My plain life

trying something different

Ordinary day for Jack — June 1, 2015

Ordinary day for Jack

Toaday is an usual day for Jack, this is because he has no work on today and he has not had any messages to come into work. So at this moment intime all Jack is doing is Just laying awake in bed looking at the clock on the wall ticking by second after second, minute after minute. After a while the clock hits eight oclock so Jack decides to get up and gets dressed in his gym gear. Obviously he doesn’t have a shower as he will be twice as smelly and sweaty when he gets back from the gym. So after getting dressed Jack goes down stairs and tries notr to wake his wife who is sleeping in bed. Jack prepares his protient shake (2 scoops) with raspberry flavouring and a 800 ml of squash with a little pinch of salt added to replace the lost salt from his workout. This squash to be fair is just like buying one of those workout drinks but only home made. Jack checks he has got his lock and key for his locker, music while he works out so he can drown out everything around him and concentrate during workout, gloves to reduce the chance of gripping blisters and finaly his sweat towel to mop his brow during workout.

Once hitting the gym Jack starts of with a cardio workout of twenty five minutes at a steady run, during his run Jack ups the pace a little more then after a few minutes reduces the pace, so his heart rate goes up and then goes down to make his body work harder. This will hopefully help Jack build up his endurance and help Jack burn some of his body fat as well at the same time. In Jacks line of work it does help for him to stay and keep fit as sometimes being inrestraint can have a toll on your body aand fitness will reduce the toll on this. After Jack finishes his run he decides to go to the seated row to work out on his back, some machines will be different in weight but Jack decides to set it at 70kg and does about 13 reps and repeats this at least four times. This works out those little wings on the side of you body lol. After this Jack strolls over to the free weights area and sees that are a lot of big lads around this area and most of them appear to be zoned out and concentrating on just them selfs. This is why Jack likes this gym he goes to as most people don’t stand in front of the mirror admiring themselves, People just get on with their own stuff. Once in the free weight area Jack decides to work on his biceps and does it standing with a barbell. On the barbell Jack sets the weight at about 25kg and does 15 reps and repeats this at least four times and after this Jack can feel his arms about to burst as he does his reps at a quick pace just to push his body that little bit harder. Once this is done Jack gets a dumbbell at the weight of 27.5kg and decides to do a one arm row, which means Jack kneels on a bench with one knee and braces himself with one arm and pulls the hanging weight upp to his chest at least 13 times and repeats this four times each arm. This will work out his back muscles at the top of his back/shoulders. Jack walks over to the lateral Pull down and sets the weight at about 65 kg and works out his back again with his biceps secondly. This for Jack after working parts of his back out is starting to be a little bit harder now. He does this though just to push himself that little bit harder and does 65kgs 13 reps at four sets and after Jack is now feeling it. Jack thhinks to himself why do I put myself threw this every other day. Walking over to the free weights again Jack picks up two dumbbells of 10 kgs and starts lateral arm raises to work his shoulders and the back of his neck, working the with reps of 15 and repeats these reps four times dropping the weights on the floor in pain but a good pain of accomplishment. Finally Jack decides to finish off with some more cardio and decides to set the running machine on a setting 5 which is hill running working up to 6% incline then after five minutes it straightens out again then repeats the angle of 6% again. Jack tries this for at least 15 minutes and does quite well at this. Jack knows if her had done this first he might of been able to do this a little better and faster, the only thing is now Jack is starting to feel the burn from working out. If any of the readers work out you will understand what Jack is feeling.

When Jack arrives home he strips off his gym clothes that are full of sweat and jumps in the shower, the reason Jack waits to get home and shower is because at the gym the showers are usually full and this will safe time and Jack can relax in the shower. After washing in the shower Jack dries himself off and hangs up his gym clothes to dry by an open window. Jacks wife is still alseep so Jack starts to walk down stairs and and goes to the kitchen. In the kitchen Jack makes himself a coffee and collapses on the sofa and puts on a film but turns down the volume so not to wake his wife up. Jack looks across at the time and it is already 12:00 midday but Jack decides to finish watching his film before making himself something to eat as he doesn’t feel hungry yet. Just because it is midday why should he eat if he is not hungry?.

