Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Goodbye Pediatrics, Hello Psychiatry!

Goodbye Peds!!!!

I’m a little late on the updates, but I’m a week and a half into my psychiatry rotation, and so far I’m really enjoying it! I was happy to finish my pediatrics rotation without getting sick the entire month, and while I learned a lot, I was happy when it was finally over. Between the screaming kids, endless colds, and what seemed like every other parent demanding an antibiotic prescription for viral illnesses, I think it’s pretty much safe to say peds isn’t for me!

My first day of psychiatry "gifts"

As for psychiatry, I am currently working with geriatric populations, and it is super interesting! I would have never thought psychiatry would offer a ton of variety, but in just a short time, I have been exposed to so much. I have seen patients with various mental illnesses including schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, and delirium, to name a few. Last week, I even had my first electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) experience. This is a procedure done under general anesthesia, and it basically involves inducing generalized seizures in patients experiencing severe depression, Parkinson’s disease, and other mental illnesses. My attending is pretty aware of my interest in surgery, so he made it a point to have the anesthesiologist teach me a few things. What’s even more exciting is that I got to ventilate and administer the anesthetics to the patients! I seriously thought the anesthesiologist just wanted me to hold the syringes when he handed them to me, so I couldn’t contain my excitement when he told me to administer them. I got a little grilled afterwards when they asked me what I had just given to the first patient and I didn’t know, but lesson learned! Never administer an anesthetic without first looking at it and verifying. That same morning, I also had the chance to feel pitting edema on a patient, which I thought was pretty cool to experience in person.

Couches and psychiatry are a perfect match!

Today was spent visiting patients in assisted living facilities, and I really enjoy the personal aspect of visiting patients in their homes. Seeing pictures of their families on the walls and hearing their back stories somewhat helps me gain more empathy for they are experiencing. The memory care section of the facility also brings about some interesting moments. Yesterday, I saw a patient with Broca’s aphasia, had another patient poke me from behind and whisper asking me if I was scared, and I also had a chance to witness the inappropriate behaviors that come with frontotemporal dementia. I also enjoy the days when we’re in the office, and I’ve always envisioned psychiatry as a profession where people lie on a couch and discuss their problems, so I am just tickled that there is a couch in the office. I was tired of no one actually lying down on it though, so I took the initiative and lied down on it for a few seconds, LOL.

But other than that, I am excited about what is to come for the rest of this rotation. Tomorrow, I will be back at the hospital bright and early for more ECT sessions, and then afterwards we will make our rounds at the assisted living facilities. I am looking forward to hopefully sharing some more interesting experiences this month, and hopefully you all will find them just as fascinating as I do :-)  

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