• Question: what is your typical day like?

    Asked by 734menb53 to Psychiatry Ward Team, Neel - Psychiatrist, Home Treatment Team, Early Intervention Team, Ed - Mental Health Nurse, Arts Therapy Team, Annabel - Head of HR on 30 Jan 2019. This question was also asked by kiril_.s21.
    • Photo: Arts Therapy Team

      Arts Therapy Team answered on 30 Jan 2019:

      Cat ( Music Therapist). A typical day in the NHS for me is arrival, COFFEE, check emails, check clients care records for any updates (I am only 2 days a week for this NHS trust so sometimes lots can happen in the days I am not here). Set up my music therapy room, tune instruments, get equipment ready ( amps, ipad etc depending on what I may be using with each client). See an individual client for their therapy session lasting an hour. Write up their notes on the care record. Perhaps arrange initial appointments for new referrals into our team. Add these to the care records. Business meeting to discuss current issues and requirements for arts therapies – any training / presentations, marketing to do etc. Then another 2 individual sessions or a group in the afternoon, write notes up, work on any reports, make phonecalls to other health professionals to discuss clients as appropriate. Send any emails, compete elearning as required and home time.
      Most of this happens without contact with the rest of the team in this NHS Trust. In another job the office work is with other therapists and medics so there’s more chat and a team feel. It can vary hugely for music therapists and usually every day is different!

    • Photo: Home Treatment Team

      Home Treatment Team answered on 30 Jan 2019:

      Typical day is very busy and i work alongside all staff doctors, social workers, psychologists, nurses, occupational therapist, psychology graduates and support workers.
      I attend a handover meeting for an hour in the morning and the afternoon where we discuss any new referrals to the home treatment team and any current updates, risk, actions and plans required.
      I will attend a conference call for approximately 30 mins – this is where i speak with senior managers so we are aware of the numbers of patients that are waiting to be admitted to hospital, any patients that are ready to be discharged from hospital, any concerns about levels of staffing, any concerns where we need to support other teams and generally to update senior staff that the home treatment is still able to accept referrals.
      I sometimes will go out and visit between 2-4 patients on a shift depending on how busy it is. I will spend time speaking to the patient, completing an assessment, completing care plans with them, completing a risk assessment, carrying out physical; health checks, discussing their mental health and medications with them. Providing pyscho-education on their condition, any drug or alcohol issues, offering some basic therapeutic interventions and arranging medical reviews with the doctor, phone calls to pharmacy about medications,phone calls to GPs and other services that may be involved with the patients care. Speaking with any family or carers who may be involved offering them support.
      As a senior staff member staff approach ,me daily to ask questions and advise and i offer my support at all times. On some days i provide staff supervision for an hour each time.
      Some days i provide teaching sessions or presentations to the team but also off site to other teams.
      Some days i attend business meetings and also reflective groups.
      Some days i attend meetings with all staff in the team to discuss patient care and plans for treatment and onward discharge.
      I send and respond to countless emails and also have to monitor and collect data for audits.
      My job involves a lot of documentation and sometimes proving reports and letters for patients.
      I also assist or signpost patients for help with benefits and housing concerns.
      I also attend meetings with social services and other specialist services.
      I may also attend interviews for myself or interview staff for a job within our team.
      I have to make sure the team rota has the correct amount of staff on shift to practice safely.
      I also sometimes have to provide staff with extra support if they may be struggling at work in order to help them in their learning and development.
      I am the student nurse link worker so i liaise with the universities to make sure the team is a positive learning environment for all students that attend for placements.
      I also have to attend yearly training as part of the trust agreements and also attend other training of interest and relevance to my work and role.

    • Photo: Early Intervention Team

      Early Intervention Team answered on 30 Jan 2019:

      Sarah (Manager) every day is pretty different. Like today, I started by visiting a team in Wiltshire and speaking with the doctor who has recently looked at the medicines that are being prescribed to patients. Some of the medicines are notorious for causing weight gain and making people feel drowsy, which also means people on them can find it hard to do things they like. So we have planned a day to visit with doctors in the hospital to talk about prescribing other medicines that are less likely to cause weight gain.

