Psychiatric Rotations (Long)

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Hi all!! I haven't posted much but today I thought that I would see if anyone else had some reservations about their psychiatric rotation.

Today we went to orientation at our clinical site and they treat kids and adolescents. From what I understand it's mostly depression, substance abuse, and emotional/behavior problems. This is in a major metropolitan city so there are a lot of foster care kids and some kids are being evaluated from the juvenile detention center. There is an acute side that the kids are in for no more than 3 weeks and a residential side, which means they stay for 6 months to a year or sometimes longer.

We saw some of the kids today. The kids look much tougher than us. :uhoh21: They've been through so much and had to survive in less than ideal conditions. I'm not sure how good my therapeutic communication skills are!

Anyone else had to deal with rotations that make the anxious?



146 Posts

Specializes in MICU, CVICU.

In my psych rotation we switched around to different units. I've spent two days on the kids unit so far and it's definitely an interesting place to be. First off a LOT of these kids have histories of abuse or abandonment. Also many do have substance abuse issues, alcohol, cigarettses, marijuana and even harder stuff. Also many of the kids I've talked to have problems with aggression and anger management. But all in all, the are kids and want to be able to talk and act like kids. They instead have been forced to grow up early due to some circumstance. I've never been through any of these problems so I can't identify with them on a perosnal level. I don't even try to do that. Whta I do try to do with them is give them someone to talk to and validate their feelings. You use the same types of therapeutic communication you would use with an adult. When they tell me something that I can't believe someone at that age has gone through a lot of times I just say "wow that sounds difficult." Usually they say yeah and keep talking. BTW I'm at a state run mental hospital, so when get the low income uninsured kids. You'll be fine just respect them, listen to them and validate their feelings just like you would with and adult or med-surg patient. All anybody wants a lot of the time is just someone to listen and not judge them. Good luck.


576 Posts

Specializes in Psychiatric.

I was completely the opposite of your situation...I was completely at home in the psych rotation but felt totally out of place and scared at med-surg clinicals...I was so overwhelmed the first 2 weeks I could barely do what I was supposed to be doing!!

I finally sat down and thought..."Okay, I know all this technical, as for the patients, what did I do with my psych patients?" All those communication techniques came rushing back, and I made it through and actually got some high grades and great compliments from my patients and my teacher...

Hang in'll get easier!! :)

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