Misadventure in the Psychiatric Disease Department

by gingerbreadman0214 | 4,913 Views | 14 Comments

  1. 7
    Warning: Contains events not suitable for those with a brainstem vomition center that’s easily excitable (whatever).

    Misadventure in the Psychiatric Disease Department. Being the neophyte, I really have to expect having to be the one who’d do the most odd of jobs. First day training in the psych ward, I found myself in the institution’s lab in charge of receiving the specimens and recording them in a logbook. Yup…I got to be the lucky one to have the opportunity to appreciate first (sic) someone else’s produce.



    Thoughts kept swirling in my mind: why did I pick psych next?… why did the med tech staff have to be on skeleton duty that day?…and WHY was there a lot of stool specimens coming on my shift? I would’ve wanted to put an advisory requesting that all please hold the urge to respond to the call of nature until the next shift… but that would be cruel. Or maybe make the requests for fecalysis stop… (not gonna happen). With every glance and accidental whiff, it was beginning to really feel like the psych ward to me…I was getting loco.

    That was not my idea of an adventure.

    Then in came this patient from the outpatient department with beady sweat trickling down on his forehead. He had a plastic bag with a jar in it. It felt warm.

    “Here you go.”, he said with a sigh of relief. “That’s everything, I guess.”, he added.
    Yep, you guessed it…it was a monster dump.

    A lot of effort must’ve been put to come up with this. “Sir, we only need just a very small amount of this.” I said. “But, thanks anyway for the effort. We’ll have enough to last us a year.” I jokingly added.

    “You can count on me.”, he happily added.

    I quickly followed with a nervous laugh, “The last part was just a joke.”

    Whew...

    That was a case of bad health teaching. He should’ve been instructed properly. Good thing he didn’t mix the midstream catch in there in the hope of easing its storage on our part. How considerate…yeah, right.

    The next day, it wasn’t necessary for me to stay in the lab because the med tech staff was then in full force. Alleluia. So I up and went for my first patient.

    For my first assignment, I was told to get my patient’s history and do physical examination. It was time for their scheduled activity and socialization so I found my patient in the middle of the quadrangle. He was a big guy. I noticed that he was sort of agitated and kept on pointing to imaginary people while cursing.

    I realized that I didn’t check his file first to learn what his tendencies were and what he was capable of doing in the psychological state that he was in. So I decided not to bring my things instead, especially my pen because he might get it and use it to harm anybody including himself, and of course, poor helpless me.

    I approached him and it didn’t take long for him to notice me. He turned to me and started charging like a bull. I was frozen in fear and almost wet my pants, when he suddenly stopped, looked me in the eye and said, “Are you brave enough to take me on, huh?”

    With a nervous voice, I answered, “M-m-maybe…?”

    “Good, very good.”, he said. “Now there are two of us who have the guts. Let’s go together and look for others.”
    :selfbonk:

    Morale: always be prepared for anything. Check the patient’s chart first, especially with psych patients. As for my patient, we became budz. But I still observe a certain degree of caution, can’t be too careful.

    A little more time spent in that department and I can say I’ve found the place where I can be myself.

    - Finding humor in everything that happens in my life makes the hardships easier for me to deal with.-
    Last edit by Joe V on Oct 15, '08 : Reason: formatting; smilies
    cleo2uluv, Psychtrish39, jsamples, and 4 others like this.
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    About gingerbreadman0214

    37 Years Old; Joined Aug '08; Posts: 67; Likes: 32.

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    14 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Thank you for sharing, your story made me laugh. Your job sounds verrrry interesting, but not for me.
  4. 0
    Not somebody you'd want to trade places with, eh? I had the chance to experience a part of what a medical technologist does and it's interesting...for a while. But it's definitely "funny story" material. I don't have a feeling of hate or envy with their job. This just made me respect them more. There are health care people and specimen people. I'm the former. It's nice to walk in somebody else's shoes...for a short distance...once in a while just to break the routine & monotony. Thanks Candyheart for taking time to read my article. I'm glad I made your day brighter with laughter. I hope you can share some of your funny experiences, as well.

    Take care & God bless
  5. 2
    Quote from gingerbreadman0214
    Warning: Contains events not suitable for those with a brainstem vomition center that’s easily excitable (whatever).

    Misadventure in the Psychiatric Disease Department. Being the neophyte, I really have to expect having to be the one who’d do the most odd of jobs. First day training in the psych ward, I found myself in the institution’s lab in charge of receiving the specimens and recording them in a logbook. Yup…I got to be the lucky one to have the opportunity to appreciate first (sic) someone else’s produce.



    Thoughts kept swirling in my mind: why did I pick psych next?… why did the med tech staff have to be on skeleton duty that day?…and WHY was there a lot of stool specimens coming on my shift? I would’ve wanted to put an advisory requesting that all please hold the urge to respond to the call of nature until the next shift… but that would be cruel. Or maybe make the requests for fecalysis stop… (not gonna happen). With every glance and accidental whiff, it was beginning to really feel like the psych ward to me…I was getting loco.

    That was not my idea of an adventure.

    Then in came this patient from the outpatient department with beady sweat trickling down on his forehead. He had a plastic bag with a jar in it. It felt warm.

    “Here you go.”, he said with a sigh of relief. “That’s everything, I guess.”, he added.
    Yep, you guessed it…it was a monster dump.

