Monday, December 5, 2011

Last week, the veteran psych medical students (from another school) left for greener (less insane) pastures, only to be replaced by two new medical students who get to suffer along with me. Unfortunately, this makes me the veteran student. You know how dogs can smell fear? Well, psych ward patients can smell when you're the only person who knows what's going on.

For some reason all the normal nurses on the floor were out today, or they all took lunch at the same time (jerks), which left me with two new nurses that had no idea what was going on. And my two new medical students (both of whom had those big anime eyes by the time the day was over). And some resident on ambulatory that was being forced to spend the morning on the psych ward. She wouldn't take off her white coat (no one wears white coats in psych, the better to not freak out the patients. Also, no one wears stethoscopes, the better to not get strangled with.) and she wouldn't do anything but refill her coffee cup.

I was trying to hide behind a bunch of charts and stay out of everyone's line of sight, but the nurses station is a square in the middle of the unit, with glass walls all around it. Basically, it's like a big fish tank. Or, probably more accurately, like one of those cages people lock themselves in to look at shark. So hiding is impossible.

In the span of two minutes, one patient came up and asked for a piece of paper. Everybody ignored her, so she (naturally) started chanting "Paper! Paper! Paper!" until somebody got some for her. Then she asked for a pen (It's like the psych version of "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie). The patients aren't allowed to have pens, I'm assuming so that they can't fashion it into some sort of shiv and injure themselves or others. They are allowed to have little golf pencils, which I can't see are any safer than pens, but, whatever. I'm not going to argue with crazy. So I tell the patient she can't have a pen, just as the new nurse hands her a pen. Of course The patient grabs it and runs off back to her room. That's going to end well, but not my problem, cause I'm just the student! Whee!

Then another patient tells me that the patient phone says it needs to be recharged but she needs to make a call rightthisveryminute but she can't make a phone call because it might die in the middle of her conversation and that would be the end of the world but it is of the upmost of importance that she make her call so what am I going to do about? Oh and also, she needs to talk to the doctor right now because she has this handy list of everything she's every felt after taking each dose of each medication she's currently taking and she wants to go over that with the doctor right now, but no one will get the doctor for her and she's upset that the doctor won't let her out because she's not crazy and she feels very unsafe with all the crazy people in here, and she REALLY NEEDS TO MAKE A PHONE CALL BUT THE PHONE MIGHT DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!

I suggested that she practice my new favorite stress relieving technique of deep breathing. She handed me the phone and told me that she'd be just right over there, waiting for the phone, and practicing her breathing. And then she sat down two feet away from me and proceeded to stare intently at the phone.

Then her friend rolls up in his wheelchair, using his legs to maneuver it (the same legs that last week he refused to move, instead using his hands to pull himself around on the floor) and he tries to tell me he wants to use the phone, except he doesn't really speak, at least not coherently. So manic girl from last minute interrupts and tells me what he wants because, naturally, she can understand him perfectly (I'm betting on psychotic telepathy). Guess what? He wants to use the broken phone too. Oh, and he doesn't know the number of the person he's trying to call.

Why me?

Then I went to exercise group where we did some aerobics that were guaranteed to get the blood pumping. I'm pretty sure my heart rate never got about 75, but it was possibly the most fun I've had on this rotation yet. I was raising the roof to Frank Sinatra, good times. Or at least good times, until the leg lifts portion of the workout, which is when the crazy penises started coming out. This old guy in a wheel chair with only an untied hospital gown on was sitting right across from me. Let's just say that I have seen more than my fare share of naked people on this rotation and it has left me to wonder why it is that we can involuntarily commit someone (meaning they are here against their will) to the psych ward but we cannot involuntarily put underwear on them?

1 comment:

  1. bahahahaha this is the funniest thing I've ever read! I used to get some crazies at rehab, but this is the best. whenever i need a good laugh, i'm just going to picture you in the psych ward :)