Once the film has finished Jack wonders into the kitchen and makes himself a little snak to eat, he decides on some wheat bread crackers and mackerel in a sweet chilli sauce. Jack scoffs this down like there is no tomorrow and follows this with a green tea and mango drink. After washing his stuff up Jack wonders up to his room and jumps into bed where is wife is still sleeping. Did I not say, sorry but Jacks wife is still alseep as she worked a night shift and got home at five am that morning and she will work tonight as well. Whilst Jack is laying in bed he hears his phone ringing down stairs and jumps out of bed and rushes to his phone, answering it just in time. It is the agency asking if Jack can work a night shift in a hospital which is about 15 miles away from where he lives, this place is for the worst of the worst violent offenders with mental health problems. The agency say that because this place is such a high risk of situations the money will be about £35-45 an hour for a ten hour shift. Jack thinks that this is not to bad and agrees to take the work. This place Jack is going to is called Daniels Ward in a high secure unit where patients could be locked in the rooms for up to 2 hours off and on depending on their behaviour whilst mixing with other patients. If there is any risk or signs of a patient becoming unsettled they are escorted to their rooms and lock in there for a minimum of two hours. If a situation has started  due to a patient becoming unsettled then they will be secluded in a padded room for anything up to five hours depending on their behaviour during seclusion. On Daniels ward it is rare for a patient to be secluded long but it does happen.

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What I have experienced working within Mental Health — May 25, 2015

What I have experienced working within Mental Health

I have said it before, I have experienced quite a few things while working in mental health some are good things and some of them are a little unnerving. The thing is after a time you could become a little unfazed by certain situations. What I do find frustrating is when you are in the public with a patient/s the amount of looks the patients get from the public if they look a little different or they have scares on visible body parts like arms, neck, face or legs. I think the public need a little more understanding in mental health whether it is with adult or adolescent mental health. People staring at the patients can and sometimes does have an emotional effect on the patient. Working in this line of work takes a special caring sort of person, someone that will take the shouting in your face and the aggression towards you and the threats at times and then keep your cool in these situations. Then you sit down with the patient/ client and talk to them what is getting them into this state and helping them out to bring the anxiety or aggression down to an acceptable level. Don’t get me wrong it can be hard to do this and not every one can keep cool all the time, this is why it is ok to take time out off the ward to bring yourself back.

One situation I have come across while working in different in mental health was the time I met a young patient in an admissions unit. She was a young adult around her twenties, She had come from a good home so it appeared at the time, she appeared to suffer from Schizophrenia and was a big self harmer. With this patient she would hear a voice in her head and see a demon as she put it which told her she was worthless, a whore and needed to kill herself. This would set her off to cutting her arms with anything that could cut her skin on her arms and legs, not just to scratch the skin but at times she would cut right down to the bone. To most people this would make them feel sick or horrify them. As for myself I have come across these  situations a lot so it did not faze me to much. When the patient had been admitted and she was settled in and we was about to sort her belongings out to what she could and could not have the alarms were activated. We stopped with the belongings and ran down to were the alarms are going off, it was the new patients room. She had smuggled in a piece of metal, we found out that she had hidden the metal in her underwear. What we found was that she had cut her fore arm open down to the bone and her blood was all over the place. Her arm was covered in blood and it had covered her torso and legs, Staff gloved up and took hold of her and relocated her to the treatment room. By the time we had moved her with her being resistive with us moving her staff got covered in blood, but this was a regular thing on the ward I was on at the time. The patient was distressed and crying as we had stopped her trying to hurt herself due to the voices demanding that she did this. What you have to understand in these cases is that these voices are there only and best friends and so  convincing to them and this is the only person they will listen too.

Whilst in the treatment room the patient was sat in holds with her cut arm out in front of her and the nurse in charge was cleaning up her arm. We had cleaned her up and found out that she had cut to deep for a basic clean up and she had cut through the muscle and down to the bone. I left the treatment room and called for an ambulance and explained to them the situation and they sent a paramedic to the ward to take the patient to A&E at the local hospital. I can say when she came back with her escorting staff she was in a better frame of mind and her night was a lot better.

With what I blog I don’t mean to offend anyone , but it is what I experience and what happens but names and some experiences have been changed a little.

Just another day in Mental Health. — May 17, 2015

Just another day in Mental Health.

As you will find out if you are just starting in mental health or thinking of starting in this line of work, no two days are the same, they may appear the same but if you sit back and think about it you will see that nothing is the same way. In some small detail there are always differences no matter how big or small, plus you will find out that this line of work can be as exciting as you want or as stressful or boring as you would like it to be. So no matter how the job is it is what you make it and no matter what happens it is not always your fault ok, you need to remember this.