    A lot of effort must’ve been put to come up with this. “Sir, we only need just a very small amount of this.” I said. “But, thanks anyway for the effort. We’ll have enough to last us a year.” I jokingly added.

    “You can count on me.”, he happily added.

    I quickly followed with a nervous laugh, “The last part was just a joke.”

    Whew...

    That was a case of bad health teaching. He should’ve been instructed properly. Good thing he didn’t mix the midstream catch in there in the hope of easing its storage on our part. How considerate…yeah, right.

    The next day, it wasn’t necessary for me to stay in the lab because the med tech staff was then in full force. Alleluia. So I up and went for my first patient.

    For my first assignment, I was told to get my patient’s history and do physical examination. It was time for their scheduled activity and socialization so I found my patient in the middle of the quadrangle. He was a big guy. I noticed that he was sort of agitated and kept on pointing to imaginary people while cursing.

    I realized that I didn’t check his file first to learn what his tendencies were and what he was capable of doing in the psychological state that he was in. So I decided not to bring my things instead, especially my pen because he might get it and use it to harm anybody including himself, and of course, poor helpless me.

    I approached him and it didn’t take long for him to notice me. He turned to me and started charging like a bull. I was frozen in fear and almost wet my pants, when he suddenly stopped, looked me in the eye and said, “Are you brave enough to take me on, huh?”

    With a nervous voice, I answered, “M-m-maybe…?”

    “Good, very good.”, he said. “Now there are two of us who have the guts. Let’s go together and look for others.”
    :selfbonk:

    Morale: always be prepared for anything. Check the patient’s chart first, especially with psych patients. As for my patient, we became budz. But I still observe a certain degree of caution, can’t be too careful.

    A little more time spent in that department and I can say I’ve found the place where I can be myself.

    - Finding humor in everything that happens in my life makes the hardships easier for me to deal with.-
    I AM A PSYCHIATRIC NURSE AND I HAVE BEEN WORKING IN THE UNIT FOR A TIME NOW .IT IS FUN STAYING WITH PSYCHY PATIENT YOU REDISCOVER YOURSELF .IT WILL MAKE YOU STRONG EMOTIONALLY AND PSCHOLOGICALLY.KEEP UP WITH THE JOB
    ADEOSUN FROM NIGERIA
    jaclibra and gingerbreadman0214 like this.
  6. 1
    Great story and very nicely written.....I felt like I was there, hey, actually I AM there.....been working psych for over 2 yrs. now.....I am learning every day still.....but I have found my niche....after 20 yrs, I have found people I can relate to....hee, hee,

    Take care and keep on smilin....
    gingerbreadman0214 likes this.
  7. 1
    All those stool samples on your first day of training...I thought at first that somebody was playing a nasty joke on you.
    gingerbreadman0214 likes this.
  8. 1
    @EIAdeosun: I felt anxious at first. But like anything else, you'd get the hang of it with time. Fun alright, because you can be your crazy self and they wouldn't care. Psychologically and emotionally you'd develop too. Even spiritually. I remembered giving some patients an activity, making a rosary. I realized how powerful faith was on a certain patient who forgot the names of those close to him but never forgot to turn to God. What could be the best explanation for that behavior? Selective amnesia? Thanks for reading and laughing with me. Take care & Godbless

    @aloevera: Hyuk, hyuk...people you can relate to, huh. A place where we belong and be ourselves. Some mild to moderate cases are wacky and fun to be with. Not laughing "at them" but with what they say or do. Come to think of it, I also have bouts of dementia and "selective" amnesia from time to time. We'll definitely learn having the right perspective AND keeping our wits intact. Lots of superb RNs here from psych in this forum we can consult. Thanks for reading and laughing with me. Take care & Godbless

    @GLORIAmunchkin72: If there was a stinker who's playing a nasty trick on me, I would have had a hard time following the stench because the stench was where I'm at and my nose got desensitized. Kidding aside, there was indeed a lot of patients that day & I'm the one who's available as a temporary reliever. It was still ok because I got new med tech friends. I had more to share the jar of specimen with.:chuckle Thanks for reading and laughing with me. Take care & Godbless
    E I Adeosun likes this.
  9. 1
    Thanks Gingerbread,
    I am a psych nurse and you are right there is never a dull moment and yes whoever thinks psych wards do not do as much lab work (stool samples and UA and UDS) if not more havent worked in one and you are right. I never go wrong by reading the chart and every night is an adventure but I have learned things as well from my clients.. You do grow as a healthcare provider working in psych as you use your medical skills but also your intution and gut.. I always use my gut and it has never let me down..
    Loved the story it made me laugh...
    gingerbreadman0214 likes this.
  10. 1
    @Psychtrish39: Thanks for reading and laughing with me. It's really nice to know that somebody else has similar experiences and sentiments as mine. That's another reason why I shared my funny stories, to educate as well. An educated intuition and gut feeling is really useful when anticipating what a psych patient would do next. So read charts well and couple it with other reference materials. Learning mustn't stop. Good luck with the lab work & watch out for warm jars wrapped in a plastic bag.
    Take care & Godbless
    Psychtrish39 likes this.
  11. 2
    i'm a psyche nurse too. in the first place i dont know why i chose this area but then i have learned to like this even though many nurses do not.

    you are all right. this is the place where you can be yourself and you can find some unexpected laughter during your duties. scenarios that other nurses won't meet. haha!

    one thing more, i became very observant and sensitive to the feeling and emotions of others. nice thing we psyche nurses enjoy.


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