Psychiatry’s Stigma In The Medical Profession

The stigma of becoming a psychiatrist.


Today’s GML (Great Medical Link) has my brain wheels turning, so here’s my first 2014 post:

While working one of those long 12-hour shifts I used to pull while on staff at a university teaching hospital in SC as a registered nurse back in 2001, I found myself once again sitting with my patient/client/charge (nomenclature dilemma is fodder for a future post) just… talking. Excessive talking with patients isn’t smiled upon by the bean counters.

“You know?” my RN colleague said to me then. “Have you ever thought about becoming a psychiatric nurse? I think you’d be really good at it.” Hmm. No, not really. (more…)

How A Patient’s Suicide Changed A Doctor’s Approach To Guns (NPR)

How A Patient’s Suicide Changed A Doctor’s Approach To Guns : Shots – Health News : NPR.

The link above is to a story about one psychologist’s recent experience with a suicidal patient who shot himself soon after their last office visit. The psychologist had not fully incorporated a standard practice of asking specifics about whether or not there are guns in the home. Now he’s changed his opinion and firmly believes that all clinicians need to be asking that question.

Psychiatrists and therapists regularly ask their clients who suffer from depression if they’ve thought about suicide and do they have access to guns. But given the lack of access to professional mental health care for many Americans this responsibility often falls to primary care doctors who literally don’t have time to ask their patients this question. Primary care doctors may see anywhere from 15-20 patients a day and there’s no time built into that schedule to get into a conversation about suicide and guns. It’s a Pandora’s Box that stays shut, not infrequently with dire consequences.  Having a full-time psychiatric RN on staff at every primary care medical practice would allow the time for proper screening and improved outcomes. That’s an example of “Integrative Medicine” practice.

Code Blue: Should Your Loved One Watch?


Because I have been present too many times with my patients during the unnerving drama of a hospital CPR I question how good it would be for a family member to watch.  It’s probably the most dramatically graphic and emotionally charged event I’ve witnessed as a nurse.

The all-consuming helplessness that one can feel while it’s happening is probably the main reason I’d tell families not to stick around. Especially knowing that in all likelihood the outcome will be poor.

Time stands still from the moment the first responding medical team member pushes the big red emergency button next to the dying patient and yells “Code!” Staff members are drilled on how to act when it happens and everyone has an assigned role. Within seconds the “code team” arrives and the room is filled to capacity with a frantic sea of  nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, lab technicians, and voyeuristic students who stand against the wall straining to see what’s happening. It would look like chaos to a lay person. (more…)

RN Entrepreneurs

Independent Nurse Contractors.

Often when I tell someone I’m a nurse I get asked the same question: “Which hospital?” The general public seem to assume that all nurses work in hospitals. Here’s a link to a nurse’s blog that explains in detail the many different caps a registered nurse can wear as an entrepreneur.