everything i've read so far is excellent advice! i have worked addictions, general locked
psych dept, a little forensics, and, within the community, a mental health clinic.
things that have served me well are:
1. listen carefully, not just to the words, but to the feelings too.
2.sometimes going along with a delusion is ok. good example is the crows.
one warm afternoon, i overheard george washington, ben franklin, and thomas jefferson
discussing the constitution as i passed the dayroom. everyone was calm and the discussion
was lively. the only one becoming progressively more agitated was the tech. i told him that
until someone suggested a duel, (or something) just to keep an eye on them.
3.never assume because a patient has a particular diagnosis that they will behave a certain
way. don't bring preconceived assumptions to work with you. because your sister-in-law
is bipolar, that your bipolar disorder patients will behave/react like she does.
4.if some idiot cut you off, your spouse angered or frustrated you, or whatever, let it go.
just hang it on a branch of the tree beside the door where you go in.
5.right now, after his family just left, may not be the best time to get something resolved
with your patient.
6. never ever turn your back on a psych patient -- no matter how pleasant she seems.
7.i never wore any jewelry except my wedding ring, which is a wide, domed, heavy gold band.
they can, and do grab and pull at bracelets, earrings, necklaces... my watch pinned to the
front of my top.
8.never go into a patient's room alone.