Mental Health Workers in a Psychiatric Hospital
by Jane Dode
This is Volume Four in the series “True Stories of Life in a Psychiatric Hospital. In this volume I discuss the mental health workers employed at my mental health hospital. If a psychiatric hospital was a battlefield—and in many ways it is—these individuals would be the front line soldiers. One of the job qualifications for this this position, which is usually required by employers, is physical strength. This is because they are often dealing with patients possessing unstable mental states, unnatural strength and violent behavior. Therefore these mental health workers must be able to contain and often restrain these individuals. Without this ability, their personal safety is in jeopardy, their coworkers safety is in jeopardy, as well as the other patients in the hospital.
I would approximate that 90% of the mental health workers employed at my psychiatric hospital are females under 30-years-old; very few of these individuals possess the physical attributes to protect their self. This has presented many problems and dangerous situations that shall be described in this volume.
Most of the mental health workers who enter the field are caring and compassionate individuals. This can be a problem for them because it seems the only way to survive in by protecting your heart; in fact, this is almost a necessity when working with patients suffering from mental illness. Getting emotionally invested with a patient often results in the mental health worker becoming cold and callous. The other results of not protecting your heart are early retirement--or having a nervous breakdown.
- Jane Dode, April 2013
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