Week 1 >
REH Mental Health Education
Today we made our first visit to REH’s Old Age Psychiatry unit. We were treated as if we were medical students to help gain insight into their experience during the 3 - day educational course. This included an ‘ICE’ introduction during which we discussed our prior knowledge and expectations regarding old age psychiatry, followed by an MDT meeting which allowed us to observe the team dynamic as they discussed various patients on the ward.
In the afternoon we took part in a student-led tutorial, researching the MSE and then presenting our findings in the form of a poster. We also had the opportunity to then observe a real MSE between a consultant and a patient and visited some of the patient’s rooms.
- Old age psychiatry is less about solving a problem and more about improving quality of life
- Psychiatry deals with the ‘grey areas’
- There is an inherent complexity to psychiatry - it is difficult to teach and requires compassion, patience and empathy
- Large majority of the work is community based
Day two of hospital visits with all 8 of out team in attendance. In the morning we had the opportunity to meet with med students and discuss with them the state of psychiatric education within their curriculum. This conversation was a valuable insight into the medical education system at a point where most students are still undecided about which medical field they want to pursue - a crucial time for convincing young doctors to pursue old age psychiatry as a potential profession.
In the afternoon our group slit up, with half taking part in a dementia simulation designed to give healthy people a taste of what it feels like to live with the life altering condition. The other half of our team sat in on a check up with an elderly dementia patient in order to get a feel for what the job of an old age psychiatrist entails and what qualities and skills beyond standard medical knowledge come into play.
Once reunited our team attended the lectures which the medical students would ordinarily sit through during their three days of psychiatry experience. Afterwards we offered feedback on the delivery of the lectures and how they could be modernised to be more engaging for the students.
- The education process during the medical students three day visit could be reworked to become more engaging.
- More needs to be done to portray to med students the benefits of working in old age psychiatry over other medical fields.
- Psychiatry requires a number of soft skills not taught through standard curriculum.
Third and final day of hospital visits with half of our team in attendance. Today followed a looser structure with the morning beginning with a patient brief with all ward staff in attendance. This meeting went through each individual currently housed in the ward, with their condition being discussed collaboratively and a plan of action reached.
We then attended a meeting of senior ward staff members and engaged in casual conversation about the state of the profession, what could be done to convince more young people to pursue psychiatry, and some anecdotes about working in the field. Our team then split up and spent the afternoon shadowing members of staff in different roles around the ward.Key Insights
- Importance of being able to collaborate and work together in the field of psychiatry
Today we began creating a user journey, mapping both the educator/consultant and the students. From this we were able to identify positive elements and friction points - resulting in various insights. We also created a timeline of a medical student’s education, from high school to a specialist job in psychiatry
- Majority of the friction points occurred in the lecture + small group teaching section of the course
With a complete user journey, today we started to group our findings into three main areas: Teaching, Recruitment and Learning. We also created user profiles for a psychiatrist and a surgeon.