Sunday, July 22, 2012

Psych Ward

Been rotating on the psych ward. Had a full week of orientation stuff which included getting a large set of keys since the entrances to the wards all have sally ports, a personal alarm (essentially a panic button that I should press in case I get trapped with a violent patient or something so that in the security guards' office, my picture and my location would flash on their screens and they can come rescue me) and a brief defense training which involves basically how to take down a patient without really hurting him/her. It involves two staff members and if it was two of us girls vs. a large, hostile man, would probably not bode very well for us girls.

All in all, it has been a nice experience so far. The attending seems to really enjoy teaching and the fellow is really nice. The patients are allowed to roam freely through the halls so a lot of times, when we're meeting in the office, the patients would stare and tap on the window on the door to the room as they mumble to themselves. It feels a bit like we're in a fishbowl sometimes.

We had a new patient transfer into the ward the other day and the woman seems to be bipolar with religious delusions and hallucinations. She also has a long list of serious medical conditions including breast cancer which had metastasized to her bones, but she has no insight regarding her problems.

During the initial interview, she refused to talk to the fellow, calling the doctor a prostitute who had tried to pretend to be the patient and had stolen her stuff to go to heaven. But that was alright because she had a bright light named Abraham who protects the patient and had impregnated her so that she gave birth to the other student with us.

The fellow tried to ask her a few more questions, but the lady refused, screaming, "I'm not talking to you! You're evil! I'm the prophet and the mediator of the bible and you're going down!"

The doctor gave us a look and I jumped in with a question about how long had Abraham been visiting her.

To which, the woman grinned. "He doesn't visit me. I go to see him. He's right there in the other building, helping the people find heaven. You can go there and see him, too." She sighed. "I like talking to you. Chinese people are always nice. Nice and delicious."

The room went quiet.

"I'm delicious?"

"Yes. Nice and delicious," the woman laughed.

"What do you mean by that?" I inquired to fill the silence in the room.

She just beamed and continued to giggle.

"Okay ... thank you," I said at last.

The fellow has since decided that since the patient "liked" me so much, I should follow up on the woman.

"Don't worry. We'll be with you," another student declared. "... so she doesn't eat you."

"Gee, thanks."