Violence and injuries on inpatient psychiatric units towards staff and patients are well documented as significant problems. As psychiatric nurses when we come into the building to work with aggressive patients we have 5-6 locked doors to get to our work area. When we step into the door we rarely know in advance what is on the other side.
On an acute psychiatric unit, the clients range from rapist murders, schizophrenia, Bi-polar, depression, impulse control issues, addictions, personality disorders, Psychotic disorders.
In a 13 hour shift – nurses on a psychiatric unit can go from calm, quiet and everyone having the good conversation. To an explosive situation in a matter of minutes.
A few years a go when the administration asked why was our hospital not classified as a hazard duty pay. He claims because we are an “acute” hospital. The week before he was asked this question one of the “acute” nurses was removed from the hospital on a stretcher and placed in ICU with head injuries because a violent patient beat her until she was unconscious. This is not counting the broken arms we have had, the multi scratches, black eyes and ruined clothes that staff has experienced.
Psychiatric nursing is not always dangerous but it is always unpredictable.
Those who choose psych nursing have deep personal feelings for why they choose this field.I personally enjoy hearing the stories of their lives. How did they get in the situation they are now in and what they were like when they were younger.
2) You must be nonjudgmental.
3) You must be decisive.
To reach patients, psych nurses will sit with them over a meal, over a game or an art project even sit up with them all night if they’re under a suicide watch or suffer acute anxiety. If one nurse makes progress establishing a good rapport with a particular patient, that nurse will often be assigned to the patient daily on their shift.
Psych nurses also administer medications and talk with patients about dealing with often unpleasant side effects. They must persuade patients that the discomfort is something they must tolerate in order to get better.
be physically restrained.
Angela Brooks has worked in a state-funded psychiatric hospital in Kentucky for 21 years as a nurse, assisting sometimes-dangerous patients who come in shackled and cuffed. At AngelaBrook.com, she offers stories of life on the inside of a psychiatric ward, and the site, as well as her company, offers support for nurses in the mental health field and helps them bring passion into their role at work.Join the fun and connect with like-minded business owners and Nurses EVERY single day! Click here and “become friends” with Angela’s NOW!