The Mater is the major acute care psych hospital in HNE so you'll see all the acute psychiatry stuff. Older persons can be disappointing for some in terms of psychiatry exposure as the patients are older, stay longer and tend to have dementia compounding their mental illness. In this ward, you may get less variety in the acute presentations (schizophrenia, bipolar, depression, etc.).
There are 4 main wards here: 2 general Adult, one older persons, one dual diagnosis. Some students are also attached to the hospital Consultation-Liaison team. Many students also undertake their after hours shifts here in the Psychiatric Emergency Centre.
Overall, it’s a very good hospital. You get a thorough orientation to the hospital itself but the orientation to the individual wards can be a bit hit and miss and you should make sure to introduce yourself to key staff to complete your introduction. There’s a $60 bond for the keys which is good to know about! There are lots of staff so everyone feels safe here (although the PICU can be a little more intimidating). The senior doctors are all engaging and interested in teaching. It can be difficult if you get a change-over in consultant/reg/interns during your rotation as this can be quite disruptive. There’s formal teaching but some additional on the ward dedicated registrar teaching time would be really helpful. Often, you'll be the one who knows patients best (especially if the staff are away or there’s a change-over). Make sure you stick your hand up to do things because otherwise it can be hard to get involved in certain wards.
It can be a bit disheartening compared to other rotations as you tend to see the same patients over the six weeks and some people don’t seem to get much better. If this worries you try for a combined term with the community where you will see people much more improved in their illness. The MHSOP and MHSUU Ward also operate outpatients on site so try to see if your Consultants will let you join in on a clinic. Take the opportunity to take time to do some reading. Get to know all of the patient's stories.