Don’t get me wrong working in mental health has its good day but the good days out way the bad. If you have experienced this you will understand where I am coming from. You could get a patient admitted on a really low point in their life, something on the lines of committing suicide, self harming, taking a hostage due to hallucinations. What you need to do is remain natural in every situation. it is hard at times but think about the things that are going on in the person’s head like thoughts that are not theirs.
I have come across a patient one time who suffered from violent out bursts, killed little animals and would attack anyone who appeared a threat to them and their ways of living and thought process. This patient had an up bringing of witnessing constant violence , such as men beating on their mum or dad and other family members and have witnessed this from such an early age. When they grow up all they know is to deal with being told no or your wrong is to solve it with aggression. When someone does experience this all they will understand is aggression or violence is the only way forward in solving any situation. This patient had witnessed so much violence towards family members and them self that the only thing they understood was beating someone up was good and anyone showing them care, sympathy and compassion is to push them away in any way possible.The people that should love and care have done nothing but hurt people and them.
When we had this patient come in , it was difficult at first because you could be talking to them one minute and then the next they could be trying to beat the living day lights out of you. This was due to the patient suddenly hearing or seeing things telling them that the staff member is a bad person here to hurt you or that the staff member is not to be trusted. So what they will do is attack first and not let you in. At this point the best thing you can do is not to back away but push yourself forward into their ways as in keep showing you care and do care no matter what they give back. This patient did constantly attack me by punching and kicking me every time I spoke to them, this did not push me away it actually drew me closer as any one could see this patient was hurting emotionally and mentally but it was not under their control. I have ended a shift with this patient with bites, bruises, broken skin and black eyes. This did not push me away, as at the end of the day I could speak to the nurse in charge and unload it of my chest.
After about two weeks the patient sat and spoke to me saying that they understand that some of the staff are here to help them and some of the staff do actually care and not there for the money. Trust me the money is not that great for the work we do and the violence we could face. The patient spoke about the things they had observed and witnessed and then later they had spoken about the violent thoughts they had going on in their thoughts. One day the patient had spoken about violent thoughts they had towards me and another member of staff, which was quite horrific. Like I said before after a time of working in this line of work you will start to become unfazed by these situations. This patient wanted to knock me and this staff member unconscious and tie us up, once we was tied up the patient wanted cut our eyes out and replace them with glass so the patient could see them self doing things in the place where the eyes was. This did kind of worry me a little but I thought if I showed fear the patient could play on this and make things worse, plus I was not going to allow the patient to get the upper hand on me. Don’t get me wrong it was quite worrying to hear this but I loved my job and I wasn’t going to be put off by anyone but it did make me more aware of the patient.
When the patient had been here for a while they had opened up a lot towards certain staff and it got to the point when the violence and aggression decreased and they sat with staff talking about their thoughts and hallucinations they were experiencing, which if you work in this line of work is a vast improvement. Rather than acting on their experiences the patient would talk about it with staff they trusted or write it down on paper and ask for a reply either verbal or in writing. I have spent many an hour sitting talking or writing with a patient about the thoughts they were having, but rather that than having to physically intervening on situations.Any decent HCA will tell you thy would rather sit there talking about things than get physical, any one else that says different should not be in that line of work, it’s all about talking.
The patient ended up talking about their urges thoughts and feelings on a daily basis and when this happens keep them talking record all conversations in their notes and keep staff informed of everything that is said and discussed.
If you don’t like something I have written please don’t be hostile towards this, just let me know and I will try and alter things. Im not saying everything I write id fact but it is not lies either. Please let me know what you think. Thanks for reading.