Registered Psychiatric Nurses are passionate advocates for the patients and families they care for

I am a Registered Psychiatric Nurse at Pioneer Village in Regina. One of the most important parts of being a Registered Psychiatric Nurse is advocating for the residents. You must have a real passion for what you are doing and an understanding of what their needs are and then you have to advocate for them and even for their families throughout the community - that's often what they need the most – advocacy.

It doesn't matter what part of the community they're in; whether they're in the mental health care community; in the psychiatric hospital or in long-term care. You need to advocate for them. Let them know that you're out there, backing them. They're not alone. You'll support them.  When you know someone is out their fighting for you, when you know that you've got people who will support you and back you, it's amazing how far you can fly. The best or bravest Registered Psychiatric Nurse is somebody who knows how to advocate, who will go the distance so that their patients know that they've got the support.

As a Registered Psychiatric Nurse I understand the need for a holistic approach to care. You get to know the whole person, every aspect of them - the spiritual, physical, intellectual, their family and their supports. That’s why I went into psychiatric nursing - you actually get to know the people you are caring for.  You deal with their physical needs and make sure there’s nothing physically causing issues. You look at the social aspects of what’s happening in their life - What is their school or family life like? Do they have family and community supports?  And then you look at their medication needs – many different mental illnesses may need medication as well.  You get to know an individual as a whole person and not just as a diagnosis and that’s what I enjoy most.

Susan Larson, RPN