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Typical Night Shift Psych

Psychiatric   (1,084 Views | 3 Replies)

smiling_riley is a BSN and specializes in Incoming Psychiatric Nurse.

143 Profile Views; 4 Posts

Hi all! Ever since I went through my mental health rotation I have fallen in love with psych nursing and therefore have applied (and interviewed) for a psych job. The job is 12 hour shifts from 7PM to 7AM. I was wondering if anyone worked the night shift and could give me a basic run-down of their shift. I know that there are events such as code greys which may or may not happen during the shift, but other than those, what do you normally do between these hours?

Additionally, do you have any tips for a new nurse heading into Psych?

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B52 has 9 years experience as a ADN, BSN, RN and specializes in Psych, Substance Abuse.

176 Posts; 5,236 Profile Views

I work in a psych E.D., but I occasionally float to the floor. We get report, make the assignment sheet, pass meds, monitor snack time, and document on patients. Admissions happen throughout the night. One night there might be 7 admissions; another night there might be 1 or 2. Downtime is spent doing chart checks and lending an ear to patients who have difficulty sleeping. Around 6 a..m. we awaken patients for meds and phlebotomy. On rare occasions, we have early morning discharges. Rapid responses happen more often than Code Greys because we have a geriatric unit and many patients are medically cleared on paper only. My advice is to set firm boundaries and learn as much as you can from the veteran nurses. Good luck!

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Safety Coach RN has 7 years experience and specializes in Behavioral Health.

103 Posts; 2,610 Profile Views

Really depends on what population. Gero can be the exact opposite of an adolescent unit on what to expect, for example. Do you know what population you'll be dealing with?

In general, nights typically does more admits than days. Less interference by administration, psychiatrists and social workers. Whether patients sleep is really unit dependent. Anytime an adolescent is up for long periods at night, something is probably about to happen. I try and communicate when them ASAP to see if we can't nip that in the bud. Adults and Gero's up at all hours isn't really uncommon.

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smiling_riley is a BSN and specializes in Incoming Psychiatric Nurse.

4 Posts; 143 Profile Views

On 3/24/2020 at 6:25 AM, Safety Coach RN said:

Really depends on what population. Gero can be the exact opposite of an adolescent unit on what to expect, for example. Do you know what population you'll be dealing with?

In general, nights typically does more admits than days. Less interference by administration, psychiatrists and social workers. Whether patients sleep is really unit dependent. Anytime an adolescent is up for long periods at night, something is probably about to happen. I try and communicate when them ASAP to see if we can't nip that in the bud. Adults and Gero's up at all hours isn't really uncommon.

The unit I interviewed for is an intensive treatment unit, I assume there will be a split of people who sleep during the night and people who don’t. I’m pretty excited and still hopeful that I get the offer.

On 3/23/2020 at 7:43 AM, B52 said:

I work in a psych E.D., but I occasionally float to the floor. We get report, make the assignment sheet, pass meds, monitor snack time, and document on patients. Admissions happen throughout the night. One night there might be 7 admissions; another night there might be 1 or 2. Downtime is spent doing chart checks and lending an ear to patients who have difficulty sleeping. Around 6 a..m. we awaken patients for meds and phlebotomy. On rare occasions, we have early morning discharges. Rapid responses happen more often than Code Greys because we have a geriatric unit and many patients are medically cleared on paper only. My advice is to set firm boundaries and learn as much as you can from the veteran nurses. Good luck!

Thank you! I am so excited for the possibility of working in the psych hospital on the intensive treatment floor, psych has grabbed my heart from the very beginning and has interested me MUCH MORE than med surg floors.

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