What Is A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
A psychiatric nurse practitioner is basically a registered nurse who has completed a Master’s Degree. To become a psychiatric nurse practitioner, they are also usually required to get an additional Master of Science Degree or its equivalent. They are also required to complete additional courses before they are allowed to prescribe medications to patients.
Before they become certified and licensed as a psychiatric nurse, they will also have to complete several weeks of certification training. This involves working under the supervision of another medical professional in a hospital or other medical facility. The nurse is also required to take an examination before they can become fully certified as a psychiatric nurse practitioner.
A psychiatric nurse practitioner works directly with patients that are suffering from mental disorders. They may work with individuals or families, providing professional counseling where needed, diagnosing conditions, drawing up and participating in patient treatment plans and if needed prescribing medications. To be able to prescribe medications in most states, a special license is required, which is obtained by taking an additional study course.
The job of a psychiatric nurse practitioner is a very busy one. They can work in many places. Some may even work at their own practice. Other places they may work include long-term care facilities, mental health and other government health agencies, and of course hospitals. In independent practice they may manage a short term facility, or else open their own office.
A psychiatric nurse practitioner may be called on to diagnose and treat a multitude of problems, including schizophrenia, depression, dementia and bipolar disorders. There are other disorders and problems that are often associated with psychiatric health such as bulimia, anxiety and panic disorders, and many others as well. There are a lot of things a nurse practitioner can do with their patients and their families during the course of a successful treatment plan.
Some of the things the nurse can do with the patient are, assessing the condition and needs of the patient, helping the patient understand and cope with what is happening to them, and assist them with basic activities such as taking care of themselves, and interacting in public. Some of the things a nurse might do with the family of the patient is, developing a nursing care plan that can be implemented at home, educating the family as to the needs and problems of the mental health patient, and teaching the family basic skills such as how to assist the patient through everyday tasks. The psychiatric nurse might also provide professional counseling as needed to both patients, and family members alike.
On an average a psychiatric nurse practitioner can make between $75,000 to $ 78000 a year. This number could go up or down depending on different factors like location, the training and experience that the practitioner already has, and others as well. This job is great for people who want to help others. Nothing can be more rewarding then seeing that look on a patient’s face, knowing that you helped put it there. The potential to change lives for the better can be very rewarding.
On the other hand it can also be a very demanding and emotionally charged job. There won’t be breakthroughs every day, the next day the practitioner might have to dodge chairs from an angry and frightened patient. The nurse never knows what to expect when they show up for work, they just show up.
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