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09/01/2011 10:23 AM

your experience with psychiatric nurses?

StoryCollector
StoryCollector  
Posts: 63
Member

Without a psychiatric nurse who listened and cared, I would not have received an early and accurate diagnosis. (This was in 1978 when bipolar disorder was called "manic-depression," and it was not a common diagnosis nor understood by much of the medical community.)

I speak to student nurses next week. What would you like them to know to increase their understanding and to better help us?

Thanks for your time.

Rachel

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09/01/2011 11:02 AM
Cthebird
Cthebird  
Posts: 5275
Group Leader

The psychiatric nurses at the hospitals I went to mostly gave out medication. They also tended to you either alone or with attendants when you became unruly or in an outburst. From my experience they were always convincing in what they wanted you to do (like go into the isolation room and get a shot) and if they weren't they let you stew on it a bit. Once I created quite an uproar when they wanted to put me into a 3 bed room (my bed was supposed to be the cot). I completely refused. They must have given me some Haldol or something because even though I was manic I fell asleep with my winter coat on in a chair in the lounge. They let me sleep there until my husband came for visiting hours and he was able to convince me to go into the room and take my coat off. They thanked him profusely. Not sure what they would have done otherwise. In any case I got my own room the next day. It was nice.

09/01/2011 11:51 AM
platelet60
platelet60  
Posts: 282
Member

Maybe I'm lucky, but the best nurses I have encountered almost acted as mentors to me in the hospital. They were kind to you, without any agenda. We had to have goals every day. They would ask you what your goal for the day was and if you gave them a lame, vague answer they would kind of get on your case about narrowing it down to something specific and achievable. A lot of patients hated the guy who did that but I actually appreciated it. They quickly learned to interpret a patient's body language and would approach you to talk about what was bothering you in a natural, equalizing way, if you wanted to. Other nurses, the muscle, were clearly phoning it in, which I can understand, it must be a hard job. The funniest were the dutiful, proper nursing students who were doing psych hospital training and came and did little presentations on Risperdal to all the patients who were actually taking the drug, and who already knew everything about it.

Post edited by: platelet60, at: 09/01/2011 11:52 AM

Post edited by: platelet60, at: 09/01/2011 11:53 AM


09/01/2011 03:43 PM
soy70
soy70  
Posts: 1813
Senior Member

It certainly does depend what facility you're at because I've had awful experiences with nurses. They've been insulting, (one calling me shameless), inaccessible (going up to the desk for xanax, they refuse to raise their head or acknowledge you so you have to feel like you're bothering them. Very few took an interest or treated me with dignity. This was a big university hospital with a lot of patients so maybe they had major burnout, but they were totally nasty, passive-aggresive people for the most part.

I would suggest taking measures to avoid burnout or make sure you have the coping skills to deal with challenging patients, rather than taking it out on them.


09/01/2011 05:14 PM
Bangbang
Bangbang  
Posts: 7165
Group Leader

Hi....I was a Psych Nurse for 23 years in a State Hop and always made time for my patients and treated the patients with respect. However there were a few that were like said above burned out NASTY nurses. I often wrote them up and got some fired. I got sick(bipolar and PTSD) in 1997 and suddenly had to retire. My heart goes out for those nurses that can deal with Psych Nursing. It is very demanding and can be a very challenging emotional job.

09/01/2011 05:28 PM
randomeddie
randomeddie  
Posts: 407
Member

The one's I've encountered were all underpaid saints...

09/01/2011 05:29 PM
KimberlyR
KimberlyRPosts: 108
Member

The psych nurses I had basically raised me thru my teens and early 20s. They were like family to me. I was there aprox every 2 years. There were some bad apples one who said I was playing games. But then I was institutionalized in a state hospital. The male orderlys were mean and watched abuse happen and didn't do anything about it. It was a horrifying experience.

09/01/2011 05:56 PM
StoryCollector
StoryCollector  
Posts: 63
Member

Thanks to all for responding! The psych nurse coordinating my presentations is a dedicated and special woman who works in the hospital & teaches. I hope the nursing students can see "we are your neighbors, your friends, your relatives, your co-workers."

Again, thanks.

Rachel


09/01/2011 05:58 PM
Enigma1969
Enigma1969  
Posts: 2677
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

The psychiatric nurses are busy doing other things (like updating everyone's chart) There's been issues with me and the med nurse not but nothing serious. They'd one on one you. The techs (orderly) are the ones that keep track of everyone and keeping drama load to a minimum. During the 10 stays that I've had since last year, both hospitals I went to the staff was well-trained for the most part.

Post edited by: Enigma1969, at: 09/01/2011 05:59 PM


09/01/2011 06:28 PM
globalmind
globalmind  
Posts: 154
Member

Like Soy, I've had some bad experiences. A relative that I loved was a psych nurse though and she was awesome.

It's just that I think it is the kind of position where someone is given absolute power over other people and it's hard for some folks not to abuse that somewhat.

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