Today’s the last day of my duty in National Center for Mental Health aka Mental Hospital in Mandaluyong, also the end of my first 2 months as a Medical Clerk. In all honesty I wasn’t prepared for what’s gonna happen with me there. Like every Clerk that rotates there our motto is “bahala na si batman sa akin dun”
With 36 hours duty every 3 days, psychiatric patients are the most stressful patients I had so far. The fear that they might hurt you or do something to you is the first thing that will come up to your mind when you interview and examine them. But alas, as days pass, I learn that they are the most interesting patients I had.
Here’s what I learn from them and with my rotation
1. On my first duty, I was startled when an 18 year old girl patient hugged me while examining another patient. I wasn’t aware that she was behind me. I commanded her to sit in her bed and told her relative to look after her. But I had palpitations right then and then and feels like litters of blood was drained in my system.
2. Another one in my first duty, a restrained patient was asleep and I was about to get his BP, silently and with caution of not waking him up, I placed the cuff in his arm. And then again I was startled when he suddenly shouts and held my pants.
3. There’s a big misconception about Schizophrenia. The term is misused most of the time and it’s stigmatizing.
4. Psychotics are person who’s not aware or disconnected with reality while Neurotic people are the opposite.
5. I read some cases, and BULLYING is indeed one of the causes of psychiatric disorder. From schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and of course depression. So be careful and watch your mouth when you talk about someone.
6. Failed relationships are also sometimes the cause of the above mentioned psychiatric disorders. Also being alone and secluding yourself from others is a big factor.
7. ECTs or Electroconvulsive therapy is surely effective to some patients but for me it’s very inhumane. This procedure is done by inducing your patients in convulsion with micro doses of electricity. A probe is placed in either side of the temporal part of your head.
8. A very good support from family and friends will prevent these things from happening. These disorders are sometimes preventable.
9. The above experiences made me paranoid for days, seriously. And I’m glad I have good friends as my safety net. But one friend told me I need to be demedicalize so that I won’t get too attached with my patients. Psych patients are draining, physically, intellectually and yes, emotionally.
10. I was assigned in Pavilion 1. If you’ll see their condition there, they look helpless and I wonder if they’re really gonna get well. They share toothbrush, lay in cold stone floor and what looks like a prison cell. And please don’t ask me how it smells. They have skin disease from insect bites. They also share slippers which they only use when they need to go out when being examined or when their relatives visit them. I’d like to do a fund-raising for them and donate some toothbrush, bath soaps or slippers. I’d like to ask some of you for help but I’m still wondering when and how to do this. I might do it this coming December. I don’t want issues as well, cause I might hear the reason why I’m doing this to get something in return from my residents for personal interest that’s why I planned doing it right after I submitted my clearance. If you’re interested. You know how to contact me. : )
Now i’m preparing for my 2 months rotation in Pediatrics. Wish me luck! :D