About one year ago, I had a 5150 patient, who had slashed his neck and wrists. We had medically stabalized him, but were waiting for bed availability in a psychiatric facility so that we could transfer him. Through the day, the nurse aide would call me saying at times our patient would cry then fall asleep. This is an adult male crying.
We used the language line for interpretation and learned that the man had been in an abusive relationship, where he was the victim. The interpreter helped us to clarify meanings of words and phrases, and offer non-judgmental listening. The interpreter also helped us validate the patient's feelings of emotional pain and explain the purpose of going to a psychiatric unit: Meaning his heart and emotions were sick versus his "manhood". (it was the best I could do, and he got it.)
This patient had a bit of a religious background, so we asked this patient if he would like prayer and he said yes. Sooo, off I went and found his doctor, who said "let's do it". Within 15 minutes and the help of a few spanish speaking co-workers, we all--5-6 people--held hands and prayed with and for our patient. After the prayer everyone received a hug: doctor, patient, and co-worker.
I think the intervention helped the patient because the sitter said he didn't cry for the rest of the shift. He finally just slept, poor thing.
The gentlemen did end up going to the psychiatric unit for a little while, not long, I don't think. He later came with his wife and saw us. He looked better; but, I still wonder whatever happened to he and his family, as there are no quick fixes in healing from abuse.
In the end, we did the best that we could, in the time that we had, by all working together.