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meaningful quote I found was, “behind that antiquated boiler, hidden from
decades of view, was ben smith’s home” (Seager, 1991, p.79). This quote stuck
with me throughout the book. I was so surprised a person could be living in the
basement of the hospital for so long. No one knew, no one looked for him and no
one cared. He had been lying there ever since he was admitted to the hospital.
He didn’t have any family looking for him and he didn’t know what to do if he
wasn’t a janitor. He later said, “I’ve always been a janitor, right from the
start” (Seager, 1991, p.81). He became a janitor when he was admitted to the
hospital and it was all he knew. As years went on different doctors came in and
out people forgot he was a patient and slowly he became just the janitor.


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I think everyone can benefit from
this book. In America, even though we are more tolerant of people with a mental
illness, there is still a stigma. I think if people read this book they will
have an insight into the world of mental illness and how these people live a
daily battle. Most of these patients are homeless or in and out of care from
friends or family. They tend to be made fun of or thought of as less than. If
more people read this book I think they will be more tolerant and the stigma of
mental illness can be lessened.


For me, this book had many
surprising facts. One that stuck with me was the 7-year-old boy who came in screaming
that something was crawling on his face and nose. It turns out his child got
into his parent’s stash of cocaine. This really upset Dr. Seager because he
couldn’t believe a parent would leave cocaine in an area that a child could get
to. He also was upset by how often this happens. Another part of the book that
stuck with me was when a mother came in asking for help to get her children
back. Dr. Seager knew she was a drug addict and wasn’t happy about her coming
in for help. He sat down and listened to her story anyway and it turns out she
sold her children to a man called “the baby man” (Seager, 1991, p.) She sold them for drugs but now
she wanted them back. Dr. Seager ended up yelling at this woman and leaving his
shift at work. Finally, the last point that stuck out to me was an overall tone
in the book. I was surprised at how many of these patients could harm
themselves or others. Multiple times in the book a patient could harm
themselves or another person. One patient was even able to shoot himself in
front of a doctor.


This book showed me there is nothing
to be afraid of in this clinical. All the people in these hospitals are normal
everyday people. They may have a mental illness, but they were at one point
just like me. They need some help understanding why they are at the hospital
and why they should take their meds, but they just need some help. I think this
clinical will be a lot of listening, which is different from what our past clinical
were. Most of the patients in the hospital need to be heard. During this clinical,
my listening skills will be important and will improve throughout clinical.
This book showed me that although these patients need medicine, most of them
just need to be heard and communicated with.


            He thought this would be the end of his
time working at the hospital. When he went back the next day to apologize, he
was expecting to be fired. Instead, no one said anything. He apologized and
decided that he would return to work. He knew he was helping people in the long
run and needed to keep working to better the lives of these people. After his
internship was over he went to work on a different floor in the hospital. This
was a life-changing experience for Dr. Seager and he knew he would never forget

            Dr. Charles was one of Dr. Seagers
good friends. He seemed to be perfect and knew all of what he was doing. One
day he had a new admit, Millie Jensen. Dr. Charles decided to put her on a
medication that requires frequent monitoring. When the EKG results came back,
it showed a curtail mistake. Dr. Charles had given a high dose of this medicine
and it could have killed Millie. After this happened, Dr. Charles was never the
same. He later tried to kill himself, and Dr. Seager stopped him. Dr. Seager
brought him out of his depression and showed him the way to be okay with his
mistake. Nothing was the same after this, Dr. Singh died, and Dr. Seager was
starting to get overwhelmed and annoyed by his patients. More people were being
admitted and they didn’t need to be or were in the wrong place at the wrong
time. A 7-year-old boy came in shrieking because the thought things were
crawling up his nose. It turns out he had gotten into his parent’s stash of
cocaine and was hallucinating. Later, a woman came in saying she needed help
getting her children back because she had given them to the baby man for drugs.
These events lead up to Dr. Seager leaving a shift.

            Eventually, the strike ended, and
things went back to normal. People still got admitted and one of those people
was Keshia Turner. She had borderline personality disorder and would frequently
try and start arguments or fights with people. She did attach to one person,
Les O’Connor. He was a veteran in the military and was in for PTSD. He seemed
to calm her and she seemed to calm him. They left together one day, and Dr.
Seager knew it would not last.

            New admits started coming in like
Mae Patterson. She was severely depressed and came from the main hospital after
slitting her wrists. Mae had been in and out of different homes, families, and
hospitals after her depression started. Mae just needed someone to talk to and
help her out when she was going through her tough times.

            As Christmas rolled around, a new
patient was admitted. His name was Mr. Carson. He was an older man who was in
and out of the “bin” all his life (Seager, 1991, p.). At this time, Ben (the janitor) seemed jumpy
and worried, then suddenly he disappeared. Ben was gone for quite some time
when finally Dr. Seager found him in the basement. He was found with a bed,
bookshelf, and food. It seemed he was living down there and it turns out he
was. Ben had been living in the basement of the hospital for his whole life.
Shortly after this, there was a nursing strike. This made the doctors have to
work overtime and work all day and night. With the nurses on strike, the
janitors went with them and slowly the whole hospital began to fall apart.

            Next, there was Martin. He was
diagnosed with schizophrenia and was hearing voices. He was usually seen in his
room staring out the window. Dr. Seager usually could not get him to say much. Martin
was later found packing in his room, he was wanted to spend the summer with his
family and leave the “bin” (Seager,
1991, p.). After a quick talk, Dr. Seager decided to discharge martin,
even though he knew he would never see him again. While he was working with
Martin, he also had a patient named Ricky Myers. Ricky was a mass murderer and
most people were afraid of him. It seemed no amount of psych med could keep him
down. As time progressed in his meetings they became shorter and shorter. Ricky
later had a break and ended up killing Dr. Singh.

The book psych ward started off with a man named Dr. Seager.
He worked as a doctor in the ER for 9 years before deciding he had enough. He
decided to start over and become an intern at the county psych hospital. He was
on floor 3 west. On his first day, he almost quit, but he stuck with it and
started to get the hang of the floor. One of his first patients was Millie. She
was an older African American woman with Alzheimer’s. Dr. Seager quickly became
attached to her. They would chat for hours about her childhood and what she
could remember. She even helped him with getting people registered and bussed
to the voting areas. This enabled them to elect the person Dr. Seager thought
would help the psychiatric community best. Shortly after the election, Millie
passed away in her sleep. Although Dr. Seager was hurt by this, he knew she was
in a better place and he was content.


Psychward was
written by Dr. Stephen Seager. After completing 9 years in the ER working in a
fast-paced environment he decided he had enough. Once he decided to leave the
ER, Dr. Seager went into psychiatry. On his first day on the floor, he had no
idea what to expect. Doctors were asking questions in rounds he didn’t know the
answer to and he felt like he made a terrible mistake. After going back, the
second-day things became easier. Dr. Seager even began to enjoy what he was
doing. He got into the swing of things and could start meeting with his
patients. These patients would teach him more about life and how to care for
someone not only physically but mentally too.

Review of Psych Ward a Year Behind Locked

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