Tuesday, September 12, 2006

When the patients start assessing the staff

Sometimes patients who have prior experience with hospitalization turn it around on staff. After answering several questions from a nurse, once a psychotic woman started asking questions herself like, "What month is it? What year is it?" These are orientation questions to assess mental status. The questions cover orientation to person, place, time, and situation. So staff would ask a patient, "Can you tell me your name? Can you tell me where you are? What's the date (or break it down if the patient knows the year and season, but not the month or day)? Can you tell me why you're here?" Sometimes staff throw in a "Can you tell me who the President is," but these days that might instigate a round of name-calling (can you blame them?).

The psychotic patient continued questioning the nurse, "Do you hear voices?"
"Yes," responded the nurse.
"Your's, right now."
Patient, slyly, "Hmm, you're a smart one."

1 comment:

  1. Love it. I like smart mental patients. They make things interesting.