Mental Hospital Clinical


Forum Lieutenant
So, later this evening, I am going to be doing my mental hospital clinical round. Any advice as to what questions I should ask or what things I should do/not do as to get the most out of this clinical?

(I am a basic student)


Forum Captain
You need to remember that mental illness is like any other illness. People with admissions to mental health units, genuinely ill are like any other patient, they still deserve dignity & respect.

Ask anything & everything. No two patients are the same. No two. Patients will present the same way.

Have an open mind. Remember 2 things.

1 in 5 people will be treated for a mental health problem in their lifetime.

The World Health Organization states that by 2020 mental health attributable deaths will rank second behind trauma as a worldwide statistic.


Forum Captain
You need to remember that mental illness is like any other illness.


The brain is an organ just like all the others and just like all the others it often develops problems. Nobody thinks twice if someone's pancreas acts up but heaven help you if you suffer from a bit of anxiety or depression. There's so much unnecessary stigma...


Grumpy Badger
Generally a good idea is to ask the staff at the psych ward how you should interact. When I was doing clinicals for my medic class we had to spend a day at a psych lockdown as well, and it was a very interesting day. Don't be afraid to ask the patients about what they are feeling, but also don't assume they will want to talk back. Also be mindful of how you present yourself, you aren't there to "observe" them like fish in a bowl, but to interact and learn about good ways to approach them that make them feel comfortable and safe enough to talk with you.


Still crazy but elsewhere
My psych rotations (nursing) were as interesting for their class conniptions as for interactions with patients. Yeah, ask the folks who work there what they have to say and what you must not do.
At the private facility we went to, we were entertainment for the young people there. There was a field trip to a book store and they played "hide and scare the students" (make us think they'd eloped).
They are probably bored, want to be somewhere else, like anyone else who is locked up.