Service Learning Observation of Psychiatric Patients Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Service Learning Observation of Psychiatric Patients

Patients with normal health problems behave in a different manner as compared to patients with psychiatric problems. It has always fascinated me that psychiatric patients have an ability to look normal as compared to the patients with other health problems despite the fact that they are suffering from what can be in a longer term a fatal mental disease. My interest in psychiatric patients encouraged me to voluntarily work at a local psychiatric hospital to observe these patients and identify their attributes to develop better understanding of how they would react to certain situations. The paper aims to elaborate on my experience of work there and also elaborates on my observation of the psychiatric patients in the observed local hospital.

The Experimental Dimensions of Service Learning

It is human nature to associate certain expectations and develop certain feelings with a certain situation before experiencing it. Similarly, before actually going into the hospital and experiencing the service learning via observation of actual psychiatric patients, I had associated certain expectations and developed certain feelings with the forthcoming experience. I had associated "retarded behavior" with psychiatric patients.

Although retarded behavior is carried out by some of the psychiatric patients but not all of them. Many of them act normal and but still have psychiatric problems. With regards to my service learning experience, I expected to be able to work directly in contact with psychiatric patients. The authorization to work at a psychiatric hospital had automatically led me to develop feelings of sympathy for the psychiatric patients.

Expectations related to site of the organization were not that positive as the common notion towards psychiatric hospitals is not very positive. With respect to environment, colleagues and patients, my expectations were neutral. As I expected the colleagues to be friendly in terms of helping me with dealing with the duties that I was assigned while I expected the patients to be extremely challenging to handle. As far as the environment is concerned I expected an overall friendly but tensed environment as the special attention that psychiatric patients need, requires a friendly environment due to the need of gentle and loving treatment for the patients.

While I was at the psychiatric hospital, I had a mixed set of feelings. As on one hand I saw patients who were severely disturbed mentally, some of them appeared to be normal despite the psychiatric problems they had and on the other hand I saw each patient being treated differently according to the nature and severity of the problem he/she had. My interaction with the patients enhanced my sympathetic feelings for them however, at the same time they made me feel frustrated as some of the patients required to be told the same thing over and over again and some of the patients refused to take whatever advice was given to them. Hence, my feelings associated with the service learning there were a combination of frustration, sympathy and motivation to work to bring a difference in the life of the psychiatric patient.

I performed the service of assistance. I worked as an assistant for a local psychiatrist in the hospital and also had a chance to work with other volunteers for other work tasks. As an assistant, my duties included noting down the meeting minutes in terms of the diseases diagnosis, patient symptoms, any tests prescribed by the psychiatrist, and also additional notes based on my personal observation of the patient while the psychiatrist continues to examine the patient. Part of my duty was to interact with other volunteers if required e.g. If the patient was assigned with some medical tests, I would be responsible for assisting the patient in getting the tests done. This would require my interaction with the volunteers working in the related laboratory or department.

After my visit, I felt more sympathetic towards the psychiatric patients, more than I have ever felt before. The reason for that probably is that I was able to witness the helplessness and innocence of the patient more closely. I also had a feeling that the hospital requires improvement in terms of the facilities provided for the in-ward patients. The staff dealing with psychiatric patients sometimes lost their patience dealing with them. This usually led to anti-social behavior from the patients. Thus, I felt that the hospital's environment needs substantial amount of improvement which can be carried out by providing training for the staff and training for the hospital's management.

The service learning experience was great for me because not only did it enhance my working capabilities, it also enhanced my learning and my understanding of the subject in consideration.

The day ended up well as I was able to accomplish what was assigned to me. I assisted the psychiatrist in three of his patient consultations, I also managed to get the required tests done for a patient. I also had a chance to observe the in-ward patients and interact with them personally. Some of the patients that I interacted with actually seemed happy which not only enhanced the effect of the treatment that they were getting but also enhanced my level of satisfaction.

The Objective Component of Service Learning

Multiple concepts applied to my service learning experience as I was assigned multiple sets of duties that encouraged application of all these concepts. The concepts of that applied to my service learning experience are mentioned below with brief details.

Psychosocial Development: The first concept that I experienced in my service learning was that of psychosocial developed. Working in a psychiatric hospital helped me in developing a better understanding of how psychiatric patients respond to certain things. While observing the clinical patients of the psychiatrist I assisted, I observed psychosocial development of the patient. Although for all of them the development was in its initial stages. The in-ward patients that I observed were also in the process of psycho-social development. It is important to note here that most psychiatric patients depict anti-social behavior, psycho social development helps them to recover from the anti-social behavior. Thus, the psychosocial development was one of the main objectives observed during my time of service learning.

Motivation: The concept of motivation can be applied in multiple ways since my service learning experience involved working as a volunteer and working for the patients along with the hospital staff. With respect of working as a volunteer, the concept of motivation applied to us and the staff. A little improvement in the patient's health increased the level of motivation not only in the permanent staff of the hospital but also in the volunteers. The other aspect of motivations is the aspect via the patient's end. Proper gentle and loving interaction by the staff and volunteers motivated the patient to comply with the advised treatment.

