Mental Health Nursing

A person who enters the field of nursing is usually someone who likes working with people.  If you find that you have exceptional skills communicating with people during your accelerated nursing courses, you might consider the specialty of mental health nursing.  A person diagnosed with a mental illness needs a smart, caring person to support them through the various stages of their treatment.

When you have your ADN nursing degree, you can work in a mental health hospital setting.  There you will gain extra training in dealing with patients that need careful assessment.  Part of the job of a hospital nurse is to counsel the patient as to the proper usage of their medication when they are discharged and also to work with the patient to encourage compliance if the medication seems to be helping them.  A nurse in the hospital will also assess the patient closely for a physical illness that may be causing their outward symptoms of mental illness and alert the physician if some tests might be needed.

Mental health nurses also work in the community, in counseling centers and in rehabilitation centers for patients with alcohol or drug problems.  An RN should consider an accelerated RN to BSN in order to work as a case manager with social workers and psychologists counseling the patient.  A psychiatrist will handle the patient's medications but will rely strongly on nursing assessment as to side effects.

Are you a mental health nurse?  Can you share with our readers a little bit about your job and what to expect if they are interested in being a mental health nurse?

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