The Psychiatric Nurse
‘We couldn’t be making as much money, if we had to deal with stranger behaviour. And right now, anybody who slows down our economic productivity, off they go. We have a place for them, the psychiatric institution. That’s the main thing, they slow things down’
- Chester Brown
Being in the nursing profession entails the freedom to choose which among the many diverse fields you would want to get acquainted and involved with. One of the most challenging and interesting nursing roles is that of the psychiatric nurse. The psychiatric nurse is the one responsible on providing both professional nursing and mental health nursing services to clients confined in the community’s mental health care facilities and institutions. As a psychiatric nurse, his/her work includes promoting and helping people restore and maintain good mental health.
Psychiatric Nurse - Personal Characteristics
In order for one to become a psychiatric nurse, he or she must have a license to practice the nursing profession or in other words, the individual must be a registered nurse. Afterwards, the person must have further education, training and specialization in this specific nursing work field so he/she could officially assume and fulfill the roles and duties of a psychiatric nurse. However, choosing to become a psychiatric nurse means to have all or most of the characteristics and traits one must have.
Provided that a psychiatric nurse is going to deal with people who are having struggles in their personal lives, he/she must be patient, understanding and must have a caring attitude. Someone who is aspiring to become a psychiatric nurse must have a sense of maturity and self discipline. You must also have great problem solving and critical thinking skills when you want to be a psychiatric nurse. Effective verbal and written communication skills are also required from someone who wants to be part of the health care team in a mental health institution.
A psychiatric nurse is also expected to have good judgment most especially in stressful situations. And above all, since you will be dealing with people who have impairments or deficiencies in their health, a psychiatric nurse must be someone with a very good physical and mental health status.
Psychiatric Nurse – Scope of Duties and Responsibilities
If you are interested on becoming a psychiatric nurse or curious about what a psychiatric nurse does, then you have just read the right article. There are many duties and responsibilities that come once a person becomes a psychiatric nurse. Just so you know, a psychiatric nurse can choose to work independently or be a part of a team. Nevertheless, regardless whether the psychiatric nurse works alone or with a group, their duties and responsibilities all boil down to one point: to take care and promote mental health to every individual in the mental health institution.
This aim of theirs covers a lot of tasks. These tasks include providing holistic and client centered nursing care, completing health histories, physical examinations and mental status assessments. A psychiatric nurse is also responsible for developing, implementing, evaluating and updating nursing care plans. He/she is expected to administer prescribed medications and treatments following the 10 rights of medication administration which are right patient, right medication, right route, right timing, right dosage, and so on and so forth.
Furthermore, a psychiatric nurse has the duty to assess, report, and respond in an appropriate manner to his/her clients’ behavioural changes. Strategies must be implemented to promote the individual’s mental and physical health and well-being. Last but definitely the least of duties and responsibilities of a psychiatric nurse, he/she must become an advocate for the clients and their families or significant others.
A psychiatric nurse mainly develops and implements therapeutic program in collaboration with the other health care team professionals which include the psychiatrist, physicians, psychologists, social workers, pharmacist, and many more. Through this active participation of the health professionals, the psychiatric nurse’s duties and responsibilities become easier and more possible to achieve.
Psychiatric Nurse - Working Conditions
Psychiatric nursing is a complex field that demands a psychiatric nurse to be intellectually, physically and emotionally stable. Just like any other nurses, a psychiatric nurse also works during night shifts, weekends and even holidays. A psychiatric nurse may be required to lift and transfer patients, restrain them and assist these people in their activities of daily living.
Psychiatric Nurse - Employment, Advancement and Salary
A psychiatric nurse can be employed bounded by any of the four domains of the practice of psychiatric nursing. These domains include direct practice, education, administration and research. There are also many locations wherein a psychiatric nurse can be employed and assigned. He/she can be appointed to work at hospitals, community mental health programs and clinics, residential care facilities, acute care, extended care, and long term or palliative mental health care institutions, educational institutions and correctional institutions.
Since psychiatric nursing is a complicated field, it is expected that a psychiatric nurse earns more than the regular registered nurses. However, salaries for psychiatric nurses vary depending on the employer and nurse’s educational qualifications, experience and responsibilities. The typical psychiatric nurse earns approximately an amount of $30-$40 per hour. That range of amount of salary is just for a basic psychiatric nurse’s workload. So if you come to think of it, advanced psychiatric nurses earn a pretty big amount of money.
Nowadays, there has been a growing shortage for employment of psychiatric nurses. This could be directly linked and related to the global crisis experienced by our society. However, if ever the time comes wherein nurses will be of high demand again, then there will be no more problems for that. With the growing population of registered nurses all over the world, it is very easy to pick out potential people to assume roles of a psychiatric nurse. With the desired personal traits and characteristics, proper education and training, and more exposure to the psychiatric field, jobs and positions for psychiatric nurses will be rightfully given to deserving individuals. As demanding as this profession would be, high standards and qualifications must be met by every aspiring psychiatric nurse.
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