      Then this afternoon I am meeting with Commissioners in Reading (Berkshire). Commissioners are managers who take care of funding decisions in the NHS. I am meeting them to discuss the money that is due to come into the NHS for mental health care. I will be helping them to secure the money once it arrives in their budget – sometimes money in the NHS can be hard to track so we try to make sure it ends up where its supposed to! 🙂

      After my meeting with commissioners, I will be preparing a presentation for an event that I am attending tomorrow in Somerset where we will have support workers, peer workers, nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists and GPs discussing how to detect early signs of psychosis and help people back to living the lives they want. Thats just today, every day is different which makes it interesting.

    • Photo: Sheffield Psychiatry Ward Team

      Sheffield Psychiatry Ward Team answered on 30 Jan 2019:

      It’s fair to say that on an inpatient ward no day is typical!

      Emma and Gemma, as with most psychiatry doctors, generally work 9-5 with regular “on-call” shifts in the evenings, overnight and at weekends. During on-call shifts they are available to help lots of wards if there are any emergencies. Edelle generally works 9-5 as ward manager as well. Jennifer and other ward nurses usually work shifts, so they either start work at 7am, 1:30pm or 9pm as well as some weekends, which can be tricky when friends and family are off, but quite nice when she has a day off and everyone else is at work!

      The day normally starts with a ‘handover’ which is a brief summary of each patient, including what has happened during the shift, and any plans they have or any important information that needs to be passed on. Once a week the whole team review patients together and relatives can attend and discuss their family member’s care at a longer Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meeting. Usually the MDT meeting is attended by doctors, nurses, the ward manager, psychologists, occupational therapists, pharmacists and students but there can be many more!

      When not in the the MDT meeting, Edelle, as a ward manager, will attend meetings either on or off the ward with regards to the general running of the ward, eg with finance department about budgets, or with senior managers about the number of beds we have available (we are very busy but have to make sure we have beds available for those who need it most). She might also meet with her ward staff to address any issues that might be happening on the ward in order to support them in providing care to patients.

      During the day Emma and Gemma, as doctors, conduct assessments of patients when they first come in to hospital. This includes finding out about their family situation and any stress that they have been under. Sometimes patients are suffering from paranoia, so you have to work extra hard to build rapport and trust with them. We then might discuss and begin medication to help with their mental illness and monitor this to make sure patients don’t get side effects – usually with help from the senior doctors. We review our patients regularly to check they are getting better and will work with them to think about what they can do to keep themselves well when they are back at home. We also meet with patients’ relatives to find out more about how we can best help them. We look after the physical health of our patients and often spend time liaising with our colleagues at the General Hospital; patients with mental illness are more likely to suffer from certain physical health conditions so we frequently work together with other specialities. As psychiatry trainees we are lucky to have regular teaching and are constantly learning new things, and there are plenty of opportunities during the working week where we have time to do research, teach medical students or conduct reviews of our practice to make sure we’re the best we can.

      Nurses will spend most of the day with patients and their tasks include completing care plans (a plan made collaboratively with the patient about getting them better) and risk assessments. Patients in hospital can have differing levels of leave so we need to be sure they are well enough, and staff will also decide how often to check in on the patient. Nurses also dispense medication, take physical observations, assess patients, help with personal care, and create discharge plans. Nurses offer regular one to one support with patients to give them time to talk about how they are feeling. Jennifer can also often be found teaching student nurses and junior staff members, completing audits, offering support to staff, attending meetings within the Trust, planning the development of the ward, taking the role of the bed manager for the trust, taking patients out into the community, helping someone cook their meals, or even having a game of bingo or a go on the karaoke. Her role is very diverse and one moment she can be doing office work and the next she is helping to calm down someone who is upset, and she thinks this is why she finds it so rewarding. She feels that the team is like a big family, everyone’s opinion is listened to and is respected.