A psychiatric nurse, also referred to as a mental health nurse, will improve the lives of people in a number of ways. If you have a keen interest in the mental health profession, and you are interested in working in a growing industry, this is the career for you. Psychiatric nurses need to complete the same educational requirements as all other nurses, along with some additional training and certifications.
Psychiatric nursing jobs are available with many roles and responsibilities on two separate levels. On a basic level, Registered Nurses are trained and educated in psychiatric patient care. They may spend their days with a “patient or a group of patients to determine the best mental health care for each situation” (Reference: canido.net). They may be responsible for creating a wellness plan for each individual to follow. If you choose this field of nursing, you may participate in interventions of many kinds, not only interventions of substance abuse. You can provide basic mental health support in a number of ways, such as monitoring the effects of prescribed drugs, or working with patients on practicing recommended techniques to use in real-life situations on their own. You might also be responsible for providing preventive care and educating the patient on various health aspects. You might also be responsible for advanced psychiatric nursing care.
At an advanced level, as the word “advanced” suggests, you will have greater responsibilities and educational requirements. In advanced psychiatric nursing, you will choose a group of people with whom you prefer to work, such as children, adolescents, or adults. With this advanced education and training, you will be responsible for providing the same mental health care as the basic level; however, you will also be responsible for much more. You might actually be responsible for treating mental disorders yourself. You will assess a patient and diagnose them. You will then develop a mental health plan to aid in their recovery. You must be an excellent communicator to succeed in this position. You will be responsible for not only listening to your patient, but you will also be responsible for truly hearing what they say and do not say. Sometimes the greatest clues in medicine are the things which the patients neglect to mention specifically; however, they allude to the fact something else is not right. You must use your powers of deductive reasoning to dig further.
A psychiatric nurse at a basic level is a Registered Nurse, and a psychiatric nurse at an advanced level is a Registered Nurse with even more education. If you seek advanced psychiatric nursing, you will be required to continue your education by completing a master’s degree. If you are interested in greater job opportunities, you will complete a doctoral degree as well. After sufficient clinical training, you will complete a specialized certificate program. This career field is growing as the need for psychiatric nurses continues to increase. Online courses are waiting for you to begin improving the mental health of society tomorrow.