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Career Story: Registered Psychiatric Nurse

Registered Psychiatric Nurse

Job Title: Registered Psychiatric Nurse

Type of Company: A psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents ages 4-18.

Education: AS, Nursing, Rivier College (Nashua, NH)

Previous Experience: None

Job Tasks: I am a registered nurse in a pediatric psychiatric hospital. I help children, ages 4-18, to manage their illness(es) and assist them in the activities of their daily lives. I teach them about their illness, about possible triggers that can cause a relapse and about coping mechanisms for dealing with their feelings. I also teach about their medications. In addition, I work closely with doctors, families and case-workers to find a suitable discharge environment for patients. It's hard sometimes to see all of these children who are depressed or unhappy due to neglect and different types of abuse, but I like to think that somehow I can make a difference and have a positive impact on their lives.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of my job are when a child is finally stable enough to leave the hospital. Also it is very rewarding when a child thanks you for something that nobody has ever done for them before.

The worst part of the job would be when a child has to be given a time-out or be restrained because he's exhibiting behaviors that are a threat to himself or the hospital's other residents. Another drawback to the job, which doesn't bother me at all, is that when you first start out in nursing you usually have to start working the shifts that nobody else wants to work. Usually you end up working the night shift. However, the pay on the overnight shift is usually significantly more than that for any other shift.

Job Tips:
1. Nursing is very hard work. You are on your feet most of the time, and some days there is no time to take a break.

2. The power of persuasion is a huge part of nursing, because some patients are very negative and don't see why they should carry on with treatment options.

3. You need to have a genuine love of people of all kinds. After all, that is your main focus.

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