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Nursing Careers - What Is Mental Health Nursing?

February 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 192

Mental health nursing is a field of nursing that delves into psychiatry, caring and assisting mentally challenged people. A mentally ill individual requires a lot of caring, empathy compassion and support in addition to administering treatment. Since mental patients are often stigmatized, supporting them and making them feel important restores normalcy the patient had before hisher illness. Common mental disorders include Alzheimer's, dementia, bipolar disorder and epilepsy. A complete list of mental ailments can be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

The stigma associated with mental health is gradually reducing thus there is an increase in the demand for mental health nurses and psychiatrists. A mental health career is satisfactory personally and financially it has its perks even though it is complex and demanding as it involves dealing with the human mind. Nurses specializing in this field have been quoted as earning over $80,000 dollars a year besides having same number of titles as a doctor.

Mental health nurses are required to have an impeccable knowledge of human behavior in order to be able to handle violent patients. They also need to have knowledge of the law as it will benefit them when dealing with police or other relevant authorities.

To become a mental health nurse one is required to possess communication and interaction skills such as listening, talking and writing in addition to knowing medicine and anatomy. One is required to also be empathetic and understanding because of the nature of patients being dealt with. Mental patients need help in doing ordinary tasks such as bathing, grooming or engaging in leisure activities. They need to express their thoughts like everyone else so a nurse should be prepared to listen to them without being judgmental. The nurse should also be prepared to support the patients through therapy in order to ensure their recovery. Thus one should carefully consider why he/she should become a mental health nurse and not do it just because of the money.

The career path to becoming a mental health nurse requires four years degree training course and to be a registered nurse. The syllabus includes biology, nursing theory, stigma, discrimination, law and policy, psychotherapy, developmental psychology, team- working and care management. After that, you need a master's degree in order to become anAdvanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) assess clients, create healthcare plans and ensure all the patients' needs are catered. They also meet with the patient's family and assist in communication between all parties and the doctor in charge. In addition, they can arrange for counseling sessions and run group therapy sessions.

A PMHNP is concerned about improving the patient's physical health besides bettering a patient's mental health. A PMHNP also needs to know substance abuse counseling because many patients try to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

A Registered Nurse with experience in mental health nursing can sit for the certified Nurse Specialist in Psychiatric Mental Health (CNS-PMH) exam. This certification can help one in getting a pay increase. There are also some mental health nursing programs available online.

Search for accelerated nursing programs and 2nd degree nursing programs right now in our full directory of accelerated nursing programs in the United States at our online accelerated nursing guide by following the highlighted links in this paragraph.

Accelerated Nursing Guide was created specifically to present you with extensive nursing career and employment data along with looking at all the accelerated nursing education and training options available. The information includes occupation descriptions, salaries, the types of work opportunities available, specifics of nurses working conditions, job satisfaction, benefits of the profession plus points detailing the quickest way to become a registered nurse. The information also includes a complete directory and contact details of schools offering accelerated nursing programs in America, along with their course structure and curriculum details.

If you are exploring your career and training options and are contemplating a career in nursing, Accelerated Nursing Guide is well worth taking a look at.

Source: EzineArticles
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