Psychology can help nurses in several different areas of their jobs, whether they are diagnosing a patient, deciding a treatment plan or handling a relationship with a patient. In addition, there is a specific career called psychiatric nursing that combines the fields of nursing and psychology.
When diagnosing a patient, nurses must take into account not only the physical state of the patient but also his mental state, as this may impact his treatment. For example, some patients are likely to be optimistic throughout their treatment, while other patients may become angry and depressed. Noting this during diagnosis is important.
Psychology also needs to be considered when planning treatment. Patients who are anxious about their condition may need more encouragement and support from nurses to be able to complete their treatments and may need to set shorter term goals than more optimistic patients.
In addition, psychological knowledge may help nurses handle their relationships with patients. A nurse who studied pediatric psychology may have a better idea of how to ease the fears and confusions of young patients and be able to better treat them. Nurses who are trained as psychiatric nurses work to treat patients with psychiatric disorders such as depression or substance abuse.