People who opt for the psychiatric practitioner program get to work in a host of settings and get to take care of patients who are suffering from various mental diseases and other health issues. These could by depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, dementia, and other mental health issues. Psychiatric nurses can be found in different institutes like hospitals, hospices, mental healthcare facilities, private practices, community health centers and more. They are not just restricted to mental healthcare issues, they can also work with patients of drug abuse, high-risk pregnancies, as well as schools, colleges, universities, trauma centers, and prisons. They are called psych nurses for short or psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs).
As such, the roles and responsibilities of a psychiatric nurse are varied. They have to consider all the factors that are affecting an individual including the environment, health issues, diet, and others. Their basic responsibilities are taking the complete medical histories of the patients, conduct psychological as well as physical exams, identify and manage patients’ medications, based on the history come up with the treatment plans and take care of the patients among other things. Generally, psychiatric nurse practitioners select a specific field for themselves and specialize in it like family psychiatry or any of the other fields. There are a lot of ways that the psychiatric nurse practitioner programs can be highly rewarding and beneficial for people who are thinking of going into this career.
Comparing Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners with Others
Sometimes people might get confused between the various healthcare specialists that work with mentally challenged patients. These may be psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors. You need to know the difference between them, although all of these specialists and professionals offer some form of therapy to the patients, with a few key differences.
The major difference between a psychiatric nurse practitioner and others is that a psychiatric nurse holds an advanced nursing degree. Another difference is that while psychiatric nurses and psychiatrists can prescribe medication to their patients but on the other hand psychologists, counselors, and social workers cannot do so. Another major difference is that while the rest of the professions tend to just concentrate on the mind of the patient, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, on the other hand, performs highly advanced physical exams as well as other diagnostic tests.
Jobs and Responsibilities
The jobs and responsibilities of psychiatric nurses are numerous and varied depending on their selected field and where they are working. They have to take care of a wide variety of cross-disciplinary responsibilities. These include, taking physical and mental assessments, coming up with medical and physical diagnoses, creating unique and bespoke treatment plans, prescribing medications, counseling patients and providing other forms of psychotherapy, consulting with other medical healthcare providers to review the patients holistically. Not only these, but the psychiatric nurses are also responsible for teaching and educating their patients as well as educating and training communities and legislators. They are also tasked with promoting health and wellbeing, whether it is physical or mental. They also have a deep impact on public policies and have the opportunity to work in specialized circumstances and environments and demographics like children or elderly, etc. They can either focus on the group that they will be working with or they can focus on a specific area that needs their attention like substance abuse treatment, family counseling, and therapy, forensics, etc.
If the patients are not responding to the environment of the institute that the psychiatric nurses are working in, they can also offer outpatient services or even home-based care so that they can fully treat the patient’s chronic or sudden ailments. They can also act as consultants for various groups and communities as well as corporations and government organizations.
Benefits of Psychiatric Practitioner Program:
Helping Others is Very Rewarding
The first and foremost benefit that you will get after completing your psychiatric nurse practitioner program is the reward of helping others when they are going through some of the darkest moments in their lives. Psychiatric nurses deal with anything between a mild case to extremely severe patients who may be violent. They are specially trained to handle such cases and deal with difficult patients. They help these patients find a semblance of normal life and thus improve their quality of life. That is one of the best rewards that anyone can have.
But most often, you will find yourself facing patients that are mild, cooperative and looking for a compassionate person who will listen to their griefs and sorrows and help them find a solution. Just the fact that you brought change to someone’s life and helped them get better is a feeling that can boost not just your confidence but also your self-image. That is why this career is so rewarding.
Variety of Opportunities
As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of opportunities for psychiatric nurses. Whether we talk about the different places that need you or the different institutes, you are in demand. Psyche nurses can work in hospitals, mental healthcare facilities, old-homes, independent living facilities as well as schools, colleges, universities, government organizations, corporations, and NGOs to name a few. Since there is a great demand for psychiatric nurses, you can also relocate to anywhere you want easily and find a good job or practice there that uses your talents and skills. You can choose to work with different groups as per your specialization and even change when you want. So, if you move around a lot or if you just need a change, you can do that without worrying about finding a good job at the new place.
Mental diseases and ailments are increasing at an alarming rate. Whether we talk about depression, substance abuse, or any other symptom, you will see that there’s a constant need for expert psyche nurses anywhere you go. That is why the mental health nursing career is a secure and safe career with excellent job security. As a psyche nurse, you won’t have to face either downsizing or being laid off.
Just like psyche nurses have job security, they also get paid a handsome amount according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As you keep on gaining valuable experience and you will be getting promoted as well. With more experience, your pay will also simultaneously rise.
These are only some of the benefits that you will reap as you enter a good psychiatric practitioner program. Most people who are in this field will attest to the fact that they will not change their career at any cost. They love helping their patients and enjoy the benefits.