Social Elements



Now that the super hurricane storm is over the psych ward moved back to its location on the Island. Since moving back for the most part things have been quiet. Most of the patients just sleep. Even when it was time for lunch and snacks few came out of their rooms. It is surprising that Mike and Kevin were still getting along. They even sat down and played a game of spades without bickering.  During a staff briefing the supervising Nurse was telling the staff that Mike is very violent and that the only reason why chairs are not flying around is because of the medication.  The supervising Nurse explained that the violence came from whatever Mike experienced in the past. The treatment team attempts to give him incentives for being nonviolent. He said that it only works for a while, but something will happen for him to get violent.

Staff are consistently reminded of the state’s ethic regulations, guidelines and boundaries of interacting with patients in the Psych Ward.  The discussion concerning the boundaries of staff and patient relations developed when one of the interns played an Adam Sandler movie for the patients to watch. The movie “That’s My Boy” depicted a High School Teacher initiating a sexual relationship with a minor student. Even though the movie made a joke about it, these are real issues of inappropriate relations going on institutions such as and not limited to the prison system, schools (grade school) and Psych Wards. Out of all the institutions, New York State is hard on the staff in mental health institutions. If any staff get caught having sexual relations with any Psych Ward patients, they will be charged with third degree rape. It is considered that the mentally ill have no capacity of consenting to sexual relations. However, it seems that the State isn’t too concerned when it comes to sexual relations among the Psych Ward patients. Yes, it is against the Psych Ward policies to allow sexual relations between patients the state considers that mentally ill people do not have the capacity to consent to having sexual relations. Yet men and women are housed in the same unit. When men and women get together they will find some way to engage in sexual relations and do it right under the staff’s nose. It is a wonder that Psych Ward female patients don’t get pregnant. I guess that they are given an additional medication preventing them from becoming pregnant. Just like prison, staff are aware of instances of liaisons ( but are powerless to prevent it.

In a setting like the Psych Ward one needs to understand that there is some sort of social interactions taking place between the patients.  Also, that staff is part of the patient on patient social order.

An example of  social elements that exists in the Psych Ward are that older female patients are looked too as mother figures. Given that most mentally ill people’s family abandon them. They have little or no contact with their mothers. The older women in the Psych Ward necomes a substitute.  If the mentally ill patient is a woman who have children. Most these mothers are abandoned or have little to no contact with their children. This can come as a result of other family members preventing the children from contacting their mothers for one reason or another. Or if the children are grown and felt the sting of being brought up by an untreated mentally ill mother. The experiences that the mother put them through left scars that when they come of age they walk away from their mother and don’t look back. Those females accept being a mother figure to the younger Psych Ward patient that look to them as a mother figure.

Even the patients are concerned about their fellow patients who are physical incapacitated. The conduct and behavior of staff members are watched; and if the staff members does not treat the elderly or more fragile patients as they should, the other Psych Ward patients get up-set. What happens afterwards would be behavior that express that the Patients in the Psych ward are upset.

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