Psychiatric Nurses

Psychiatric mental health nurses provide care to individuals who have acute and chronic mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, depression, dementia or psychoses. They may also work with patients who are victims of physical or sexual abuse, as well as those with behavioral issues, such as substance abuse or eating disorders. 

Psychiatric nurses assess the mental health needs of patients under their care. They work with other staff, such as social workers, counselors, doctors and therapists, to determine a diagnosis, develop a plan of care, and educate both patients and families on behaviors related to mental disorders. Along with standard nursing duties like drawing blood and administering medications, a mental health nurse must watch patients closely to note any behavioral changes. This is especially important in assessing the side effects, successes or failures of a new medication. In some instances, nurse may also be needed to help calm patients or conduct group therapies.