Although this was not my favorite clinical, I learned plenty during mental health. Many, including myself, are scared of patients with mental illness. After this clinical, I realized that society has influenced us to have that fear. Patients with mental illness did not ask for it and it should be viewed as other illnesses are viewed.
I performed my mental health clinical in a locked facility called Doctor’s Behavioral Health Center, in Modesto. The center is split off into three areas: C1 (most functional), C2 (somewhat functional, mixed), and D (patients that are unstable and less functional). We did several days in each area. During other days we did get to go to outpatient locations to observe what forms of psychiatric care is available in the community.
I was given the opportunity to get to interact and practice our “therapeutic communication” with patients. I realized that there is no need to be afraid of these patients. There are treatments available that can improve the condition of a patient’s mental illness.
I am not going lie, it was sometimes VERY entertaining. It is our job to re-orient the patient, but when they state that they are someone famous or other “out-of-the-box” remarks, you can’t help but smile at the end of the day. One of the issues that I had was that we did not practice any nursing skills besides assessing the patients, giving out medications, and therapeutic communication. I don’t feel that psychiatric nursing may be for me.