Some nursing specialties can be more specialized than others. Nurses can be trained for more specific duties to ensure that patients will receive proper care for certain procedures. ECT nursing is one of the best examples of this as they are not just your regular psychiatric nurses.
What exactly are ECT nurses? Find out below.
What is an ECT Nurse?
ECT nurses are psychiatric nurses with special training in Electroconvulsive Therapy or ECT. This is a special procedure that involves sending electric currents through the brain to trigger a brief seizure. With the help of electrodes, the electric currents are passed through the brain. It can bring a change in the patient’s brain chemistry that can reverse the symptoms of some psychological illnesses.
This controlled procedure is noted for its immediate effects. Also known as shock therapy, it’s often used to treat major depression, mania, self-destructive behavior, and catatonia. It’s typically used in cases where no other treatments worked.
ECT sessions require a team of specialists to carry out the procedure properly. It’s composed of a psychiatrist, anesthesiologist, an ECT nurse, and staff nurses. The ECT nurse carries out specific tasks before, during, and after the procedure.
What They Do
Due to the nature of their specialty, ECT nurses have very specific tasks. As most of their work involves an actual procedure, they have distinct roles and assignments. They carry out key protocols before, during, and after the procedure in order to ensure the success of the therapy.
Their tasks often involve educating patients and their family members regarding the procedure and obtaining their consent. They also respond to the concerns and provide emotional support to the patient and their families.
ECT nurses also handle the preparations for the procedure. This includes taking the necessary steps to get the patient and suite ready for the session. They’re also present during the procedure to assist the specialists. They will continue to assist and monitor the patient after the procedure.
Where They Work
ECT nurses are typically hired by psychiatric hospitals and clinics. They can also work in acute care facilities and research laboratories.
How Much They Make
One of the most notable things about ECT nurses is that they tend to get paid handsomely. Their per hour rates are higher than other professionals but as some of them don’t work daily, their pay can vary greatly.
How to Become an ECT Nurse
To become an ECT nurse, you’ll need a nursing degree, license, and clinical experience in psychiatric nursing. Training and certification are also required to specialize in this area.
What Can You Expect in Being an ECT Nurse?
ECT nurses are some of the few specialty nurses that tend to have what could resemble a routine. Because patients need to have about six to fifteen ECT sessions, these medical professionals often see patients on a regular basis. Treatments are scheduled up to three times a week, so they can know what certain days have in store.
You can also expect more free time as an ECT nurse. Most facilities only conduct therapy sessions in the mornings a few times a week, so you won’t have to work all hours. This makes it an attractive setup for a lot of experienced nurses.
Nursing Organizations Associated with ECT Nursing
The organizations that bring ECT nurses together are the:
What other specialties can you pursue if you’re interested in ECT nursing? Here are a few:
- Psychiatric Nursing
- Substance Abuse Nursing
- Rehabilitation Nursing