Nurses have some of the most demanding jobs in society. Taking care of sick and injured patients can be emotionally and physically draining. Nurses work around the clock and ensure that they are taken care of in every way possible.

If the responsibilities weren’t complicated enough, dealing with rude/ hostile patients can make the job even more difficult. However, perhaps the most challenging clients to deal with are those who have mental health issues. With reality, impairments, general psychological issues disrupting behavior, you can imagine how difficult it is for nurses to deal with these individuals.

This article will talk about some of the common challenges that they face. It’s essential to raise awareness of the issues that they go through.

Staying calm when dealing with cranky patients

Nurses are human beings as well and feel the same emotions that we do. If someone irritates them and is rude to them, they will get angry but swallow their feelings. As we know, nurses remain relatively calm even when dealing with the most challenging clients. They are taught to empathize with the client and stay as patient as possible.

Some nurses can’t deal with these issues and move into administrative roles. With remote education becoming the new normal, it’s not uncommon to hear about nurses jumping ship and advancing their education with an mhl degree online. A Masters in Healthcare Leadership can help them broaden their horizons and change their field within the medical health industry.

The struggle to remain calm can be arduous for some nurses who opt out because they can’t handle it. There’s nothing wrong with that, they shouldn’t be judged for it, and it’s certainly better than snapping back at the patients.

Dealing with realty impairments

Dealing with psychotic/ schizophrenic patients can be and a challenging task to tread. Convincing the patient that their delusions and hallucinations aren’t real is challenging to say the least, and can be highly stressful for nurses.

The reality impairments for these patients can seem so real that they could convince themselves that what they are thinking is correct. Positive psychological symptoms can give nurses a tough time, like dealing with elderly patients with dementia/ delirium.

The patients would argue, lash out and act according to their delusions, sometimes injuring the nurses in the process. This results in nurses always having to think on their feet which leads to them becoming mentally exhausted.

Physical violence

As we just mentioned, some clients could physically assault the nurses because they aren’t in sound mental states. It usually takes two or three nurses to subdue a violent patient; you can imagine how hard it would be if it were a sole nurse left to a patient.

It’s not uncommon to hear about nurses being bruised, scratched, and even broken limbs because of mentally unsound patients. When a patient lashes out, they don’t think about who they are hurting; they go on a rampage where anyone in their path can and will get hurt if they don’t handle the situation fast.

This often leads to the patient being subdued or sedated. It doesn’t change that the nurse is still hurt and may have lifelong injuries in some cases. Sure, nurses know what they’re getting themselves into, but it doesn’t take away from how complex the job is.

Lack of resources

Budget cuts in various countries are making things extremely difficult for medical health workers. With COVID-19 still a real issue, most resources are siphoned in that direction while other branches of medicine may not be getting the same attention.

Especially areas like psychiatry which is naturally somewhat looked past when budgets are set. Inadequate access to resources is a genuine issue that plagues nurses in the industry. Underpaid staff, outdated technology, and lack of funding for the entire department can impede the rehabilitation process and make things extremely difficult for nurses.

In addition, budget issues and lack of resources can irritate all medical health workers. Besides not getting paid enough, it can be stressful to work in an environment with outdated technology makes a difficult job even harder.


This article has looked at several challenges that mental health nurses face in recent times. We have talked about several genuine issues which plague nurses every day. From hostile patients to lack of resources, we have been over several challenges that the public needs to be aware of.

We sometimes take nurses for granted and don’t give them the credit that they deserve. Mental health/ psychiatric nurses have some of the most demanding jobs you can imagine and certainly need to be given the credit where it’s due.