Despite the advancements in medical skills and technology, the society somehow remains unsuccessful in battling against the stigma that revolves around mental health. A majority of patients with mental illness still suffer from disgrace while mental health institutions remain distant and impenetrable for most. So instead of continually developing potential cures and other possible solutions, the field of medicine gets obstructed by the mental health myths and misconceptions that are yet to be resolved.
One sector that is significantly affected by these issues includes the mental health nurses. Basically, they are part of medical teams in charge of handling and treating mentally ill individuals. Their complex and demanding job requires them to establish therapeutic relations with patients and their respective families, and this role does not end in merely administering drugs and in attending to the sick. Beyond all those technical functions, they are expected to show genuine concern and empathy to their patients for the possibility of faster and easier recovery.
However, as mentioned, realizing this role becomes a struggle because of the stigma attached to mental illnesses. On top of that is the misconstrued belief that mentally-challenged individuals are all violent, thus making this profession dangerous for medical practitioners. Moreover, there are other worries that eventually turned into barriers against mental health nurses’ progress.
Fears and Barriers
Apart from the issues on violence and discrimination, mental health nurses also struggle against the unique and complicated cases of their patients. It is inevitable to develop uncertainties as to how they can appropriately treat mentally ill individuals. Unlike in dealing with other physical impairments and diseases, there is no exact drug dosage and standard treatment process for different types of mental problems. A slight difference in the amount of drugs to be administered may trigger unwanted effects and worsen the patients’ conditions; furthermore, reactions coming from different patients may vary depending on other factors.
In addition to all that, there is a pressure of providing utmost care and assistance despite restrictions and uncertainties. Most mental health nurses may feel compelled to establish close relations with their patients since they know that sympathy is one of the elements needed in treating individuals with mental health problems. However, they are actually expected to observe certain limits so as not to trigger emotions and false impressions that can affect their patients’ conditions.
Awareness and Success
The first cure to this mental health stigma is awareness. Registered nurses ought to be educated and trained as to the true nature of this medical field, as well as to the gravity of their functions as caregivers. Through that, they can appreciate the role they need to play and be more confident in giving the required medicines and treatment procedures. Of course, this will also educate them about the other core elements of becoming mental health nurses. For instance, they will know how to provide the emotional support needed by their patients since empathy and genuine concern can be crucial cures to mental and psychological disorders.
To further encourage future mental health nurses about the upside of this profession, they should also be informed about the success that possibly awaits them. Apart from the invaluable rewards of the experience itself, trained and certified mental health nursing professionals can also benefit from the salary that ranges from $40,000 to $80,000 or Php 1,600,000 to Php 3,200,000 a year (innerbody.com.)
Even entry-level nurses can have this opportunity, but it is better if they will continuously educate themselves and acquire more advanced training in mental health. From degree-holder RNs, they can strive to become Certified Nurse Specialist in Psychiatric Mental Health (CNS-PMH), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), and Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN.)
In building their careers in the field of mental health, it is best to seek help from professional career consultants who can teach them on how to become marketable in hospitals and similar medical institutions. These advisers can also recommend the right career path for aspiring mental health nurses, thus allowing them to completely overcome the barriers of fears and uncertainties and reach their desired success.
Upon acquiring the necessary trainings and certifications, RNs can be more marketable in the medical field. It will be easier for them to find a slot in hospitals, schools, and research institutions where they can answer their real calling as mental healthcare professionals. The best partner in this type of mission includes employment institutions like Platinum Healthcare Staffing. This is a Joint Commission-Certified organization whose mission is to find the best opportunities for nurses and even allied health professionals who want to maximize their potentials in their chosen field of expertise. Furthermore, in this quest to find the most suitable working fields and employers for healthcare staff, Platinum is in the same way guiding hospitals and healthcare facilities in hiring only the most competent and well-trained medical professionals.
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