Good clinical experience for those interested in psychiatry?

speedyk

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Obviously shadowing is out of the question... what clinic experience can you get?
 

Law2Doc

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speedyk said:
Obviously shadowing is out of the question... what clinic experience can you get?
I'm not so sure shadowing is impossible. I mean, you cannot sit in on someone's psychoanalysis, but not sure why you couldn't follow a psychiatrist around the psych wards of a hospital, if s/he and the patients allow it.
 

TauPathology

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Law2Doc said:
I'm not so sure shadowing is impossible. I mean, you cannot sit in on someone's psychoanalysis, but not sure why you couldn't follow a psychiatrist around the psych wards of a hospital, if s/he and the patients allow it.
I can just see the fun in trying to ask the patients whether they would allow it. :)

Might be worth checking into whether people are "checked in" by law rather than choice, whether it has any stipulations for students.
 
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letitgo

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I worked at a nursing home for the mentally ill, just part-time. I mainly talked to schizophrenics all day. It was great exposure for a career in psychiatry - maybe you can look into this (group homes for the mentally ill abound).
 

deuist

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Depends on what you want out of psychiatry. Volunteering at a Crisis or Rape Center is a good way to learn active listening and counseling skills. If you want inpatient experience, work as a nursing assistant in a hospital and ask to be on the psych floor.
 

obrn

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Check into what is required to become a mental health tech. Often in in-patient settings, there are just one or two RN's and several mental health techs. The MHT's take a patient load, and do a lot with the patients. I don't know if there are classes that you need to take for this, but I would contact a local psychiatric hospital or unit and check with them -- it can be somewhat of a high turnover job, so I would imagine that if you aren't too picky about what area you want to work in (you don't have to work on an adolescent psych or something) then you could probably find a job without too much difficulty.
 

Quix

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obrn said:
Check into what is required to become a mental health tech. Often in in-patient settings, there are just one or two RN's and several mental health techs. The MHT's take a patient load, and do a lot with the patients. I don't know if there are classes that you need to take for this, but I would contact a local psychiatric hospital or unit and check with them -- it can be somewhat of a high turnover job, so I would imagine that if you aren't too picky about what area you want to work in (you don't have to work on an adolescent psych or something) then you could probably find a job without too much difficulty.
I worked as one for two years - only one of the other techs had an undergraduate degree in psychology. They can be called different things in different hospitals; where I worked, I was called a "Mental Health Worker", elsewhere they can be called "Milieu Therapists". In that capacity, I monitored vital signs, administered MMSE's and GDS's (Geriatric Depression Scales), ran groups and 1:1 sessions, charted patient progress, etc., etc.
 

LockesKidney

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yea im a tech right now at a addiction treatment center. if you befriend the psych's you can sit in with the patient which i do often. obviously they all know i am applying for med school so when i eat lunch with them all they are more than open for questions and talk freely about patients and presenting symptoms, i have learned tons. also being in direct contact with the patient allows you to become comfortable especially in the field of addiction where it can be rather difficult. i don't get paid tons but the experience doesn't have a price tag.
 
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