Remember when I said last week that my experience in Psychiatry would surely be a unique one? Turns out I've been right so far. Like, VERRRY right. I knew that this rotation was going to be unlike any of the ones that I've experienced so far….but DAMN!
I definitely wasn't fully prepared for what I saw this past week. Many of the patients who came in had such depressing and traumatizing stories, thus either creating their mental ilnesses or exacerbating the mental illnesses that they already had. What made it worse was that all the patients that we saw were under the age of 18! I literally couldn't (and still can't) believe the things that some of those kids had to go through. I can see how easy it would be to become very dispirited while working in a field such as inpatient Child Psychiatry. It's some emotionally draining work man. Like, I only was on that service for a week and I found myself having to put more mental effort than usual into keeping my positive vibes up while trying to not become demoralized everytime I learned about a new patient's story. It made me wonder just how people working in this field could function effectively on an everyday basis while living happy lives. I eventually realized that it all came down to using various forms of coping mechanisms. The members of my team must have learned how to utilize their own coping mechanisms successfully, because we were all still able to keep things light-hearted and have as good as a time as we could, given the serious nature of the conditions that we were treating.
Something else that I noticed while on this service this past week was the high level of interdisclipinary teamwork that occurred on an everyday basis. We worked very closely with not only the nursing staff, but also with the social workers and the PAs from the Emergency Room. Because of the fact that the vast majority of these young patients lived in the midst of dreary social situations, it was very necessary to have multiple realms of patient care involved, especially social work. As a matter of fact, it felt like just as much of our energy was geared towards trying to help improve the social conditions that the patients lived in as it was towards stabilizing the acute conditon(s) that these kids came in with in the first place. There were multiple family meetings that took place during the week and both the Department of Social Services & Child Protective Services were contacted on a regular basis. Having witnessed all of this, I can see how social aspects could make providing adequate care for this patient population frustrating, especially since it's usually not the kid's fault for being thrown into the situation that they're trapped into. There's only so much that medicine and social work can do in some of these situations. It was an eye-opening experience overall, and it really made me appreciate the life that I've been blessed to live so far. It has also given me all the more reason to appreciate the field of Psychiatry and the very important work that the people in this field of medicine do for their patients. However with all of that said, I'm not entirely sure if Psychiatry is necessarily for me. I still got a good three weeks to go though, so my mind is still open!
I'll be working on the inpatient Adult Psychiatry service this week, which is quite of a big deal for me. Why is that, you may ask? Well if you think about it, I've been dealing with children exclusively for the past seven weeks….which means that I literally have not had an adult patient ever since ending my Ob/Gyn rotation back in September. Kinda trippy huh? To tell the truth, it's going to be pretty strange having to transition back into adult care. It just won't be the same. 😔
That's pretty much all I have to share with you this week! And oh yeah, MIAMI IS 9-0 BABY!!! Last time that happened was back in the early 2000s! That UMiami-Notre Dame game last night was a spectacular sight, to say the least! We also clinched a spot in the ACC Championship game! Best believe I'm gonna be there rooting for the home team! 🙌
Make sure to have an outstanding week!
“If you are feeling low or trampled, unappreciated or forgotten and you are reading this, realize it is an illusion. The hope is real, you are valued, and what lies ahead is brilliance.” – Tom Althouse
– Black Man, M.D.