Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Work Matters – Where Have All Our Patients Gone?

The number of patients being admitted to the psych units of our hospital has deteriorated in the past year. Usually, during winter time the units are always full because we get a lot of homeless people with mental problems who want or have to get out of the cold. Lately it hasn’t been that way and I can’t figure out the reason why. Did the government finally catch up with the abuses of some of these patients? It is common knowledge in this field that there are some people who abuse the system. They claim to be mentally disabled, get free medical insurance and social security benefits from the government. After that, they don’t have to work a day in their lives any more. When they run out of money, they check themselves in the hospital until their next check arrives. These are the people whom we usually rely on to fill our units. However their numbers have dwindled lately and that doesn’t bode well for our job security. We are getting sent to other units more often now, or sent home early, or cancelled from work. Still, that’s better than not having a job.
On another note regarding work - I don’t mind end of the shift admissions most of the time except when the patient brings his or her house except the kitchen sink. Inventorying belongings takes most of the time when doing admissions. That is what happened to me last week. As soon as I saw the name of the patient on our roster board, I knew right away that she would be bringing a lot of belongings. When she arrived, I told her jokingly that I didn’t expect any less from her. Since it was 6 a.m. and she had been in the emergency room all night, she was tired and didn’t really grasp what I was saying. Fortunately my coworkers did the vital signs of my other assigned patients for me while I was inventorying this woman’s clothes and accessories. Thank you very much for your help Saganda!

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