Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing

There are a number of fields of specialization in nursing. One of the fields that you can decide to specialize in is mental health and psychiatric nursing. This type of nurses work with mentally ill patients to help such patients to live fulfilling lives and manage their illnesses. Specifically, they among other things: assist mentally ill patients, assess their mental health, administer their medication, intervene during a crisis and offer therapy to the patients who need it. The specific types of patients that mental health nurses work with include: those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, patients with mood and anxiety disorders as well as those that are suffering different mental illnesses as a result of substance and drug abuse. Notably, psychiatric nurses aim at offering individualized care to such patients in order to help them live quality lives and recover from their mental diseases.

There are a number of places that you can work in should you decide to specialize in mental health and psychiatric nursing. Such places include but not necessarily limited to: psychiatric hospitals, general hospitals, community health organizations as well as private hospitals. Similar to other types of nurses you must be professionally trained in order to become a mental health nurse. A bachelor of science is required for you to be a Registered Nurse RN although an LPN degree can also help you to become a psychiatric nurse. It is also worth to note that you can further your education to obtain a masters, DNP or even a PhD in this field of nursing specialization. Generally, academic qualification and experience influence ones employment and promotion as a mental health nurse.

As much as the field of nursing falls under sciences it is also good to appreciate the fact that it is some form of a calling. In other words, not every person with good academic qualification can become a distinguished psychiatric nurse. It takes someone who genuinely cares about the mental needs of patients to become such a nurse. It is therefore advisable for you to take a deep thought of whether this is really a suitable career for you. A good way to determine if you can make a good mental health nurse or not is to volunteer in places where there are mentally ill patients. After you have volunteered for some time you will get a clear idea of whether that is an area that you would want to work in for the rest of your life or not.


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