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."


  1. wow you're chinese? i guess i figured that one out. One time I saw my friend's name (jonathan ho) written after mine and so i told my other friend so i saw jonathan's hoe's name right or at least that's what it sounded like and he started choking. i know i'm so smart.

  2. ...huh. That's...really weird.

    I mean isn't the stupid stereotype that Chinese people eat everything...?


    Well anyway.

    I hadn't asked, but maeven, did you end up watching the videos I'd linked? Or not had time yet. Anyways, I'm working but I'm actually pretty excited getting to talk to the author of an original story I love so much. Do you think you might get skype soon? or tumblr, or deviantART even idk humm? .W.

  3. That was hilarious if not creepy! Haha. On the bright side, at least she's not racist? :)

    It's always fun to hear about psych ward stories. Lots of my friends took up nursing (so did my brother), so I've heard quite a few but so far none of them were ever called 'delicious'.

    If it's not too imposing to ask, are you Chinese or Taiwanese? Do you speak the language? :) If you feel that it's too personal, feel free to ignore the questions.

  4. Adel's nationality now makes sense. And your inner depth of knowledge about Beijing. Cool.

    Ah crazy people. What would we do without them?
    But she really said that? Really?

  5. Haha, I think I've mentioned my Chinese background before once or twice. So I do speak the language. At least, it's better than my attempts to write or read the characters.

    Sanju, I had glanced at your linked videos briefly, but I'm afraid I'm not familiar enough with the anime to properly appreciate them. Thank you for showing them to me though. And no, I still don't have skype, tumblr, or deviantART. Maybe one day in the future ... :)

    Psych wards are pretty interesting places. We had a patient act up today and a Code was blasted over the entire hospital so you suddenly see a horde of staff personnel and doctors descending on our ward. Exciting moment of the day in between a whole bunch of group sessions and meetings.

  6. you're technically a med student who miraculously finds time to write..that's amazing!
    So I was wondering if you could tell me the list of colleges you considered and which one you think is the best... I want to end up in psychiatry too..And I noticed that you did something I thought I'd ask you ^_^

    1. Which colleges I considered? Wow. There are a lot of colleges you can consider, but there are 3 distinct lists you need to compile: safeties, match, dream. Back then, my dream schools were mostly the Ivies and medical programs so I got into Cornell and my medical program, yay. My match schools were ones that I thought I should have quite a good chance of getting into unless something insane happened with my grades and my application: NYU, Carnegie Mellon, etc. Safeties were just the state and city universities that I know will accept me, period.

      But honestly, since you want to go into psychiatry - which is different from psychologists, btw - you're aiming for medical school in the end. So just take your time, enjoy your college undergrad years wherever you may go, be open to new experiences, and then, prepare for medical school applications if you've decided on the medical field for sure. When you're in medical school, you can then see if psychiatry is a good fit for you during clerkships and ... then prepare for residency program applications haha. Believe me, it's a long road and in college, many people find that they have different dreams by the time they graduate. Heck, in medical school, people tend to change their minds about which field they want to specialize in - peds to anesthesia, obgyn to internal med, optho to surgery, etc. But I'm glad you already have a goal in mind and I hope you'll have no trouble working your way to your dream job. Just be sure to enjoy your experiences along the way. Keep me updated! :)