Social Psychology: During my assistance at the clinical consultations of the patients, the concept of social psychology was strongly observed in application. Since the patients are normally used to dealing with the psychiatrist alone, my presence served as an extreme challenge for the patient to open up and answer the questions of the psychiatrist. Hence my presence strongly influenced the feelings, behaviors and thoughts of the psychiatric patients. In-ward patients also depicted the behavior of social psychology due to my presence. However in their case, it was a positive turn-out as my interaction with them led them to take me as their friend due to which they elaborated more on the problems and issues they faced, or are currently facing thus depicting that my presence positively influenced the feelings, behaviors and thoughts of the in-ward psychiatric patients.

Understanding Diversity in Our Society

Diversity exists everywhere, even in the psychiatric hospitals. During my limited time there, I observed cultural diversity majorly in terms of gender, race and physical appearance. There were transsexual patients as well as male and female patients. Also each patient had a different physical appearance, since physical appearance can be affected by a person's race, both these components of diversity are over lapping.

Some of the patients were African-American while some of them were Asian. There were many other races as well. Some patients had a very sophisticated physical appearance while some patients had an extremely disturbed physical appearance.

Again, diversity prevails strongly in our society but emerges in a different way in case of psychiatric hospital. As the psychiatric disease affects the components of diversity strongly. Physical appearance, for example, is affected strongly by the nature and severity of the psychiatric disease. Diseases such as depression will make the physical appearance of the person disturbed and "unhappy," also the person will appear to be lost, i.e. having no or little clue of what's happening or where to go.

Diversity was also present in the hospital staff and the volunteers working in the psychiatric hospitals. People from all religions, ethnicities and races were working in the hospital. The fact that there were Indians, Americans, and Chinese working in the same hospital together is the proof of high level of…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Service Learning Observation Of Psychiatric Patients" (2012, September 11) Retrieved December 8, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/service-learning-observation-of-psychiatric-109036

"Service Learning Observation Of Psychiatric Patients" 11 September 2012. Web.8 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/service-learning-observation-of-psychiatric-109036>

"Service Learning Observation Of Psychiatric Patients", 11 September 2012, Accessed.8 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/service-learning-observation-of-psychiatric-109036

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Human Services Societies Conventionally Have Chalked Out

    Human Services Societies conventionally have chalked out the programs to sustain people who are not able to support for themselves especially old people, people having disabilities, people who do not have family etc. The Code of Hamurabi, devised by King Hammurabi of Babylonia in the 18th century BC is regarded as one of the oldest documents to mention about the social support. The religious and morality involved teachings in several societies

  • Dealing With Difficult Patients Translation of Evidence and Best...

    Difficult Patients Mitigating Risks from Dementia Providing adequate care for an individual suffering from dementia presents many difficulties for nurses. Patients with dementia often have debilitating conditions such as Alzheimer's or similar neurologic diseases which are progressive, thereby making it challenging for them to remember, think lucidly, communicate effectively or complete activities of daily living. Furthermore, dementia can cause rapid variations in mood or even modify personality and behavior. With the

  • Nursing Consideration for Patients With

    Behavioral approaches alone or combined cognitive behavior therapy may be used. Behavioral techniques might include simply not buying trigger foods or avoiding certain shops; that is, building up new habits to replace existing ones. Another example would be modifying eating behavior such as eating in the same place each day, or concentrating solely on eating and not watching television at the same time (Fiona Mantle, 2003)." It is worth noting

  • Doctor Patient Relationship Impact in Medical

    Besides the growth of health consumerism has demanded more contractual and conflicting relations between patient and doctor. A growing well-educated population has started to challenge medical authority, and treat the doctor-patient relationships as another supplier-consumer relationship instead of a sacred trust based on awe and deference. A general tendency has been seen in steadily reducing trust in physicians and also American medical system as a whole. (The Doctor-Patient Relationship:

  • Emergency Room Management Diagnose the Root Causes

    Emergency Room Management Diagnose the root causes of the complaints about the clinic. In the recent number of days, the number of the patients visiting the clinic has slowly but drastically increased. In contrary to the past days, the sick patients requiring serious attention from the doctors and the available physicians have increased. In the past, most of the patients only consulted the doctor regarding the disease and infection and acquired appropriate

  • Palliative Care

    Hisory of Palliatve Care Palliative Care Palliative Care Methods Palliative care entails assisting patients get through pain caused by different diseases. The patient may be ailing from any diseases, be it curable or untreatable. Even patient who are sick and almost passing away will need this care. Palliative care has characteristics that differentiate it to hospice care. The key role for palliative care is to help in improving the existence of someone and

  • Military Employee Stress the Objective

    The subjects were 613 injured Army personnel Military Deployment Services TF Report 13 admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center from March 2003 to September 2004 who were capable of completing the screening battery. Soldiers were assessed at approximately one month after injury and were reassessed at four and seven months either by telephone interview or upon return to the hospital for outpatient treatment. Two hundred and forty-three soldiers


Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved