Saturday, May 24, 2014

The conversation I wish I could have with certain people I work with

In Michigan,  two pieces of paperwork have to be completed before involuntary psychiatric hospitalization can be considered:  one is a petition, which any concerned person can complete if they have reason to believe the future patient has a mental illness and/or is a danger to himself or others.  The second is called a "certification", which can be completed by any physician or PhD level psychologist.

 I have, in my job as a mental health condition,  had a hard time coaching doctors to fill in a cert properly.  So this is the discussion  I wish I could have with each of them.

"What is this?"
"This is called a 'cert'.  You have to complete it and indicate whether you think the patient should or shouldn't be hospitalized."
" I have to meet with the patient again to go over these words at the top?"
"Can I fill it out with this red pen?"
"No.  You have to use a black pen."
"Can I staple it together?"
"No, it has to be a 2 sided piece of paper.  If you've typed it online and need it changed from 2 single-side pages to a double sided page, I or the clerks can help you with that."
"I made a mistake.  Should I cross it out?"
"No.  Start again."
"Can I fold it?"
"Can I spindle it?"
"Can I mutilate it?"
"Can I sign it with a little flower over the 'i' in my name?"
"Do you sign with a little flower over the 'i'in your name on other medical documents?"
"No, I just wondered.  I think I put my name where the patient's should go.  Can I just draw arrows to show that they should be switched?"
"No.  Start again."
"I got coffee all over it.  That's OK, isn't it?"
"No.  Start again."
"I think the patient needs a longer evaluation in the hospital, so I just checked "evaluation."
"That's fine, but that pretty much negates the cert. If you are recommending hospitalization, you need to check, 'hospitalization."
"I don't really need to meet with the patient, Dr. So and So told me all about him/her.  So I'll just fill this out based on what I heard from her."
"No, you need to meet with the patient and go through the script on the front page."
"Can I fax it over from my office?"
"No, we need the original."
"Why are you so negative?"
"Because I want your cert to work."

Basically, if you have to ask me, the answer is probably "NO."

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