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´╗┐Mental Health Nursing and How to Become a Mental Health Nurse

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Mental health nursing, also known as psychiatric nursing, is a branch of nursing that deals with the care of patients that are suffering from different mental illnesses or mental ailments. The responsibilities of nurses who practice mental health nursing require them to undergo additional training to cover the different aspects of psychiatric care. They have to undergo studies that pertain to psychiatric medication, psychological therapies and other mental health nursing knowledge requirements.

In the US, the practice of mental health nursing is actually divided into three areas. There are designations assigned to these mental health nursing practitioners, namely the licensed vocational nurse, also called the licensed practical nurse, the licensed psychiatric technician and the registered psychiatric nurse. Just like in regular nursing, mental health nursing also has certain rules regarding the limits that these nurses have in terms of duties.

The licensed practical nurses in mental health nursing basically have the same responsibilities that their regular nursing counterparts have, which is limited to the dispensing of medication and the assisting of the registered psychiatric nurses and the physicians who are attending to these patients. The same goes for the licensed psychiatric technician who also assists in the gathering of information on the psychiatric patients that they handle. A registered psychiatric nurse is often given more responsibilities than the practical nurse due to the longer period of time needed to become a nurse and the more extensive study they had to go through to get their Registered Nurse designation.

When a person wishes to enter the world of mental health nursing, they may do so by studying to become a licensed practical nurse. They can do this by training for a year or two in the aspects that cover nursing, like anatomy, patient care, pharmacology and physiology. Before they do undergo practical nursing training, they have to be at least a high school graduate to qualify. The national boards are then taken and must be passed before they can get the license to practice.

Mental health nursing is an area of nursing that requires utmost patience and understanding. The people who practice it or want to practice it should also possess superior interpersonal skills as well as the ability to create bonds with their patients to further help them with their mental health issues, also called therapeutic relationships. If a person does not possess any of these unique personality traits that should be part of a psychiatric nurse's package, it would be pretty difficult for them to adjust to the challenges that mental health nursing will bring.



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