So you’ve gotten past the door….
A psychiatric patient’s reaction to a new person on the unit varies wildly…. Are you a superhero doctor here to rescue them, or a demon that has come to drag them to hell? Perhaps you appear to be Elvis Presley, or their mother. Either way, there are endless possibilities as to how you will be received, but in general, fear not. Contrary to popular belief, it is unlikely that as a visitor any harm will come to you at the hand of a psychiatric patient.
The regular staff however, plays a different role and suffers different consequences. They have the privilege of playing a more permanent role in the life of a psychologically disturbed patient. That can be good or bad, depending on how successfully, and carefully that role is played. Are they stuck being the superhero doctor, or the demon (or Elvis). Either way, a skilled professional should be able to manipulate that appearance into something therapeutic. With the hope of eventually shifting that patient’s perception back to a more reasonable place. And for the nonprofessional, this can be a hilarious opportunity to entertain yourself for a 12 hour shift.