I work in a central hospital in child psychiatry department. As a nurse I perform psychiatric care work.
Nurse’s work in our department is three-shift work, so there might be work shifts in the morning, in the evening on during the night. Weekends are free. During the work day you spend time with children and follow the child’s mental condition and symptoms. This happens while doing every-day things, such as during studying, playing, gaming and eating. That is to say, nurse is always genuinely present in the psychiatric department.
Our department also supports the whole family, so usually the children have one parent with them in the hospital. We support the interaction between the child and the parent and strengthen the feeling of parenthood of the parent. We are also responsible for implementation of the medical care prescribed by the doctor. The work also includes logging entries on computer and oral reporting. In nurse’s profession, multiprofessionalism is also being emphasized. This shows as department’s teams and rotations, in which the deparment’s doctor, psychologist, occupational therapist, social worker and hospital school’s teacher participate. In general, the work of psychiatric nurse is team work. Analyzing problems together with colleagues is an important skill in the profession.
Already in the beginning of nursing studies, I felt that psychiatric care work is for me. My dream was also being able to work with children. In psychiatric department, work is strongly teamwork. However, in nurse’s profession you have many possibilities, depending on what your workplace offers. Some nurses work in somatic side, for example in operating room, you can work either in private or public sector, some have their working hours only during office hours, and a nurse can even found an own company. Possibilities for further education are also broad, and workplaces often support and offer further education opportunities.
Considering how demanding nurse’s job is and the responsibilities it includes, nurse’s salary is low in Finland, especially on public side. Without the extras, the base salary is bad. Work is occasionally mentally tough, and in the worst case scenario it can affect your psyche and energy.
Some of the nurse’s skills can’t be learned, but they are innate traits. Nurse’s job is a vocation. However, emphasis on different skills and traits greatly depends on the workplace. Studies in polytechnic give a great foundation, but the work itself is the best teacher.