Unlike physical ailments which generally have an obvious cause and treatment plan, mental illness can be harder to diagnose and treat. Furthermore, while attitudes are changing, there is still a stigma associated with seeking therapy or treatment. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the critical role a psychiatric nurse plays in mental health settings. We’ll explore where psychiatric nurses work, what types of conditions they treat and much more. Keep reading to learn more about this in demand field.
What is a psychiatric nurse?
A psychiatric nurse, also known as a behavioral health nurse or a mental health nurse, works with patients that are receiving treatment for a variety of mental illnesses. Since mental illness can occur at any point in life, patients range in age from children to the elderly. In addition to treating psychiatric disorders, behavioral health nurses also help patients address the stigma associated with their mental health issue(s). It is a career path that blends psychology, psychiatry and nursing.
Due to the complex nature of their patients’ condition(s), psych nurses work as part of a behavioral health team. Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists are just a few of the specialties that behavioral health nurses frequently interact with.
What You Should Know Before Applying
After gaining one to two years of work experience on a medical-surgical floor, the career opportunities that are available to a nurse become virtually limitless. While some clinicians will continue their employment journey in a traditional healthcare setting, others will choose to purse a career in a non-traditional work environment. Home health nursing is a non-traditional employment option that provides clinicians with independence and autonomy. Keep reading to find out what you can expect from a career as a home health nurse.
What is a home health nurse?
A home health nurse, also known as a home care nurse, provides one-on-one care in a patient’s home. Most of the time, the patients that a home care nurse treats have been discharged from a hospital or other medical care setting. Home health nurses are primarily responsible for ensuring a patient’s continued recovery and for monitoring for any potential complications that would result in readmittance to a healthcare facility.
Depending upon their experience and training, a home health nurse may provide other specialized services (i.e. pain management, wound care, hospice care). Home care nurses always work under the direction of the patient’s physician and may be responsible for managing/directing other members of the patient’s care team (i.e. nursing assistants or non-medical home care providers).
Within the healthcare industry, there is a growing demand for nurses that are qualified to work in long-term acute care (LTAC) settings. However, misconceptions about LTAC patients and the work environment prevents many nurses from pursuing these career advancing positions. Continue reading to find out more about LTAC facilities and why a job there might be the right career choice for you.
What is a long-term acute care facility?
A long-term acute care facility is specifically designed for patients with complex medical conditions that require the ongoing support of an interdisciplinary team. While patients in a LTAC unit no longer need extensive diagnostic procedures or the level of care available in an intensive care unit (ICU), the severity of their condition(s) makes them inappropriate for a rehabilitation center, skilled nursing facility or home healthcare service.
Interview with Chris McMahon, RN, BSN
Misguided assumptions about the correctional healthcare environment prevents many clinicians from pursuing the job opportunities that are there. While not the right work environment for every clinician, the correctional healthcare setting can provide a rich and rewarding career for those nurses that are willing to put their preconceived notions to the test. To help combat some of the natural biases that surround the correctional healthcare vocation, we interviewed Chris McMahon, RN, BSN. As an experienced correctional nurse, Chris provides insight into what a typical day looks like in correctional healthcare, the type of care that correctional nurses are generally responsible for and what it takes to succeed in this non-traditional healthcare field.
1. What initially attracted you to a career in nursing?
While I was pursuing my bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, I knew that I wanted to end up in a career where I would have the opportunity to help and care for other people. At the time, I didn’t know that nursing would be the place where I would land. As I was trying to decide on a major that was right for me, I took a very general class about nursing. From there, I was hooked. I had so many amazing teachers along the way that encouraged me. Their enthusiasm for the profession was contagious. I’ve never regretted my choice to become a nurse.
During the Summer of 2018, Lauren Hanoski joined our Premier Medical Staffing Services team of Talent Acquisition Managers while on summer break from Carroll University. Double majoring in Athletic Training and Healthcare Administration, she arrived with boundless energy and interest to learn the ropes while blending her personal experiences in healthcare with the business side of healthcare.
She was eager to jump in! Lauren has proven over the summer to be a quick study in healthcare professional recruitment. Before she leaves Premier for the summer and heads back to school, our Community Development Manager, Norissa, sat down with Lauren to see how her summer job went and what advice she has for students.
Consider Correctional Healthcare for Your Next Nurse Contract
Correctional healthcare is a hidden gem. If you want to widen your scope of practice as a nurse and you are confident in your assessment skills, this may be a specialty you would enjoy. I would suggest knowing the difference between jails and prisons is essential to understanding which culture is the best fit for you.
Both correctional facilities often treat patients who may not have had access to healthcare or who haven’t wanted treatment. In my experience, jails are short-term and have a revolving door for new and old inmates who need more temporary and short-term care.
What Does This Compliance Checklist Mean?
In a recent social media group talk, a first-time Traveling Nurse posted their frustration and confusion on the list of needs or compliance checklist a recruiter gave them for their first travel assignment. A recruiter asked for the following items from the traveler:
- ACLS… What?!
- TB – Don’t they last a year?
- Years of online modules
- Flu shot
- Fit test
The checklist from the recruiter felt overwhelming and unnecessary to the traveler. It just didn’t make sense. Also, this information was provided too close to the assignment start date and seemed sudden to the Travel Nurse. To start a relationship between a traveler and recruiter on a frustrating note is unfortunate. As a recruiter, you want the Travel Nurse to feel appreciated and informed. Meanwhile, the Travel Nurse wants respect, transparency, and efficiency from their recruiter especially if this is their first contract assignment.
I want to start out by asking one simple question: What?
You’re a nurse and you’re probably receiving an overwhelming amount of phone calls, emails, text messages, and inbox messages on social media sites from recruiters in every state. Whether you’re a travel nurse or working locally, I’m sure this is very common if you’re in the healthcare field. If choosing to work agency, what makes you say yes?
The list of immunizations needed from a healthcare staffing agency can be daunting, and may include things that you may or may not have already. At Premier Medical Staffing Services, we pride ourselves in assisting you to obtain the documents that you have access to, as well as, provide resources. These are the best questions to ask yourself when needing to provide medical records for a pre-employment background check.
Phone interviews are a convenient and effective way to pre-screen candidates that have applied to a company’s open position(s). However, their informal nature is nothing to be taken lightly. If you have been invited to a phone interview by a recruiter or hiring manager, it is extremely important that you take the time to prepare. When applied, the following 10 phone interview tips can help you establish yourself as a desirable candidate, make a good first impression and ultimately get you an in-person interview.
Phone Interview Tips
1. Take it Seriously
The phone interview is the first stepping stone on your journey to landing a new position. That is why it is important to familiarize yourself with the job description. Take the time to really understand what the position entails and what qualities or characteristics an applicant will need to be successful. Doing this will help you convey a persona of competence and confidence, setting you apart from the other applicants. Additionally, it is a great idea to have a printed copy of the job description in front of you during the interview for quick reference.