No typical ones anyway. There is one suicidal patient with acute depression waiting to be transferred to an in-patient facility. But, as Nurse Nina Ribeiro, 24, says “this is not your typical psych patient.”
Rather than aggressive and argumentative, this patient is quiet and gentle, sleeping in her darkened room while her “sitter” — a designated nurse’s assistant who literally babysits psych patients — does her homework at a desk outside of her room.
“That’s an element of her depression. She’s accepting, she needs compassion,” explains the dark-eyed and upbeat Ribeiro.
But its not just the patient’s docility that makes her atypical — she’s spends only a few hours in the hospital before being transferred to a psychiatric facility. Ribeiro estimates that typical psych patients wait for 12-24 hours before being another facility is found.
How did this patient luck out? Boston Emergency Services Team, or BEST.
BEST sends clinically trained psychologists to assess psychiatric patients and find programs for them. Tonight, the atypical patient was placed in a psych facility by BEST psychologist Gary Joslow, 66, who spends 40 minutes to an hour assessing a patient before recommending a program and finding a place. He finds they don’t always need the in-patient care the doctors recommend, so he looks at a larger pool of resources when placing a patient.
The depressed patient was lucky to have Joslow find her a place so quickly, but she was a bit sad anyway — she didn’t want to leave Ribeiro behind. The two hugged in the hallway before the EMTs wheeled the patient out, and docile or not, it’s best for everyone when psych patients are in facilities with the resources to take care of them.