I interviewed recently for a psych nurse position at a high acuity mental hospital in my area. I know from my experiences what I wish would have been different in my care but I want to hear from others too so that I can work on giving my patients the best experience possible. (I donno if I got the job or not yet I just want to be prepared). It could be what you wish was different about your hospitalization experience or just with your mental health treatment in general.
I can’t think of anything, my 8 month stay in the hospital went perfectly.
I feel like for most of my time in treatment I was not asked the right diagnostic questions by my psychiatrists. Specifically about delusions. I could be believing some ridiculous things, but if I was mainly being asked if I was hearing voices or if I thought things in my environment were sending messages to me, etc., and I wasn’t, then it would look like I’m fine on the medicine I was on unless I had my own insight and brought up my actual delusions myself.
Maybe what made it worse is that I was never one to just want to go out of my way to talk about what I believed if I thought it would be perceived as crazy, until I started thinking that the belief was a problem.
I was the same way i knew what beliefs and experiences of mine sounded “crazy” and was extremely hesitant to bring them up for a long time, so I was not diagnosed with a psychotic disorder for quite a while
What kinds of questions do you think they should have asked?
Maybe something like, “do you believe anything that others would most likely not believe?” Then I would have had tons to say.
Mmm yeah that’s a good one. I think that would have got me as well.
Explanation and education about one’s diagnosis is pretty crucial for a first-time visit. During my first stay in the hospital, the staff was very vague about what was going on.
After-care is also super important. When I left the hospital, I ran rampant and ditched the meds within like two weeks.
If there had been a partial program for discharged patients educating them on their illness, coping skills, and the importance of medication, things might have been different.
Idk what you could do differently in a hospital because I’ve never been but I can tell you the best things that was said to me early on. My therapist said, “I can’t say for certain that you’re not talking to aliens. You could be but it seems unlikely to me.” Then he went into dealing with getting me healthy and if I still talked to them healthy they were real.
It made me feel accepted and I think it lowered my defenses over meds and what not. It still makes me feel loved thinking about it now.
Some sort of communication with the observers who report back to their psychiatric overlords in the ward round meeting once a week would be nice.
It felt like I was being left to rot, bored out of my mind. The healthcare assistants seemed dis-interested in the patients and just talked and joked amongst themselves.
Everything seemed so detached from the diagnosticians and the doctors who were making treatment decisions based on just observation of idiots and history that may no longer be relevant, rather than actually walking in the ward and engaging people.
1 out of my 10 or so admissions was great, as I connected with other patients, so the lack of staff engagement didn’t matter so much as I felt part of the community of patients and was included with no judgement.
The other 9 times this did not happen. I felt just as isolated alone in my home in a ward. It was painful. The environment was horrible and even one time I was exposed to someone doing cocaine and offering it to me. I was vulnerable, especially due to my history of taking drugs (I have been clean for a long time now)
I know these people work 12 hour shifts, which must be exhausting, but what are they actually doing if they’re not caring for their patients?
It seems to be to me a prison for people who’re uncontrollable and need medicating until they become functional enough to get rid of them in the community and get them swept under the carpet.
Community isn’t much better either. My CPN at the moment for example said on the phone to me, “How’re you feeling”, and didn’t let me get a word in edgewise and proceeded to say “Yes you’re doing fine”. He just talks and completely ignores me, and I hate dealing with him.
Sorry for the rant. This I find hard to accept
Absolutely meds for negative symptoms or meds that don’t cause negative symptoms.
some of my pdocs over the years have been atrocious…i personally have a preference for psych nurses over pdocs…pdocs seem to value their time too much and you feel unheard but whenever im in hospital the psych nurses always give me enough time
so anna i think giving enoug time to your patient is important.
I’d have liked mental health professionals capable of looking past the mental illness as an explanation for everything.
What do you mean? Without mental illness we wouldn’t be in this situation…
I’m no dismissing the mental illness . I am however saying that there can be more going on than that mental illness .To not acknowledge that, and attribute everything to the mental illness, results in inadequate and poor treatment.
The lack of care forced me to take things into my own hands. This helped me in the long run, made me more reslient and self-sufficient.
My first year of psychosis was handled really poorly. I was 16 and saw a psychiatrist until I was diagnosed and put on meds, and that was essentially the end of my treatment with them. Of course they checked up on me periodically. But they said “think about doing volunteering, and make a timetable for your week” and that was all the help they gave me with finding my feet. I felt so low and hopeless, and I had no one to actually talk to about my emotions with and I didnt really know much about the illness itself.
They did give me a child/adolescence MH staff at one point, but he just kind of talked at me about things, and when he did ask me about my mental health, he seemed confused that I wasn’t hearing voices and disbelieved me. I remember him saying “why are you taking these medications if you aren’t hearing voices then?” and I found it really hard to find the words to explain to him, because essentially I hadn’t really been given enough information on the illness.
Years later I also saw an OT that I really didn’t like, and I really should have requested someone else because she got quite passive aggressive with me at points and I regret not saying something.
I wished they listened, instead of trying to fix the problem so much, hear people out sometimes? Ya know
Yeah, they really should. I think treatment is very flawed. Its never all just chemical imbalance. There are many factors to good mental health that arent being addresses often.
I didn’t like the hospitalizations.
What didn’t you like about them? Or did you just not like being kept somewhere against your will?