My Short Experience Working At A Mental Health Clinic

I recently left my job. I only worked there for three weeks, but it was enough. I always dreamed of working at a mental health clinic since I suffer from mental illnesses and figured it would be a good way to help others and connect and emphasize with others who have mental health issues/conditions. BOY, WAS I WRONG.

The clinic has 13 therapists and one psychiatrist. Except, not all 13 therapists work at one time – about 4 to 6 work at one time. For “doctors” who are responsible for helping others with their mental health, they are completely incompetent, useless, and dumb when it comes to the simplest things. For example, scheduling. That’s a BIG one. The founder, whose 87 and still practicing, doesn’t have an email address or knows how to work the computer. He does his own scheduling and each week, I was responsible for asking for his planner, making a copy of the week, then figuring out his chicken scratch, and inputting it into the schedule on the computer. Because of this, there were many instances that he made scheduling mistakes and patients that were not on the schedule would come in, thinking they had an appointment with him, while he was already in session with another patient. In these instances, I had to interrupt his session and have him come out and talk to the other patients. This happened at least four times a week.

As for the other therapists, each of them had a specific way they wanted things done. Whenever a new patient requests a therapist, I had to email the therapist beforehand. There’s also a procedure for inputting new patients into the system that I had to follow and I had to make folders for them. Every single therapist had their own individual way they wanted the new patient folders set up, so I had to learn 13 different ways and whenever I missed something, instead of coming to me, they would go and tattle on me to the manager. They also had scheduling preferences. I had to make reminder calls and sometimes, the therapists would schedule an appointment with a patient without notifying them or me, which caused a lot of confusion and anger. Also, if a patient cancelled, the therapist would ask me to call their other patients and ask if they can come in earlier or later, so there wouldn’t be a gap in their schedule. This made a lot of the patients upset, especially, the ones who had weekly standing appointments at the same time and day. I took a LOT of heat for doing that. When the therapists would schedule appointments, they never included the patients last name, phone number, or health insurance, which made my job harder. I couldn’t make reminder calls, figure out the co-pays, or which patient it was. Not to mention, one of the therapists was a complete bitch to me on my VERY FIRST DAY. In fact, she was a bitch to me on a daily basis. She always had something to say about me and gave me such a hard time when I made mistake, even though I was new.

Another thing was some patients were tattle tales. They’d complain to their therapist that I was eating while taking their co-pay, when I was on my break or that I was “rude” because I answered the phone. I learned VERY quickly to be professional whenever patients were in the waiting area. Also, because the clinic was in a wealthy part of town, the patients were mostly snobby and mean and felt entitled to being treated like royalty. There were a few patients who were very kind, funny, and understanding, but there weren’t very many. Since I was new, I wasn’t able to recognize the patients and some of them had a real problem with that, which I didn’t understand. How am I supposed to know who you are if I never met you before?

I learned my lesson the hard way. I am staying FAR AWAY from ANY mental health clinics. It is absolute bullshit, stressful, and a LOT of babysitting. One of the main things was the billing sheets. Each therapist has their own special color and prior to each day, I have to fill out a sheet for each therapist working the next day and write the name of their patients. I forgot to do it one day and the therapists threw tantrums. They could simply do it themselves. They have access to their schedule on their phones and home computer. All they have to do is grab a billing sheet, their pen color, and fill it out. It takes TWO minutes. Of course they complained to the manager when some of them don’t even turn in their billing sheets to the billing coordinator.

Not to mention, all the stress only triggered my mental illnesses. Especially my depression and anxiety. I could not get a good night sleep because I was filled with anxiety and dread for the next day. During work, I found myself on the verge of wanting to cry because I felt so depressed. I thought working in a mental health clinic would help my mental illnesses, but it only made it worse.

I am SO glad I am out of there. I INSTANTLY felt BETTER when I left. I am NEVER stepping foot in that clinic EVER AGAIN.

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