Healthcare And Mental Health: Part 1
This is going to be an extremely important topic to me personally, healthcare and mental health. For those of you who don’t know I have spent the last 10 years in the medical field specifically in mental health. Almost four of those years were in a hospital setting. During my time I’ve experienced some pretty crazy situations some amazing times as well, connected with immeasurably incredible individuals that unfortunately had to spend time on the unit that I worked on.
The interactions that I had with them were times that I wouldn’t change for the world honestly.
We need to look at a negative aspect of healthcare currently, so for those of you out there who are healthcare workers I’ll be touching on some topics that you have experience with. This is me speaking up for all my incredible co-workers that I’ve worked with over the years as well as the amazing individuals out there taking care of everyone.
For this conversation I’m going to take out the mental health field because it is a little bit of a wild variable when it comes to many situations. Want to talk about when someone goes in to get taken care of with no mental illness.
This person that is taking care of you wants to make sure that you don’t die and that’s because they’re a good person. yes, the pay for nurses is okay, it’s not what they deserve, they deserve a lot more, nurses aides definitely don’t get paid enough. When these people are taking care of you you need to think they’re doing this out of the goodness of their heart, it is not all about the paycheck.
How many times have you gone into work, short-staffed?
If you work a normal job and you’re saying like oh I get it it’s difficult, we gotta do a little bit of extra paperwork. I’m sorry but this isn’t the case with healthcare. There is a legal ratio of how many staff are supposed to be taking care of patients. there is not a ratio at most other jobs. When you are taking care of human life and it is considered neglect when you do not have the proper resources i.e staff, nurses, nurses aids, doctors, and it is neglect when you do not have those resources available for a certain amount of patients.
How many times have you gone in units, full 20 to 30 patients but half staff? just one day we got this it’s not that big of a deal, but then it starts to turn into multiple times a week, many times a month, and then you realize that it’s an actual trend. Whether you’re understaffed or you don’t even have enough staff members on payroll to work full shifts, which is unacceptable, or you have the few individual staff members who like to call in all of the time but because of understaffing they can’t get rid of them.
Other than understaffing, let’s talk about abuse. Abuse in healthcare is very serious and is very prevalent. Staff members are verbally abused by people who are, let’s just say, behaving likes spoiled children with a boo-boo staying home from school.Many patients think it’s okay to order staff around, scream at them, treating them as subhuman and subservient.It is not acceptable and the staff has to bite their tongues or else patients get to complain and staff loses their job.
When we take into account all of the factors, not only do they have the responsibility of taking care of human life, you’re adding more individuals to your workload, and the verbal and physical abuse. I don’t know about you but if you think about it from their perspective,
“ hey I’ve got four more people that I have to worry about dying today”add in some verbal abuse and now you have a truly hostile work environment and it is unsafe.
Many times the abuse is verbal, but many of us know that it can get physical, even in the medical side of the hospitals, not even including the psych field.
All these things are against health care workers and the only thing that they want to do is help.
Just those two examples now have led to a plethora of issues. extra hours you’re working because you have an extra workload now that’s putting stress on your family, you’re sleeping less, you’re eating poorly because you have less time in your day. You’re eating the nonsense food that we have in the hospital which is terrible for you.
The amount of mental stress that you’re under, taking care of human life, now taking care of more people than you are supposed to legally, lack of sleep that affects your mental health, then the breakdown of your relationships when you don’t have positive relationships inside of work or your positive relationships outside of work are now becoming limited and the negatives are starting to overtake everything.This is really where burnout happens and I don’t think I’ve met one person that has worked more than four months in the hospital who’s not already burnt out.
If you are being taken care of, I understand you’re going through a rough time no one wants to be in the hospital but they want to do the best job for you so you at least need to be considerate and remember that nurses health care workers, they’re all human being.