Psych Pts are Found throughout the hospital. 5 quick tips... - page 2

Do psych patients scare you? You scare them more. That’s been my experience both in and out of inpatient psychiatry. Reality is patients with psychiatric disorders appear on any unit. Nursing... Read More

  1. by   Farawyn
    We had normal stainless steel cutlery in the group home. No one ever went for it while I was there. We kept it locked at night, more because some of the guys liked to collect and hoard.
    I assumed a comfort level that wasn't there, probably due to the setting and my own age/ naïveté. I was literally in a corner when I got attacked. It was the exact opposite of every one of OP's suggestions. Yikes!
    Last edit by Farawyn on Apr 2, '16
  2. by   TXMedPsych
    Yup. I've seen the broken tooth brush weaponized too. As the patient was suicidal and the MD went so far as to order finger foods for the patient. I've only seen that extreme needed three times.
  3. by   la_chica_suerte85
    I like that you brought these things up because I think a lot of people, especially students, feel helpless in the face of something they think they can never comprehend. But, I think what people fail to remember is that they too may experience symptoms (i.e. anxiety, depression) that might be out of proportion to a situation and that can be used to develop empathy for what it is like for a psych patient. It's easy to imagine the absolute horror and helplessness a person experiencing anxiety at such a level that it completely interferes with their ability to function. Or, to put yourself in the place of a person who's senses are failing them, deceiving them -- what could be more frightening? So, I appreciate the common sense tips you offer because I think it empowers people to understand psych patients a little bit better. I think it helps them not be so anxious about caring for them that they completely forget "safety first" and end up in situations that cause the assault or injurious situation they were so afraid of in the first place!

    For my psych rotation I got the lucky placement at an infamous state psychiatric hospital and, while I wasn't terribly scared (it helps coming from a family chock full o' crazy) and I tried my best to come from a place of compassion, I was still fairly nervous. However, before we got to even go inside, we had deescalation training and learned about the aggression cycle and how to deal with all of that. It makes you feel a lot less scared, more empowered, and like you can actually hold your own dealing with people who ended up largely being zonked out of their minds (a little anti-climactic in a way). But, there were some who were keyed up and not yet stabilized that you had to keep your common sense up around. Mostly, though, if you just treat them like people, you come out on the other side okay.
  4. by   la_chica_suerte85
    Quote from Farawyn
    I had known the guys (residents, patients) 3 years at that point. It wasn't about me.
    Honestly, if I followed what OP is writing about, I may not have been attacked by the "beat the stuffing out of me" dude.
    That's a good warning to people looking to go into psych. I kind of like to liken the "top 5" suggestions to PPE. Though people may get used to certain patients being a certain way, there is always a risk -- just like you wouldn't walk into a TB patient's room without your N95 on just because you know them and they don't cough on you. Hmmm....that simile came out a lot more tortured than I hoped. It's early still.
  5. by   Farawyn
    Quote from la_chica_suerte85
    That's a good warning to people looking to go into psych. I kind of like to liken the "top 5" suggestions to PPE. Though people may get used to certain patients being a certain way, there is always a risk -- just like you wouldn't walk into a TB patient's room without your N95 on just because you know them and they don't cough on you. Hmmm....that simile came out a lot more tortured than I hoped. It's early still.
    No, it's perfect. Because mental illness is a disease, and people forget that.
  6. by   whichone'spink
    I'm not so much scared of people with known psychiatric diagnoses like schizophrenia or bipolar. At least they are on medications that control their worst symptoms, most of the time. I'm scared people with undiagnosed psychiatric disorders, undiagnosed personality disorders, addicts and people who have full control of their faculties yet still choose to act like a**holes. A lot of mass shootings, road rage, and violence in general is not committed by people who are mentally ill. Most of these acts are committed by people who have made the choice to inflict violence and mayhem on other people. And if they are caught, they use mental illness as an excuse.
  7. by   wolf9653
    I think a poor grip on reality for the client, can be disturbing to the nurse, who relies on the accuracy of their observations, when something isn't making sense, and having to search for a way to put the pieces together in a way that makes some kind of sense. I would think it might be helpful to take some self defence classes, and practice it regularly, to learn to get out of holds and avoid getting hit.
  8. by   Farawyn
    Quote from wolf9653
    I think a poor grip on reality for the client, can be disturbing to the nurse, who relies on the accuracy of their observations, when something isn't making sense, and having to search for a way to put the pieces together in a way that makes some kind of sense. I would think it might be helpful to take some self defence classes, and practice it regularly, to learn to get out of holds and avoid getting hit.
    The guy who beat me up grabbed me first by my long hair. We were taught to push their hands into our head so they don't pull our hair out.
    I did that. He wiggled free, grabbed my throat and started punching and kicking me.
    And I was worried about my hair.
    We had yearly training then to protect ourselves and the residents when things got physical. They were called SCIP classes.
  9. by   wolf9653
    sounds like good advice. every situation is different. What would I have done? No clue havn't had long hair in 25 years. But if I get my beard grabbed? I'll have to think about that. Green belt in Tai Kwon Do, Brown Belt in Kempo, Tai Chi, and boxing(undefeated, but never stepped into the ring either!), and nobody ever taught me what to do if my beard gets pulled....
    Quote from Farawyn
    The guy who beat me up grabbed me first by my long hair. We were taught to push their hands into our head so they don't pull our hair out.
    I did that. He wiggled free, grabbed my throat and started punching and kicking me.
    And I was worried about my hair.
    We had yearly training then to protect ourselves and the residents when things got physical. They were called SCIP classes.
  10. by   Farawyn
    Quote from wolf9653
    sounds like good advice. every situation is different. What would I have done? No clue havn't had long hair in 25 years. But if I get my beard grabbed? I'll have to think about that. Green belt in Tai Kwon Do, Brown Belt in Kempo, Tai Chi, and boxing(undefeated, but never stepped into the ring either!), and nobody ever taught me what to do if my beard gets pulled....
    Bite them?
    Gotcha thinking now, didn't I?
    Beard Safety!
  11. by   SarahMaria
    There are different types of psych patients. I work with the forensic kind. These patients have been found NGRI for all crimes including murder. I'm sure they scare some staff. They try to assault me daily. But I'm not afraid of them.
  12. by   wolf9653
    If it's too close to my mouth it's lunch! lol!
  13. by   Farawyn
    Quote from SarahMaria
    There are different types of psych patients. I work with the forensic kind. These patients have been found NGRI for all crimes including murder. I'm sure they scare some staff. They try to assault me daily. But I'm not afraid of them.
    Why not? Not being facetious, I am genuine in asking.

close