning stuff that I really don't want to do anyways?? (Also what if I don't even like mental health and I just have an idealized idea of it fitting my personality?) Why did you guys go into mental health?

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

3 Followers; 4,329 Posts; 32,908 Profile Views

I tried to go to behavioral health as a new graduate, but they wanted medical experience. I now have eight years of medical experience and work in behavioral health and med/surg.

In hindsight, I'm glad I started out in med/surg. I feel it makes me more marketable and that I'd have an easier time transitioning elsewhere if the whim hit me. There are plenty of psych patients in med/surg, by the way. They're pretty much everywhere.

I do find my behavioral health unit "easier" than med/surg, but I'm sure that every unit is different.

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Heylove has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN, EMT-B.

203 Posts; 4,427 Profile Views

I started one year ago in adolescent psych and love it. I sometimes wish I could go into ED nursing, but I get over it, quickly.

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Rayngler specializes in Psychiatry.

1 Article; 20 Posts; 943 Profile Views

I personally went straight into psych right out of school and have not regretted it. If you want a little of both, many hospitals have float pools where you will float to psych as well as med surgical. This might give you a little taste. There are also many PRN jobs for psych that you could try.

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102 Posts; 5,481 Profile Views

I personally went straight into psych right out of school and have not regretted it. If you want a little of both, many hospitals have float pools where you will float to psych as well as med surgical. This might give you a little taste. There are also many PRN jobs for psych that you could try.

It's good to see someone who has gone into a specialty like psych straight out of school. Right now I have a preliminary offer (pending background checks and all that) at a detox facility but keep wondering if I am doing the right thing. Everyone says, "do med-surg, do med-surg" but I have gotten responses mostly from addictions/detox and psych type jobs. Was it always your intention to go into psych right after school?

Are you very confident that this is where you want to be and have no fears about not being able to transition to a different specialty if ever you want to? I am so scared of that prospect.

Thx!

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5 Posts; 258 Profile Views

I've worked in Behavioral Health for two years. Prior to that, I worked on medical-surgical units. There is, I think, a common belief among nurses that if you transition to BH, you're going to ''lose your skills.'' Sure, you won't be doing IV sticks or complete physical assessments on a daily basis, but you will acquire OTHER skills. Defusing potentially violent situations, mediating disagreements between patients, and performing mental/emotional assessments on every patient to determine risk for suicidal or homicidal ideation are just some of the things you'll need to learn how to do. Acquisition and development of these skills are critical to not only your career in behavioral health, but physical safety for everyone on the unit. While I'm glad that I worked for years in med-surg, I personally get a lot more satisfaction out of working with the mentally ill. We each have different gifts; feel free to explore BH to determine if you have an interest, and a gift, for it.

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12 Posts; 1,604 Profile Views

Just fyi, Im only a student nurse and I am taking mental health and medsurge right now. I dont know if this will help you but my mental health teacher keep telling us you will always have to work with a patient with psych issues EVERYWHERE! She always mentions medsurge and the ED. Im sure theirs other dept but she keeps mentioning those 2 depts. So maybe you can get your various skills experience in medsurge or ED,ICU etc to hone your skills and get some experience working with patients with mental disorders?

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