The primary roles of a mental health nurse is a combination of three very important areas of mental care?providing mental health care, managing coexisting physical conditions and also providing differential diagnosis and assessments of drugs that are needed to treat the illness. Most mental health nurses work in psychiatric settings; however, some mental health nurses are also providing mental health interventions in primary care situations.
Mental health nurses work with adults, children, the elderly?all who suffer from various and sundry mental health conditions. Basically this kind of work involves helping people to overcome their mental health problems or teaching them how to resolve some of these issues so that they can lead productive and enjoyable lives. Mental health nurses work with psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, GPs and other health professionals so that they can carry out a patient-centered healing approach.
The mental health nurse often works with patients in community health care centers, at hospitals with outpatients, a secure residential unit or helping patients in their own home. In addition, mental health nurses also help in assessing and talking with patients about their problems and working with them on how best they can be treated. The mental nurse also works in building relationships with the patient so that trust can be established one-on-one and at the same time understanding the patient’s needs and concerns.
Other work activities that belong to a mental nurse are making sure that the right amount of medication is given?especially injections and to monitor how the medication and treatments are going. Also, responding to patients that are distressed in a caring and non-threatening manner and working with the patient in finding out what is causing the distress. In addition, the mental nurse also prepares and maintains a patient?s records, works with the patient?s family and other caregivers- in educating them on the patient?s mental health problems. The mental health nurse also works in the community by attending meetings–meetings that help when reviewing and monitoring a patient?s care plans.
A psychiatric mental health nurse can make from $25,000-$47,000; however, the salary amount depends on what state he or she works in. To be employed as a psychiatric mental health nurse, you need to have a BSN, AD or diploma. An advanced PMH nurse usually has a masters or doctoral degree, is ANCC certified and has an advanced practice license from the state where he or she is practices as a mental health nurse.