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Old 02-28-2019, 11:30 PM #21
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Default Re: Mean psychiatric nurses

I've met mostly sarcastic and emotionally apathetic nurses during my previous hospitalization. Seems like they were told not to be soft on patients in case they get taken advantage of or being interfered in their jobs.
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:18 AM #22
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Default Re: Mean psychiatric nurses

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I think it is more difficult to be a psych nurse..it seems you are expected to be kind, nice and "on " every shift all the time...for everyone, regardless of their diagnosis. some folks do need to be babysat, others not so much, some act out, others need their meds adjusted, but everyone wants the nurses to be "theirs" emotionally .. it must take a special kind of person to select this field..and don't forget when someone lands in a psych unit your perception of things may not be 100% accurate due to illness, lack of meds, etc. just saying (some nurses could be toast, but at times it could be something else)

I don't think 'acting out' is the right phrase, as if we accept we are unwell and have an illness how our symptoms present themselves is not a choice, it's not 'bad behaviour', certainly not any more than any 'bad behaviour' in the so called normal general population. Where I do agree is that when we are unwell our perception is sometimes confused, certainly mine was so am still not sure if my confidentiality was breached by staff or not, but I could 'hear' staff abusing me very clearly one way or another, when I was under section and seen as a danger to myself.


Nurses and all mh staff are just as subject to societal stigma as everyone else, and they can often interpret our actions as 'acting out', and 'bad behaviour'. I have heard some dreadful attitudes from nurses towards patients. Maybe they become jaded with the ins and out of their job, but I don't think the current system was built on an empathetic attitude towards those with mental illness, more that of contempt and fear. It is based on how much of a risk we are seen as to ourselves and others rather than how best to resolve our psychological trauma in order that we will be permanently helped and hopefully healed from it. The medical model of course is not based around cure, rather maintenance and management of symptoms, as cure would mean discontinuation of treatment (usually meds) and loss of profits to those who make money out of illness.
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:56 PM #23
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Default Re: Mean psychiatric nurses

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I've been IP 3 times, for long periods, all at the same psych hospitals, and all the nurses have been spectacular - nice and really caring. Even when I was on a locked general psych unit, that had people with all kinds of diagnosis and many were involuntary the nurses were nice, if perhaps more rushed to engage in real one on one care.


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Old 03-09-2019, 12:35 AM #24
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Default Re: Mean psychiatric nurses

I battled breast cancer two years ago and spent a lot of time on medical units. Some of the nurses were kind. Some were all business. Every one of them was about giving me the treatment I was getting and moving on. I literally was too sick to care whether they talked to me or were attentive emotionally. It's different on a psych unit. So much of what helps heal comes through communication and compassion. We may want an empathetic ear but they have 40 patients to take care of and make sure are safe. Psych units are all about moving from one patient's crisis to another's. Not a lot of room for empathetic listening when all you are doing is crisis management.
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:02 AM #25
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Default Re: Mean psychiatric nurses

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Originally Posted by romantic rose View Post
I don't think 'acting out' is the right phrase, as if we accept we are unwell and have an illness how our symptoms present themselves is not a choice, it's not 'bad behaviour', certainly not any more than any 'bad behaviour' in the so called normal general population. Where I do agree is that when we are unwell our perception is sometimes confused, certainly mine was so am still not sure if my confidentiality was breached by staff or not, but I could 'hear' staff abusing me very clearly one way or another, when I was under section and seen as a danger to myself.

