How to Become a Psychiatric Nurse

Psychiatric nurses are medical personnel who deal with treatment of patients suffering from mental disorders. Mental health is an area of specialization just like the other areas of health practice. Are you a person with an interest in helping people with mental disabilities? You can pursue a certification, degree or diploma in psychiatric nursing. By going for education in this field, you are trained on the different ways of handling patients with mental disabilities, how to counsel them and assist them.

Psychiatric nurse courses

The psychiatric nursing courses are offered in medical schools, to become a registered nurse in this field you have to get proper accreditation. There are medical schools that offer high education in this area. There are two levels of education in this field and they are:

Psychiatric Nurse1 How to Become a Psychiatric Nurse

Basic level: In this level of education the student is taught how to relate with patients and their mental disabilities. The students are trained how to diagnose metal disabilities. Taking care of such patients is also taught. In this area a student can get a certification, a degree and a diploma.

Advanced level: At this level a student is taught about the complexities of mental disabilities and how to deal with such patients. Here there are special courses that teach how to diagnose, evaluate and treat patients with mental conditions. The psychiatric nurses are also supposed to know the problems that lead to mental problems, he or she should not only be able to deal with families and not individuals only. In this level of education you can posses a masters degree in psychiatric nursing.

What are the duties of a psychiatric nurse?

Since this field of psychiatric nursing is wide and encompasses various areas of specialization, this is what anyone willing to become a psychiatric nurse should know. The sensitivity of mental illnesses is varied, some are mild and some are complex. As your area of specialization, you will be required to handle every patient depending on his or her condition. Some of the duties that will be entitled to you are:

  • You can be required to work as a consultant in the case of an individual with a mental disorder.
  • Counsel, educate and inform families and relatives on issues related to mental health.
  • Manage a patient’s condition until there is complete recovery.
  • Ensuring that that there is a treatment plan and making sure that it has been applied correctly.
  • Provision of assessment on those with the mental problems.
  • Provision of emergency psychiatric services and care to patients.

The kinds of mental disorders handled by a psychiatric nurse

Dementia: it’s a condition that tends to affect the old age; it involves the refusal of cognitive functions.

Depression: low self esteem, and changes in moods, appetite and lack of interest.

Bipolar disorder: These disorders create a grave change in the mood of a patient. The person may suffer depression and stay sad always.

Schizophrenia: This is a disorder that causes an abnormality, whereby a person’s sense of reality does not function. Such patients constantly become delusional and hallucinate much.

The jobs in this field

With a higher level of education in the psychiatric nursing field are many you can become:

Hospital administrator

Research professor in mental institutions

Child adolescence mental health specialist


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