Being inpatient at a psychiatric teaching hospital can feel a bit like being an animal in a Zoo.

Residents, medical students, and student nurses all come through to learn how to treat patients with psychiatric considerations.

For the most part, as a patient you have the right to privacy and to ask that you not have to be seen by students. A fully licensed supervising doctor or nurse always does a follow up if they aren’t right beside the student in any case.

I can make for some interesting discussions with providers and provide you as a patient with the opportunity to educate new mental health professionals about your experiences as a patient. I’ve always found it to be really beneficial for both of us.

I know a lot of people have really terrifying ideas about what inpatient hospitalization is like. I won’t blow smoke up your ass and tell you it’s a day spa, but it isn’t anything like a movie either.

It’s more like a bad summer camp really. The food is marginal, there are one or two fellow campers who are unusual, the camp staff is pretty cool except for that one who is always the pain in the ass, there are fun arts and crafts, you (hopefully) learn something about yourself in the process, and you are really glad to go home.

It’s definitely not something you can’t survive, and it’s likely to be something that you will be better of for if you truly need it.

Some people have had horrific experiences and I am in no way discounting those. I’ve just been hospitalized 14 times in multiple units and, while some have been better than others, I survived all of them.

There is something to be said about feeling like an animal at the zoo while you are there though. You are constantly watched and even your food intake is monitored. It’s truly an interesting experience, one I hope none of you are ever sick enough to need. It is survivable though.

If anyone has any specific questions about hospitalization, leave them in the comments below. Thanks.

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4 thoughts on “Patients

  1. I appreciate your perspective here, Kimberly. As one of those many students at the various teaching hospital zoos (I’m a retired family doc), I learned so much from those willing patients. I like to imagine that at times I helped them as well, often as much by being interested as anything else. Not an easy job, being ill and being a teacher and student simultaneously.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol. I hope I didn’t come across as arrogant. That wasn’t my intention at all. I just meant that sometimes it can feel like you are being inspected and sometimes those students are really green about things that you have been living with for a long time. Sometimes though they have really awesome insight too. I think it’s really beneficial for everyone. I hope that came across.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not arrogant at all, and your intention seemed clear to me. My suspicion is that when one is inpatient, many of the visitors were arrogant, imagining that those on the “other side” were somehow different than they, rather than fellow travelers.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sometimes. The medical students I encountered never were really. Some of the residents were a little more entitled. The student nurses were more scared than anything until they settled. They usually came in a large group for just a couple of days.


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