The patients wehter they are men, women, children or adolescents and in a setting of learning disabilities, mental health, rest bite, sectioned or day centre, they are there for a reason and what ever happens so be it. You have to look at the bigger picture with a patient, what I mean is if they swing for another person, you have to look at why they have. Are they hearing voices?, Do they see something evil or scary in the other person? or are they paranoid?. There could be a number of reasons for the outburst and you as a career should not think of locking them out the way (seclusion), yes you may have to use physical intervention to what level is down to the level of aggression at the time of the event. Once you control the situation then try and find out what is going on. You may only need to sit with the patient and de-esculate them (TALK), and you could find that after ten to twenty minutes of chatting that the situation may not of been under their control. So you need to show understanding and a lot of empathy in times of situations no matter what has arisen. Don’t get me wrong it can be hard not to feel anger when you get someone in your face either verbalising you with all sorts of threats and offending matter or aggression. You will come across a few idiots that do work in this line of work and enjoy a good restraint, if you can and you find yourself in a restraint with someone like this, try and get them taken over by another person. A person like this is likely to hurt you or hurt the patient and it will happen, I have come across people like this, not good.
You may at times find that a patient may fixate on you through no fault of your own, they just obsess about you, get excited or silly when you turn up for work. They may start to start a situation just so it drags you in to them and they will somehow get that contact with you. It could be starting a fight, self harming, destroying property or tying a ligature and when you do intervene they enjoy the contact. This contact could be anything from you just standing there observing a situation, restraining them, talking to them or telling them the error of their ways. If you find this happening then you need to try and not get involved with this patient on your own or stay out of any potential situation no matter how it turns out or if they request you, let OTHERS deal with it. Every nurse whether they be a qualified or a health care assistant you will come across a patient that will develop attachment problems with you no mater if you are male or female, in a relationship or single.
One of my biggest bug bears is that new staff wether they be young or older come into this line of work and after a few weeks they seem to think that they are there to be the patients best friend, NO, NO,No this is not to happen on any level. You are a Nurse and they are a Patient end of, they are there for their own issues and no matter what you are there to look after them and you DO NOT cross that line. Unfortunately it happens and this makes me sick. Wether they are adults man or woman they are classed a vulnerable adult and need protecting. So please no matter what the patient says to you or promises you remember you are staff, you are not their best friend. Along side this is staff thinking it is ok to tell the patient all their own personal details. This is a big NO as in later days it could present as a huge problem.
I remember an incident when a member of staff got on well with a patient and this member of staff told the patient the area they lived in and described things in the area and once the patient was discharged from hospital the patient went to the area the staff member lived and over a number of days looked about until they saw this staff member and followed them home. One night the patient knocked on this staffs door and lucky for the staff member they checked who was at their door through a window. The staff member called the police and police found that the ex patient was carrying a knife, who knows what would of happened? The patient was later sent back under section but to another hospital as this patient was proven to be a danger to the public. It was later found out that the patient had also been taken drugs which had an adverse affect on their mental state. So let this be a lesson to you that no matter how they appear at first their intentions may not be of sound mind. Not to scare you but things like this are rare and people learn quick from this.
One thing that always fills me with joy is when you first get a patient in and appears to be Psychotic and delusional then after building up a relationship with staff end up either going back home or to a lower secure setting. Even though you may not get a thank you from the patient you know at the back of your mind you have had a huge impact on this patients life. You have helped them get to were they are no matter how big or small the input. What a lot of people tend to forget is that we are all a team and no matter if you are the ward clerk, kitchen staff, cleaners, Health care assistant or qualified nurse we are all equal. Well we are supposed to be equal, but you will come across certain staff that will see HCA’s as a lower form of staff. Don’t let this put you off, if the wards did not have health care assistants the place would not run at all, no potential dangerous situations would never get found out and if there was no HCA’s was on the ward who would be the first people to deal with situations on the ward. The HCA’s well some not all are the firer fighters of the mental health world and I think this is needed to be more recognised in this industry.
There are a few HCA’s in mental health hospitals that will be the first into a situation to protect the patient or others with no regard for their own safety just so that the vulnerable one is safe. In mental health the HCA’s and other staff will come across situations that will involve weapons which could be made from all sorts of things. Things like toothbrush, pens, ligatures, pieces of broken wood or plastic. The problem is that the staff do not have the opportunity of protective clothing or training to deal with situations like this. Usually you will find that it is the policy to call the police. You will find that in the hospital settings that there will be more than enough staff willing to do training to deal with these dangerous patients and situations. I’m not the only one that thinks that the police should not be the first port of call for these situations, there should be a group in most hospitals that deal with dangerous situations just like in the prison or detention centres.