The People Who Work On The Psych Ward
The People Who Work On The Psych Ward
I guess it is only fair to continue the psych ward series by talking about the people who work on the psych ward to give you a fair idea of the environment of the psych ward or mental hospital. Of course this is from my experience during the many months I have occupied a bed on a psych floor or in a mental hospital. Needless to say your experience may differ
Now lets make this clear nurses run the psych ward whether they are in a stand alone mental hospital or your local hospital. Doctors may show up for an hour a day and pretend that they rule the roost but who are we kidding here. Nurses will go a long way in determining when you are deemed sane and released back into the world. Of course as with any profession you are going to have top notch medical professionals and people who received their license at the bottom of a Cracker Jack Box. During my stays I have come across a lot of nurses so I am just going to generalize a few of them in order to give you a fair view.
A) The Stern Nurse – Remember Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest who was all business well they do exist outside of the movie theater. This type of Nurse is completely by the book and every question you ask will result in her or him giving you the standard answer. This sub type of nurse will be the first to tell you get out of bed and follow the program of the floor. If you attempt to stay in bed or not follow the program out comes the threats. From telling you that your release will be farther off or in my case be threatened to be moved to a closed floor.
B) The Friendly Nurse – Thankfully I have run across a number of these and they out number the stern nurse by a good percentage in my experiences. The friendly nurse will never be in a hurry and will treat people like people and not like a basket case. This type of nurse will take the time to help you figure out your situation and actually explain the mumbo jumbo that the doctor is spewing at you.
C) Student Nurses – Now this category depends whether on what year they are currently in. If you run across a brand new student nurse they tend to believe the garbage that the psychology books are teaching them. They have not quite figured out that what a book says about treating someone with depression does not really apply when the person is also dealing with other concurrent disorders such as anxiety, PTSD and what have you. Student nurses learn with experience that it is not that easy. What I have found about student nurses is they tend to be rather rigid and are worried about making a mistake especially if they are paired up with a before mentioned Stern Nurse
D) Casper Nurse – This is a class of nurse who you will see when it is time to dole out the medications but good luck finding him or her at any other time as they seemed to have made a career out of disappearing. Whether it is hiding out in the nursing station or leaving the floor for long periods at a time. If you run into a crisis chances are you will have to find another nurse if the one assigned to you is a Casper nurse
Now if you have watched as many movies and television programs like I have regarding mental hospitals and psych wards you would think doctors would be constantly around. Giving their patients advice that will change their lives forever and put them on the path to sanity? Uh no. I saw my doctor Monday to Friday for five minutes at a time. He asked three questions each time (A) How are you feeling (B) Any problems with the medication (C) Is there anything that you want to tell me. That was is it. The doctor spends more time flirting with the nurses then actually dealing with their patients. Depending on the type of facility that you are in ninety percent of your treatment is going to be medication and that is the only thing your doctor is good for.
In the stand alone mental hospital where I spent a few months there was a therapist who I would see a few times per week. She was and still is the best therapist I have ever dealt with. However she was the only therapist for four floors of patients so needless to say she was constantly busy and overworked.
Now on the psych wards I saw a hospital therapist once or twice who dealt with loss issues and that was pretty much it. She was a nice lady but not really helpful overall.
Most private facilities, I don’t have the money for that, have therapists and apparently it is a big part of their treatment plan. Guess you get what you pay for
Now these are the people who run the groups and a variety of programs ie arts and crafts. The ones I have dealt with tend to be upbeat for the most part and are always trying to get the patients to engage in their programs. I don’t do groups and the stuff they teach in groups is stuff I use to teach to my boys at work. My doctor was alright with me avoiding the group setting so I would basically do my own thing and answer the phone while the others participated in the groups. The one mandatory group I had to attend was the Thursday night home visit group where basically everyone who was being signed out for the weekend had to tell the group of what they hoped to accomplish on their home visit
The psych ward in the local hospital had a security guard on duty Monday to Friday and basically they sat on their butts throughout their shifts. If a patient had a freak out that the nurses could not handle they would then get involved. In my two months on this psych floor I saw this happen once. The patient was restrained physically until the nurse was able to get a doctor from the emergency room downstairs to administer a shot which is referred to on the ward as a chemical straitjacket
Well there you have the people who work on psych wards. Obviously there are other characters such as the cleaning staff and those who serve up the meals. I have a few stories I may cover in the coming days regarding really bad incidents that involved nurses but you will have to wait to read those