#Week2- All Nurses Are Psych Nurses…In One Way or Another.


In one way or another, we’ve all been there: 4 in the morning, holding up your friend’s hair because she had too much wine. Your week long ear binge of her talking about how life sucks and other mindless crap you could care less about, has summed up to a weekend of puking in the toilet. And there you are standing, saying to yourself, “this biddy.”

Once upon time, long before I moved to California, I went out celebrating with my good friends back East. Of course, we did the whole-nine yards. Shot after shot, pitcher after pitcher… and now that I look back at it, I’m starting to feel that maybe I was the only one drinking. In any case, that night I chipped the hell out of my upper set of teeth “because I fell on some black ice”. At least that’s what I told my mother. Luckily, I had some sensible friends. It could have been worse, I suppose. I’m surprised I didn’t have to get my stomach pumped that night.

There have been more and more Code Greens, in the hospital lately; whether it be in the ER, Med-Surg/Tele, ICU, Post-OP. And if you don’t know what a Code Green is (depending on your facility), it’s basically a kind of response system for psychiatric emergencies. Also, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Code Yellows (dangerous behavior, needing the police) commonly work hand in hand. Assembling like Power Rangers, you’ll have a few psych nurses and at least 1 police officer, for the price of one code call.

Many times when we arrive, however, we find the patient or family/friend angry, annoyed, irritable, crying, etc. We all stand there for like 10-15 minutes, listening to the patient complain about God knows what, rolling our eyes. And then, sooner than later, the code is called off. CUTE STUFF, you know?

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying calling a code through the intercom is a bad thing. No one should be scrutinized for that. It might have well escalated into something more serious and real. And these response systems are there to keep us all safe. I can even understand the perspective of Code Blue (cardiac arrest) responders. I’m sure they have all rolled their eyes more than once or twice.

Sometimes though, I just feel that as professionals we are all quick to pull the trigger, so to speak. Though, I reserve my judgement on those who think differently, because I understand that we all have different sense of in/securities. 

To make a point here, we all have that manipulative mother, the alcoholic uncle, the obsessive-compulsive-anxious friend. As a result, even for just a little, every nurse out there deep down inside can be a good psych nurse too. We all have been in certain situations and we’ve all managed to get through them. Just because someone is labeled as “crazy” or “out of the norm,” and that we’re supposedly professionals of some kind, doesn’t mean we should treat them any differently. In one way or another, we all go through the same bull crap. Most of us are just fortunate enough to be characterized on the “sensible” side of the spectrum. We’re all just fortunate enough to be “getting by.” I remember a psychiatrist once telling me… “Life is great. It’s supposed to be. It’s wonderful. We all should be happy to live, until the inevitability of our minds turning into something it’s not. We’re all in this business to only prolong the best of it.”

We can all empathize with any patient, psych or not, in one way or another. There’s no excuses.

In the NFL today, you see a more versatile age of quarterbacks. Those who can not only calculate a throw, but one who can also run the ball 100 yards if they have to. This is why being a well rounded nurse is great and marketable too. #educateyourselves #learneverything #dominatethefield. But in my opinion, from my previous experiences in community LPS-psych facilities compared to a larger hospital, even the freaking psych department is calling more and more Code Greens for cute stuff! To that regard, I am astonished to see unionized psych nurses complain about everything. If you want a real Code Green, go work in a community psych facility. There won’t be police on stand-by to help you. But, I’ll end my rant there, before I get caught up and worked up in another topic.



Author: nursesarereal

My nursing professor once said that keeping a journal, over time, will allow me to see growth. In myself? I’m not sure yet. I’m hoping. I like to believe that nursing school saved my life. Maybe I’ll have some fun doing this. Cheers.

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