What are the dangers in working as a psychiatric nurse?


Quick Answer

The dangers of psychiatric nursing mostly involve attacks by patients who are in the middle of an episode. Understanding self-defense and restraint techniques, as well as strategies for alleviating situations before they become violent, is an important part of training when entering this field.

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Full Answer

Many psychiatric nurses report a high degree of satisfaction with their profession. The opportunity to help restore people to mental health is a rewarding one to many. However, some recommend that people planning to enter psychiatric nursing as a career take a course in stress management before joining the profession. Effective communication skills, the ability to collaborate with other team members and solving problems in high-pressure situations are all attributes that a successful psychiatric nurse needs.

Even with those skills, though, the dangers of an attack are real. Some psychiatric nurses report such experiences as getting new bruises each week from being kicked, punched and struck by mental health patients, having trash cans thrown at them and experiencing torn clothes and fractures as a part of dealing with patients. Knowing that this is part of the job going in is crucial for preparing for this career. People who can provide compassionate care for the mentally ill perform a valuable job in medicine and in society.

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