5 realities of working in a max mental hospital

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5 realities of working in a max mental hospital

Postby caitlent » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:09 pm

I don't know why I even bothered reading this article, but this stuck out to me. It's true, but also severely fucked up.

"But staff members also knew how to set a resident off just enough for a doctor to order seclusion. So if someone started getting on our nerves on a Friday afternoon, we could get under their skin in turn, make them respond, and report the incident. They'd get ordered into seclusion until Monday because the doctor wanted to spend all weekend playing Xbox without interruption."

"I''m not proud of it, but sometimes we did it because we knew the resident was on the verge of assaulting someone. And other times, they got locked up because they were annoying us. We're still human, and sometimes humans suck."

The source admits it's wrong but it's written in such a blase attitude, like yeah well they're annoying and we're underpaid so fuck it. I'm in Florida, and have been in two of our mental facilities. My sister has been to a third one, multiple times. This sort of dangerous attitude is not restricted to just the max security prisoner mental facilities. The first hospital I went to was fine, and extremely helpful. There was a nice group of other patients I had the good fortune to meet and learn about their life struggles. Hell, a social worker was admitted there and helped me to realize that even the smartest of us can land in that situation, etc. The staff were super friendly, even after dealing with a woman who uh pissed herself because she wanted to stay on the phone longer, then threw herself down in her mess and was screaming. NO ISOLATION or abuse.

With the stress of college and just a whole bunch of other shit, I ended up in a second one. We had the more extreme/dangerous patients separated, but honestly? It was the staff I was more afraid of. The doctor who admitted me thought I was being a smart-ass while answering their initial admittance questions, and said if I cop an attitude he can keep me their as long as they want. So that's just a scary prospect in itself. You also have to sign off on any drugs you will be given before hand. I ONLY signed off on anti anxiety meds, if they're deemed necessary. But later that day they were giving me multiple pills, and only after came into my room to get me to sign further release forms for them. I couldn't argue with them when they were first giving me the pills because I didn't want to be trapped their longer than the 72 hour mandate.

Staff also took pleasure in torturing some of the patients (psychologically of course, wouldn't want any evidence of misconduct.) There was another patient their who was a nice enough guy to talk to. I repeatedly heard staff members saying he could go home every day I was their, and each day when he'd get ready they'd tell him oh no sorry you're staying, but you'll get out tomorrow! Another tactic was threatening ANY patient with saying they'll take away their visitor rights (which is just beyond fucked up, especially when those visitors are trying to bring you clothing you're allowed to wear.)

Anyway, I just had beef with this because it seems that the article serves to justify the fucked up mental health system we have in this state. And I find it highly unlikely they had a PS2 for the guy to attack with. Even us who aren't deemed threats to others don't get to have shoelaces, and at most had a tv, some books, and magazines. It just read like most of the articles nowadays do, take the most extreme and messed up stance on things and try to shift the blame to the ones being abused.
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Re: 5 realities of working in a max mental hospital

Postby Tesseracts » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:28 pm

Yeah, I love how many people think a totally insincere apology can absolve someone for being an asshole. I said as much in the comments, you can see it in the top comments as a reply to thatindianguy. I got a lot of down votes. Nice to know there are always apologists for abusers.

On the plus side, at least this article is honest and presents the case against isolation fairly.
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Re: 5 realities of working in a max mental hospital

Postby caitlent » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:53 pm

Thank you! That's why I had kind of ranted on here, like not even 3 comments down when I started looking I noticed someone with the same sentiments being down voted. It makes no sense to me, when someone like yutz gets upvoted for basically saying "yeah well try working with them, you'd obviously do the same" There's plenty of people who DO work in that environment/similar dangerous environment and who do not take that opportunity to abuse patients.

It seems like regular doctors, cops, nurses, etc... can be rained down on and called monsters for any negligence and abuse of power, but once it's mental patients (or mentally disturbed children) people think it's the only way to deal with them. It's disheartening. And while I agree that they tried to show it fairly, I feel like it was set up in such a way to give people who think it's okay to do this a leg to stand on.
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Re: 5 realities of working in a max mental hospital

Postby Anglerphobe » Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:16 pm

Doctors and other medical professionals fall into this, too. Treating patients badly because "it's a stressful job" is ignoring the fact that treating patients with respect is part of the job.

Patients, even lucid and stable ones, can be the most obstinate and frustrating people in existence but many people forget that the whole point of what you are doing is helping these people. That is your job, providing care and helping them to be healthy.

Applied to this context, abusing patients in order to make your job easier is contradictory to everything your job is about, namely helping and providing care for them. Everything you do, as a job, is for their benefit. He's describing sacrificing his patient's wellbeing for his own convenience as their carer. That is maddening.

While I perfectly understand that stress takes a toll on people, it is up to the staff to be on top of it. If you're having problems coping, just tell someone. Anyone who takes their job and its intent seriously will help you if it means providing the best possible care for the patient.

