Treat and diagnose physical brain problems that can lead to mental illness.
What does a Neuropsychiatrist do?
A worker falls from a ladder and breaks the fall with his head. The cuts and scratches he receives may only be part of the injury he suffers. He may also develop mental problems due to brain injury.
A Neuropsychiatrist deals with patients like this each day. As a Neuropsychiatrist, you diagnose and treat mechanical brain problems that can lead to mental illness.
A visit to the Neuropsychiatrist usually begins with a referral from a Doctor. This referral paperwork tells you about the patient’s history. You also ask them to fill out yet more paperwork to find out exactly when they began having mental health issues. If patients are too ill to focus on the paperwork, you ask your Nurses to assist.
To diagnose the problem, you order a series of brain scans and chemical studies, and you study the results carefully. You may also ask your patients to perform a series of tasks so you can look for gaps in their reasoning or motor skills. Interviewing them may help you uncover hidden neurological problems as well.
Once you have a firm diagnosis, you begin to treat your patients. Some meet with you in counseling sessions, where you explain their condition in detail and provide tips to help them cope. Others need medications to help them calm their troubled minds, and you check with them frequently to make sure the medications are working.
Keeping accurate notes about each patient and the therapies you’re using may be tedious, but it’s an important part of the job. Often, you write progress notes to share with the patient’s Doctor to demonstrate the effectiveness of your therapies.