Work Experience in Mental Health

4th year student Crea Elliot recently spent a week as part of her 4th year work experience programme at St. Patrick’s Mental Health Hospital. Below, she tells us a bit about her experience there.

In February I spent a week as part of my 4th year work experience programme in St. Patrick’s Mental Health Hospital.

To start off the week we went to the lecture hall and spoke to one of the directors at the hospital Tom Maher. He spoke to us about what mental illnesses people are being treated for in the hospital.

He told us about bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, anorexia, OCD, personality disorders and schizophrenia. He spoke about these mental illnesses in detail to give us a better understanding of them. The average stay in a mental health hospital is 30-34 days.

On another day, we got to watch a mock MDT with a fake patient. This is the process in which a psychologist, an occupational therapist, a social worker a nurse and a psychiatrist all interview a patient. They diagnose the patient with whatever mental illness they are suffering from and come up with a care plan for the patient.

We did a full day CPR training course and learned how to deal with people going into cardiac arrest and having a stroke.

We had a talk with a consultant psychiatrist which was probably the best part of the week. We learned how the hospital is trying to fight stigma against mental illness and all of the different things that they do to raise awareness on mental health.