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What do you do in the nursing station in your down time?

Posted

Specializes in Mental health. Has 15 years experience.

Mental health nursing does have its down time, even when I worked general acutes there was still lots of free time compared to our cousins in med/surg nursing.

So dig deep and share what activity you undertake most often at work in the nursing station that is not directly related to your nursing practice.

As I started this dodgy post I guess I need to get the ball rolling.

1)Reading the newspaper (that's a pychnurse's right of passage IMO)

2 )Browsing left over womans magazines e.g womans weekly, womans day. WHO weekly is my fav.

3) The internet. hmmm. Having two windows open, one on a nursing site the other on cheap airfares to a tropical island.

Just a few that come to mind.

Looking at it from another angle what have I seen people working on in the nursing. Knitting always makes me laugh. Getting paid to knit at a psych hospital (never on a day shift, more afternoons and nights). Crosswords is the other.

Cheers

Look forward to laughs from your replies.

Be honest and hope your charge nurse doesn't identify you in this forum :)

Edited by kiwipsychnurse
missed word

diane227, LPN, RN

Specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg. Has 32 years experience.

I work med surg. When I have down time, I do my required on line education. I also update the Kardex and document a quick note about the pts history on the kardex. I make rounds on the patients, clean up around the area, check all the lab and x-ray results, read the H&P's, pull up current lab results, check the crash cart, check to see which rooms are dirty and need to be cleaned, etc. It just goes on and on.

kiwipsychnurse

Specializes in Mental health. Has 15 years experience.

I work med surg. When I have down time, I do my required on line education. I also update the Kardex and document a quick note about the pts history on the kardex. I make rounds on the patients, clean up around the area, check all the lab and x-ray results, read the H&P's, pull up current lab results, check the crash cart, check to see which rooms are dirty and need to be cleaned, etc. It just goes on and on.

I am aware med/surg is a job that is very busy compared to some mental health jobs. As a student when doing a placement on the med and surg run I realised that these are extremely busy area's of nursing.

And as a result I decided to take my career down the mental health pathway. (there were other reasons too)

Maybe this raises another question? Do posts like this sway people to view psych nurses as lazy?

Edited by kiwipsychnurse
missed word

Whispera, MSN, RN

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

I don't know where you (previous posters) work, but I seldom had any down time when I was working psych, at least not on days and evenings. If I got meds, treatments, admits, discharges, groups, way too much paperwork done, I went out with the patients and talked with them as a group or individually. Eating a meal was a luxury.

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Specializes in CTICU. Has 20 years experience.

I'm sure your employer would be thrilled to read this!

And yes, if someone actually says they chose a certain field because it seems less busy I would assume they are lazy. Not "psych nurses" as a whole, just the ones who stated that.

God knows there's no way on earth I could do psych, the thought of it creeps me out. Whatever reason people have, I'm glad they do it and not me!

kiwipsychnurse

Specializes in Mental health. Has 15 years experience.

I'm sure your employer would be thrilled to read this!

And yes, if someone actually says they chose a certain field because it seems less busy I would assume they are lazy. Not "psych nurses" as a whole, just the ones who stated that.

God knows there's no way on earth I could do psych, the thought of it creeps me out. Whatever reason people have, I'm glad they do it and not me!

I'm sure they wouldn't be thrilled reading this but on a forum I remain unnamed along with my place of work. So if they do read this they will never be able to connect the dots.

Well so far looks like I'm the only one that has down time.

I try and use the analogy of the fireservice. They too have down time and you can only clean the firetruck so many times. Once its nice and shiny then kick back and wait for a fire.

When the alarms go in psych its all systems go, maybe that's' when we earn our our money.

canoehead, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

If you work psych maybe some recreational activity like knitting or puzzles would actually benefit your patients, as long as you go out to a public area to do it. If you're available in an informal setting you'll be modelling great coping/social skills and maybe be able to draw out the less verbal folk.

pandora44

Specializes in Psych, med surg.

This thread makes me kinda laugh. I'm not sure everyone here is being completely honest, although I mean no disrespect or insult.

As a psych nurse, I do have down time. There are some nights when I don' t, but most nights I do. I like to surf the net, read a book, chat with my fellow nurses, or spend extra time with my patients. On my unit, these are all perfectly acceptable uses of down time.

I used to work med-surg, and one of the reasons I left that to go into psych was because I knew it wasn't as busy. If anyone wants to consider me lazy for that, go ahead. I don't mind. After a year of working med-surg, I realized that my own good mental health was more important to me than the need to prove that I could handle a med-surg floor.

carolineaji

Specializes in Psychiatry-Acute, Forensic. Has 2 years experience.

I would like someone to come to my aid please. I am a Psychiatric Nurse currently practicing in UK but planning to move to Alberta due to husband's job. i want to know if there are any job prospects for mental nurses in Alberta and what are the necessary steps to take. The nursing websites I have checked are not quite explicit on getting jobs. Tnx

kiwipsychnurse

Specializes in Mental health. Has 15 years experience.

I would like someone to come to my aid please. I am a Psychiatric Nurse currently practicing in UK but planning to move to Alberta due to husband's job. i want to know if there are any job prospects for mental nurses in Alberta and what are the necessary steps to take. The nursing websites I have checked are not quite explicit on getting jobs. Tnx

WOOOOOOOOO HOLD UP. Are you hijacking this thread?

The information you require will only be made available when you disclose what you do in the nursing station when things get quiet on the ward.

southern rn

Has 19 years experience.

allnurses, of course!:smokin: Plus for some unknown to me reason, my favorite disney websites are blocked!lol

Do my CEU's online. Prepare inservices for staff. Write research proposals (we are magnet hospital).

chazman1040

Specializes in Mental Health. Has 12 years experience.

I'm at work right now. I work at a state hospital for the criminally insane. So although it is quite now (4:30 am), the plexiglass riot shield is propped up against the wall behind me, as I wait for the next code.

Meraki

Has 12 years experience.

We never have down time on days or evenings...and anyone sitting around the office on those shifts gets dagger looks! We are very hands on so if you aren't doing anything else you are with the patients in the rec room or where ever the patients are but between meds, orders, phone calls, visitors, individual sessions, group (2x/shift), taking pts for offwards and tests, crisis management, charting, assessments, case management, patient supervision and more crisis management - those down times usually last about 30 seconds!

Nights is a different story - maybe 50% of nights are really busy and 50% have some down time. Usually I stare off into space or check emails or eat or chat with the other staff.

binnurse

Specializes in Psych!. Has 23 years experience.

Bubble shooter!:yeah:

pandora44

Specializes in Psych, med surg.

I don't know what a bubble shooter is but I want one! Sounds like fun.

kiwipsychnurse

Specializes in Mental health. Has 15 years experience.

more info on bubble shooters.

psalm, RN

Specializes in Staff nurse.

Is it really safe to have knitting needles on the psych ward? We weren't even supposed to have our stethescopes around our necks; could be used as a weapon against us!

When I was a nurse tech and floated to the psych ward I would watch the continuing education videos specific to behavioral med to sharpen my skills...if and when we had down time.