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The Role of Psychiatric Nurses

Psychiatric nursing, also commonly known as mental health nursing, is the specific nursing of people that have mental illnesses or distress including bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and dementia. Mental health is extremely important to the quality of life of individuals and it takes a licensed and trained professional to deal with patients suffering from mental health issues. Mental health affects individuals, as well as their families and lives so it is important to deal with mental health illnesses and diseases properly and carefully. The treatment and care associated with mental diseases is extremely sensitive so it is important that psychiatric nurses are genuine, approachable, and supportive. Psychiatric nurses treat patients of all ages in a variety of manners and in a number of healthcare settings.

The roles and job responsibilities of psychiatric nurses including evaluating, diagnosing, and developing nursing plans for patients with mental health disorders. They may assist patients with daily living tasks if they need help with them, and also help them to improve their abilities through the use of treatment, rehabilitation, and interaction. This may include ensuring that they practice good hygiene, eating habits, and sleeping patterns, and intervene to aid patients when they can not practice good habits on their own. They administer treatments plans, such as medication or ability activities, and monitor and record the progress, if any, made by their patient. They watch for side effects caused by medication, and ensure that the proper medication is taken in the proper dosages. Psychiatric nurses work in a number of settings including hospitals, clinics, mental health facilities, home health services, and other facilities.

There are eligibility criteria and requirements in order to become qualified to practice as a psychiatric nurse. All psychiatric nurses must hold a current license to practice as a registered nurse. Registered nurses must be licensed by the state to practice, with requirements varying between states. In addition, they must have practiced the equivalent of at least two years full time as a registered nurse. Psychiatric nurses must also usually have a minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical practice in a mental health setting and have completed at least 30 hours of continuing education in mental health, which is offered at many colleges and universities across the country.

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