Life isn’t about what happens to us;
It’s about how we perceive what happens to us.
With illness often come emotions so powerful that a patient’s physical recovery depends upon untangling a psychological web of sensations and feelings. That task can fall to McLaren Greater Lansing's Psychiatry and Consultation Liaison Team – psychiatrists, three medical social workers, and a psychiatric nurse practitioner. While a physician’s order is needed for a formal Consultation/Liaison evaluation, consult requests can be made by nursing staff, social workers, family members, or the patient. "We’re here to heal the whole person, that is to discern what is medical versus what is emotional," says Linda Peterson, M.D., FAPM.
In all affairs of life, at every moment, we have a choice.
Being in the hospital can leave a patient feeling vulnerable and anxious. You’ve given up considerable privacy, and your care revolves around a schedule out of your control. Sometimes, that care comes at the unconscionable hour of 3 a.m. You don’t get to choose the patient in the other bed. But you still have a choice of what you ask for. It may be up to you to ask your physician to request a psychiatric consult. It may be one of the healthiest requests you make.
A physician can open the door,
but you must enter by yourself.
Some reasons to talk with a psychiatrist might be:
- To talk about memory problems;
- To figure out why you’re having trouble sleeping, and what can be done to help you rest;
- To understand why you are experiencing appetite changes, uncomfortable anxiety or constant pain;
- To work out a plan to deal with substance abuse problems;
- To talk through feelings of hopelessness or motivation in the wake of less promising news than you’d hoped for;
- To get an objective opinion on your ability to understand and follow through on care needs;
- To explore family dynamic issues that are making you anxious;
- To talk through concerns, past or present, that may be delaying your recovery;
- If you’ve had prior psychiatric care for anxiety, depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, substance abuse or physical abuse;
- For medical evaluation and management.
When the patient is ready,
the practitioner will appear.
The Psychiatric Consultation and Liaison team are allies with you in healing the mind, as other physicians attend to your physical recovery. This is what you can gain through a complete psychiatric evaluation:
- Dialogue with a team member to talk about your health and family history, and to gain understanding of your current mental state, and how it relates to your mental health;
- To review medications and lab values for possible conflicts in your ability to reason and participate in making health care decisions;
- Recommendations for behavioral changes that can improve your mental and physical health status.
- Education for you and your family about your diagnosis and treatment options;
- Further testing to evaluate memory problems and decisionmaking abilities;
- Referrals for more intensive evaluation outside the acute care setting;
- Referrals for outpatient care and community resources;
- Care conferences to coordinate your care and help communicate your needs.
To change our lives,
we must first change our minds.
McLaren Greater Lansing’s Consultation and Liaison Service reflects the importance our team places on treating the whole person. The team offers a confidential and personal touch, focusing on emotionally empowering the patient to be their own best ally in the health challenges they face.