Few jobs can be more challenging than dealing with mentally ill patients so it takes a certain type of dedicated person who wants to pursue that avenue as a career. Assisting these mentally impaired patients with their medication and helping them to cope with their illness requires a strong-willed individual who is able to be effective under difficult circumstances.
A psychiatric nurse requires a minimum of an Associate’s Degree but more likely a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree is desirable to afford you with the ability to have a position anywhere. Psychiatric nurses are also required to earn state licensure and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). These nurses work in hospitals, clinics or in nursing homes or private practices.
These nurses will work with difficult patients who are often angry, disoriented and uncooperative. Some patients will be aggressive and demanding and the physical and emotional demands will be huge. This position requires you to monitor and administer medication with those who are in distress, have some sort of mental illness and may have disabilities as well. Psychiatric nurses assist patients with dressing, bathing and serving them meals – and in some cases helping them to eat.
If a psychiatric nurse has had advanced training they are able to assist or lead with behavioral therapy or lead family sessions and are often called upon to help with crisis intervention. If you have a desire to help and care about people this is a career that will be very challenging yet very rewarding. You will encounter people of all ages and be exposed to every type of behavior – most of it not very pretty – but everyone needs help and this is a job that demands a lot of an individual but gives a lot in return. A psychiatric nursing career will definitely be fulfilling in every way.