Nurses and all mh staff are just as subject to societal stigma as everyone else, and they can often interpret our actions as 'acting out', and 'bad behaviour'. I have heard some dreadful attitudes from nurses towards patients. Maybe they become jaded with the ins and out of their job, but I don't think the current system was built on an empathetic attitude towards those with mental illness, more that of contempt and fear. It is based on how much of a risk we are seen as to ourselves and others rather than how best to resolve our psychological trauma in order that we will be permanently helped and hopefully healed from it. The medical model of course is not based around cure, rather maintenance and management of symptoms, as cure would mean discontinuation of treatment (usually meds) and loss of profits to those who make money out of illness.
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Old 03-09-2019, 05:30 PM #26
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Default Re: Mean psychiatric nurses

I have to disagree about acting out behavior. I've seen some horrendous behavior by patients on psych units toward staff and its not ok. Physically attacking, getting in people's faces and screaming at them, pounding on nursing room glass and swearing, or threatening to kill their children when you don't get what you want fast enough are examples of bad behavior and not illness. I have been wildly manic but I never abused a staff member, assaulted someone, or threatened to kill their children. Be serious people, not all behavior is because of illness. That attitude is how stigma gets born.
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:49 AM #27
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Default Re: Mean psychiatric nurses

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Originally Posted by sheltiemom2007 View Post
I have to disagree about acting out behavior. I've seen some horrendous behavior by patients on psych units toward staff and its not ok. Physically attacking, getting in people's faces and screaming at them, pounding on nursing room glass and swearing, or threatening to kill their children when you don't get what you want fast enough are examples of bad behavior and not illness. I have been wildly manic but I never abused a staff member, assaulted someone, or threatened to kill their children. Be serious people, not all behavior is because of illness. That attitude is how stigma gets born.
Good point Sheltiemom2007,

I have also heard and seen this kind of behavior and I truly empathize with the professionals when it happens. I think overtime, personal investment into a patient might be cause for injury when things like this happen. A nurse would be traumatized if they had their kids threatened. Perhaps this is why so many do not engage patients on a deep level.

When institutionalized, a lot of the time those who are in the hospital are dealing with a lot of stress, which makes them prone to outbursts when they are treated poorly by hospital staff.

I think the point people are trying to make is that they don't give hospital staff any reason to be rude and abusive towards them, yet they are. Whether it is empathy burnout, compassion fatigue, or just an abusive narcissistic nurse on a bad day, it is far too easy to abuse a patient without repurcussions.

I have been grossly mistreated even though I haven't done anything to deserve it. Some people are just abusive. The culture in healthcare unfortunately hasn't been the best when looked at under a microscope.

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Old 03-10-2019, 03:16 PM #28
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Default Re: Mean psychiatric nurses

I've never been in a hospital or ward with really violent patients, and I can understand why nurses would be gun shy if they had been threatened, etc.

I just think if someone is suicidal, they don't need a nurse being mean to them.
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Old 03-10-2019, 03:36 PM #29
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Default Re: Mean psychiatric nurses

My only expectation for any nurse, psych or oncology, is that they act professionally and meet my medical or psychiatric needs appropriately. I try to give them each respect at all times and I keep my demands to what I absolutely need. On the psych unit I'd leave it up to the staff to know the difference between true illness and bad behavior in individual patients. Illness needs to be treated. Bad behavior should be addressed and stopped. I think psych patients have a heightened need for empathy and compassion. It's the nature of our suffering. We have to accept though that this need cannot always be met on a unit of 40 other people with the same needs.

I think a solution to this gap in empathy is to have inpatient individual therapy. This gives we patients one person we can feel really hears us and can report our needs back to staff and our psychiatrists. I know it's an expense for some facilities, but individual therapy sessions during the week could go a long way toward reducing the tension between needful patients and overworked staff.
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:36 PM #30
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Default Re: Mean psychiatric nurses

the extra therapy would be nice if it could be afforded...so many areas already face limits due to no beds available or a long wait.

again the behavior I believe some psych patients present with while in the hospital is just awful. just because you are hospitalized doesn't give you the right to act out. yes at times some folks do because of their illness, b ut not all. some feel if they act "crazy" they will get more food, attention, freedom" etc., acting out helps no one. staff are tied up dealing with those folks and their bs needs and then not being able to treat those with real ones.

do nurses get frustrated? ya think??? if I had someone who was just bored banging on a window screaming at me to tell me they are bored for hours...do you think that might effect my disposition?
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