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Psychiatric nurses may work in the hospital on the psych units or in community health clinics. The psych unit is a closed unit with visitors and other staff buzzed in. When a patient is admitted to the psychiatric unit, the nurse must inventory all their belongings, and remove anything sharp or anything that can be used as a weapon. Ties to hoodies belts, pens and pencils, and home medications are confiscated and returned when the patient leaves the unit. Patients may be placed on suicide precautions or on "lock down" if they are a danger to themselves or staff. Nurses in this area of nursing have a great deal of interaction with their patients and may have a greater level of autonomy in their nursing practice. Nurses are frequently running therapy groups which include open group, art and family counseling sessions. Patients may earn "privileges" for good behavior and may be permitted outings with family members, telephone use or smoking privileges.

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