The majority of people think physical health matters the most. Nobody can deny this fact, but mental health is equally important as physical health. Whether a person is dealing with anxiety, depression, or stress, one should accept mental health issues. Mental illnesses have been surfacing around lately, especially after the outbreak of COVID-19. People who were once mentally fit and healthy started feeling depressed during the global pandemic. It raised a significant concern; to spread more awareness about mental health issues.
The healthcare sector specializes in mental wellbeing, just like it does in physical wellbeing. There are mental health nurses to assist people in need and treat their mental health issues. Such nurses are known as RMNs or Registered Mental Health Nurses, as well as Psychiatric Nurses.
This profession is highly demanding, and the percentage increased after COVID-19 because more people called out for help. While considering the current scenario, online healthcare sites provide telehealth (remote) services to mentally sick patients.
Whoever needs mental healthcare can reach out to a mental health nurse at any time. They cater to depression, alcohol or drug addiction, acute grief, psychoses, and personality disorders. Mental health nurses not only develop therapeutic relationships with patients but support their families too.
Now that you know the need for a psychiatric nurse, let’s look at five more things to know about this profession.
- Their jobs are different from psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers:
It is essential to know the difference between a psychiatric mental health nurse and other mental health experts.
- Psychiatrists: They are the healthcare physicians who prescribe medicines to patients. Psychiatrists treat mental health issues and mood disorders with the ability to practice psychotherapy. They are well-trained as medical doctors. Therefore, they can diagnose different medical conditions of the patients. If you follow this career path already, you can advance your education credentials by acquiring a post master’s certificate psychiatric nurse practitioner online. This certification will boost your degree and help in scoring a better nursing job.
- Psychologists: Psychologists are qualified PhDs who cannot prescribe any drugs to patients but can perform psychological therapies.
- Psychiatric mental health nurses: As mentioned above, they are the licensed nurses specializing in psychiatry. They can examine, educate, assess, and support mental health patients, but cannot provide counseling.
- Mental health nursing requires impeccable communication skills:
Most people suffering from mental health issues get treated in informal settings instead of hospitals. However, mental health nurses are necessary for both settings. They are typically associated with healthcare teams that comprise social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, healthcare assistants, and occupational therapists.
That is why nursing in this challenging environment calls for impeccable communication skills. From listening to the patients’ concerns to performing critical operations with doctors, they are the crucial component everywhere. Without effectively communicating, their job will become ten times difficult. Therefore, they are well-trained to comprehend issues and convey the right message across different channels. Using the right tone of voice and body language while talking to the patients, nurses have to manage everything.
- You need professional nursing experience to get certified in psychiatric nursing:
Certification in psychiatric nursing is required to become a qualified mental health nurse. Moreover, a psychiatric nurse needs an active, current nursing license to score the job. From being a nurse practitioner for two years minimum to investing 2,000 hours in practicing clinical nursing, everything is mandatory. Apart from that, qualifying for a psychiatric nursing job calls for having adequate knowledge about the mental health environment is also essential. To make that happen, you have to finish 30 hours of education over three years or less. Yes, it may sound a lot, but this job is not everyone’s cup of tea. Only dedicated and professional individuals can take up this job offer.
- Mental health nursing is a well-paid job:
This job is now in demand more than ever, which means that the healthcare sector needs the assistance of mental health nurses. A mental health nurse earns relatively more than a general nurse practitioner. The main reason for getting paid more is the complexity of this job. Neither everyone can qualify for this job, nor can they keep up with it. As told by Payscale, the average hourly pay of a mental health nurse in the U.S. is about $32.05. Annually, this pay ranges from around $52,000 to $90,000, which is good enough for qualified nurses.
- The experience is worthwhile:
Nowadays, mental health illnesses are rising, and many people need help around the globe. Mental health nurses are there for such people who are dealing with serious issues. People’s lives can become better with the professional support and understanding of mental health nurses. This job leaves a lasting impact, something that changes your perspective about life and provides you knowledge.
The Bottom Line:
Due to the high demand and requirement of advanced qualifications, this job is only for the tough souls. However, there is enough room for improvement, with constant growth and learning. So if you are preparing to become a mental health nurse, do your best at it. Later, you will enjoy this career pathway and stay grateful for choosing it.