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Psychiatric Unit Nurse Job Description
Psychiatric unit nurses are registered nurses (RNs) who specialize in the institutional care of patients with mental disorders. They work in psychiatric care units at large hospitals and medical centers, usually with patients who are staying in the unit for short term-evaluation or intensive treatment before being returned to their homes for long-term care. They share the same occupational focus and duties as other RN but their work with patients with various mental and behavioral conditions requires them to place focus on patient interaction, as their companionship with their patients is in many ways their primary mode of practice.
Psychiatric Unit Nurse Duties
Psychiatric unit nurses are usually assigned a caseload of patients and provide direct care to their patients, which includes facilitating social and emotional needs, supervising medication schedules and evaluating patient progress. These nurses may also collaborate with a variety of interdisciplinary professionals to determine and provide the best possible care for their patients. Educating the patients' family about them the conditions and how to create a supportive environment for the patients to return to for long-term care and recovery are also common duties.
As many patients are hospitalized because they are a danger to themselves and others, nurses are responsible for maintaining a safe environment through the use of monitoring devices and restraining techniques where deemed necessary. Psychiatric unit nurses provide social support for patients by creating and encouraging patients to take advantage of opportunities such as support groups, social activities and other therapeutic measures, as well as participating with patients where appropriate