Now that the new Intern Gerry started his doing his internship hours; the Psych Ward now has two interns (https://truegeorge.com/2017/01/06/race-card/). Richie the youngest white patient was open to sitting down with him to discuss what is on his mind. Richie has never sat down and spoke for a length of time with anyone. Denny an older white male patient in the unit also sat down and spoke with Intern Gerry. It was observed that there was a group discussion among the white males at one point. Before Intern Gerry the white males have never voluntary participated in any group discussion. This has reinforced that there is some type of identification with the race of the counselor as far as male patients are concerned.
Meanwhile it is recognized that there has been some progress with the first Intern Joe in gaining rapport with some patients who did not speak with him yet. The first one is Bryan he is another young white male; however, he is withdrawn and keeps to himself. Bryan just happened to sit at the table where Intern Joe was sitting to eat lunch. Intern Joe decided to see if he would respond if he asked him a question. Intern Joe asked Bryan something like “what do you like to do?” Bryan answered, “I like to draw;” Intern Joe then asked “what kind of picture do you like to draw?” Bryan’s responded “I like to draw words,” It seems that Bryan likes to draw words instead of drawing pictures.
The other person who have never spoken to Joe before is Richie. It was surprising that Richie actually sat down with Intern Joe and engaged in the group activity of playing a card game. Even though it was for a brief moment, Intern Joe welcomed it.
Also, Intern Joe was told by two staff members how they feel about his participation in the Psych Ward. Staff member Sade stated that Intern Joe have developed some form of trust among the black patients. That since most of the staff and patients are white the black patients feel some type of mistrust or racial tension. Intern Joe’s presence made some of the black patients feel comfortable. Another staff member James has also given Intern Joe a compliment and said that since Intern Joe came to the unit there has been an increase in activity among some of the patients. Intern Joe’s time with the Psych Ward will be over soon and he hopes that whoever does his evaluation feels the same way.
Overall, it seems that the small gesture in attempting to gain rapport with the goal to have a discussion is having some effect. However, the Interns still have to remember that the patients are medicated and that the medication has a huge impact on how they feel, whether to or not engage in some form of activity; or just sit down and have a discussion.
As far as interpersonal communication with the patients is concerned it continues to improve with the present Interns, staff and treatment time in place. Yet, it is only a matter of time that treatment team, staff members and Interns will be shuffled around. Some personal moving on to other areas to advance their career and salary. While other personal are assigned to other locations that is convenient to them. Some personal will retire or quit. Old Interns would have finished their Internship and new Interns assigned. For patients, some may get discharged while others go back and forth like a revolving door (https://truegeorge.com/2016/08/17/vicious-cycle/). Either way establishing rapport is a constant and necessary process in the Psych Ward.