Gah. If anyone needs me, I'll be in the Angry Dome.
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Re: 5 realities of working in a max mental hospital

Postby sunglasses » Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:58 pm

The people who escalated a patient? I reported.

But of course, I was a problem staff member for having emotions and shit.

I'm not fucking reading this. It was probably written by the type of staff members I would try to get retrained or fired due to their incompetence. The RNs HATED having to do paperwork for seclusion or restraints and avoided them as much as I could.
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Re: 5 realities of working in a max mental hospital

Postby DamianaRaven » Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:00 pm

sunglasses wrote:...I would try to get retrained or fried due to their incompetence.


*grins devilishly* Now, by "fried," do you mean high or executed?
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Re: 5 realities of working in a max mental hospital

Postby sunglasses » Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:03 pm

DamianaRaven wrote:
sunglasses wrote:...I would try to get retrained or fried due to their incompetence.


*grins devilishly* Now, by "fried," do you mean high or executed?


Damn it, I thought I corrected my typo quick enough.

Seriously though, the place I worked burned through all their good staff because they did not support them. Day in, day out the stress got to you until you were crying in the bathroom and reported for being unprofessional (for crying in the bathroom).
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Re: 5 realities of working in a max mental hospital

Postby DamianaRaven » Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:16 pm

sunglasses wrote:Seriously though, the place I worked burned through all their good staff because they did not support them. Day in, day out the stress got to you until you were crying in the bathroom and reported for being unprofessional (for crying in the bathroom).


I'm sorry they put you through that, Sunny. Someone who takes a shot at another person's career because they're weeping in private is a horrible, selfish person. I say selfish because this kind of bullying is almost certainly a ploy to curry favor for themselves and has nothing to do with protecting the patients from your volatile ovarian hormones. No, wait - this wouldn't be a misogynist conspiracy, would it? Only another woman could catch you crying in the bathroom.
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Re: 5 realities of working in a max mental hospital

Postby Tesseracts » Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:54 pm

There's a lot of callousness in the comments, and it's not from the usual trolls. It's from people who lack awareness, people who would think differently if they thought things through. People like this are easily influenced by articles like this. Normally, they may think twice before saying something like, crazy people can't be helped and there's no point listening to them. When shown an article that presents health care workers as allegedly "untrained" victims, they don't question it.

I click on Cracked out of habit. This may be the new audience.
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Re: 5 realities of working in a max mental hospital

Postby DamianaRaven » Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:05 pm

Tesseracts wrote:This may be the new audience.


I don't understand. Please clarify. Are we your new audience, or are dipshits and fuckwits the new audience of Cracked?
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Re: 5 realities of working in a max mental hospital

Postby Delta Jim » Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:15 pm

caitlent wrote:It seems like regular doctors, cops, nurses, etc... can be rained down on and called monsters for any negligence and abuse of power, but once it's mental patients (or mentally disturbed children) people think it's the only way to deal with them.


It's because of the stigma of mental problems, along with the fact that much of the developed world's mental asylums were worse than a South American prison even into the last century*.

According to a poll taken a few years ago, about 43% of respondents thought people with mental disorders brought it on themselves (many of those people thought it was due to sinful behavior). So, as you can see, people have absolutely no idea what mental illness is.

Of course, I'm sure I can find a poll where similar percentages of people say vaccines are bad, so maybe it's more accurate to say that people are just stupid in general.

* Though, there was a brief "Age of Enlightenment" in the early 19th century when a French doctor and an English Quaker both argued that people with mental illnesses are the same as people with physical illnesses and should be treated with compassion and sympathy rather than chains and beatings. This reasoning was going strong until, around 1850, various issues (funding and lack of staff was a big one) led to hospitals either closing or reverting to their previous, horrible conditions until sometime in the 20th century.
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Re: 5 realities of working in a max mental hospital

Postby krankittoeleven » Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:54 pm

Yeah, I think I'll be skipping this one. I spent 30 days in a facility in the late 90's. Ultimately, I was treated fairly well, but there were some really bad days that I'd like to forget.

My boyfriend was at mental health facility last year for a 72 hour watch but got put in their rehab ward because he was drunk when they picked him up. He said it was probably the best thing that could have happened to him. From time to time he saw how the people on the mental health side were treated and it freaked him out.
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Re: 5 realities of working in a max mental hospital

Postby sunglasses » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:49 pm

The changed the title to "the criminally insane." Which, I guess, makes more sense?
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Re: 5 realities of working in a max mental hospital

Postby krankittoeleven » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:58 pm

sunglasses wrote:The changed the title to "the criminally insane." Which, I guess, makes more sense?


I think the new title is much better. It's not gonna change my mind about reading it, but it's a much smoother title.

Wait, did I just give props to The Title Guy?
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Re: 5 realities of working in a max mental hospital

Postby Delta Jim » Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:30 am

krankittoeleven wrote:Wait, did I just give props to The Title Guy?


You know what they say about a room full of monkeys with typewriters.

With the number of articles he titles he's bound to get one right occasionally.
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