Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's not often you can say, "I spent my morning in mental health court."
But that's exactly where I found myself the other day.
For nursing school, we have a clinical rotation in a mental health facility - and I'm in the thick of it right now. So when the patient I was talking with said she had court later, I made sure I found a way to sneak onto the van to take me there, too. (I didn't really sneak... but I really, really wanted to go).

So there I sat, in the back row of the court room, just trying to take it all in. I watched as doctor after doctor testified about patient after patient: discussing their mental illness, why they were admitted in the first place,  how they were treating the patient, and how much longer he should stay in an inpatient setting.

And then I watched as patient after patient argued their cases (if they were able) and pleaded to be let out sooner.

It all felt so helpless, watching them walk in with so much hope and leave with their heads hung and tears in their eyes. I'm not even sure how to process it all except to pray, "Come, Lord Jesus. Come."
Only He is able to take this kind of pain, hopelessness, and helplessness and somehow redeem it all for His glory.

On a much lighter note, I've had so much fun with the schizophrenic and manic patients. (Maybe that means I've been in the psych hospital for too long?) They are incredibly comedic, and sometimes they realize it and other times they don't. Today some of us students got an impromptu dance-a-thon, a special rendition of "Amazing Grace" with harmony and all, and a lot of laughs. Thank the Lord for these special people who brighten my day. I'm not sure how you could be a psychiatric nurse without little breaks from these sweet people. :)


  1. Whitney, it's so funny how often you are brought to my mind even though we have never met! I was thinking about you yesterday...the new group of student nurses just arrived on the neuro floor this week, and I got to work with one of them for the first time yesterday. It was wonderful to collaborate with a fellow student, and even though we are from different disciplines, it's essential that we work together in patient care. Whenever you are brought to mind, I send out a little blessing for you to have a good day!

  2. I so relate to this post, Whitney. I work in psychiatric units every weekend, and sometimes I laugh and sometimes I cry. My favorite thing is knowing that the presence of Christ is in those units when you or I are there- because He's in us!


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