Behavioral Healthcare

A Day in The Life of a Behavioral Health Provider

Integrated Psychiatric Consultants | January 15, 2021

What does a day look like a busy behavioral health provider? Sunita Muranjan, M.D., and Jessica Fairchilds, APRN, share how they manage their time.

Dr. Muranjan is an accomplished physician, psychiatrist, and medical director. She has advanced medical degrees and versatile psychiatric experience. Her primary interests include anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and substance abuse disorders.

Jessica Fairchilds, APRN is a first year nurse practitioner at IPC. She has dual certification in family health and psychiatric mental health with professional experience in both of these fields. Her primary interests include children and adolescent inpatient care.

“Behavioral health is the scientific study of the emotions, behaviors and biology relating to a person’s mental well-being, their ability to function in everyday life and their concept of self. “There is not greater calling in life than to become mental behavioral health provider or therapist.” 

Dr. Muranjan and Jessica Fairchilds

Behavioral Health Provider, Dr. Mruanjan, Shares Her Day

Can you tell us what a day in the life of Dr. Muranjan looks like?

Before COVID: Dr. Muranjan would wake up at 4:30 am, go to jazzercise, and get breakfast and lunches ready. Then she would get herself dressed, see patients, do MDT, and see if any family meetings needed to be arranged. She would then leave to go to OMC, see consults, go pick up kids from school, get dinner ready, sleep and repeat.

During COVID: It’s now modified and an added extra excitement to our daily life. Though exercise is hit or miss, going to the hospital is the same. Seeing patients one on one is the same, but all meetings are through tele-psychiatry with my team. Now there is a bigger balancing act I have to do as my kids’ lives are virtual too. We got a dog for them (which means extra work for you know who). My kids and hubby are helpful so that makes it easier to keep the balance. But ultimately having the option of tele-psych and working with IPC to work through these difficult times makes it easier to keep that balance.

What are you excited about in terms of growth as a medical director?

Medical director gives me a great picture of the hospital, not just clinical but also administrative. It is a big learning curve and a change but I love changes and new challenges. However, it doesn’t take much to excite me as I see every small thing as an opportunity to learn and grow.

What do you see IPC accomplishing in the next year, in the next 5 years, and in the next 10 years?

I see IPC growing bigger and bigger in the next 5 years within Kansas and gradually showing its presence in other states. Eventually every hospital will have some IPC doctor.

In the next 10 years, I see IPC growing in the country and gradually internationally with IPC physicians in different states of the country and some outside the country.

You can live anywhere and still be a part of the IPC physician family.

How does working at two different hospitals as a consultant liaison psychiatrist for more than one of IPC’s clients benefit the clients and your patients?

It helps with continuity of care. When Patients get transferred from one hospital to another, psychiatric care stays the same. It also helps build up a reputation of a good physician with excellent patient care.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to become a behavioral health provider in leadership?

I don’t feel like I am going to work with IPC. I feel like I’m going home. That means you have the freedom to choose what you want to do and enjoy your work. You will be supported in whatever small or big situation you have. Both Mr. and Mrs. Dr Adma’s are only a phone call away. They never leave you stranded, or let you walk through any situation and not feel supported. If you don’t like something, you can be honest about the situation, and be confident that after a good healthy discussion of pros and cons they will help you decide what’s best without any bias.

Ultimately, a provider and leadership role with IPC are one in the same. You are not working for a corporation where your voice is unheard. I also don’t envision this to change when IPC grows nationally and internationally. This company is built from the passion of a physician who is a dreamer and an achiever. If you find that resonates with you, then please join our family.

Do you have a favorite stress reliever that you share with your patients?

As a veteran behavioral health provider, I strongly recommend exercising and going to therapy to all of my patients. At the same time, every patient/person is different. Thus after a lengthy discussion, we tailor the best possible stress reliever for the patient that they feel works best for them. eg: getting a pet, photography, knitting, etc.

Behavioral Health Provider Jessica Fairchilds Shares Her Day

Can you tell us what a day in the life of an IPC nurse practitioner looks like?

My role with IPC is mostly virtual. I provide psychiatric care for children and adolescents in both MO and KS. I see 3 different residential facilities throughout MO via tele video and 1 residential facility in person each week. I also have 2.5 days of outpatient clinic weekly also via tele video. Tele video has boomed since the beginning of COVID, but my role has always been tele video. This is a very convenient way to see clients both for myself and the clients. The client does not have to stress about checking out of school to drive to an appointment. Guardians also do not have to worry about taking too much time off of work as they can join in from anywhere.

What is it like as a first-year nurse practitioner at IPC?

I have greatly enjoyed working for IPC. I stay busy, but I get to provide care for a vulnerable population. They allow for flexibility and IPC is growing so quickly that it allows for transitions to other positions if you are feeling burnt out or just want to try something different.

What is your favorite part of working at IPC?

I love building relationships with the kiddos I see. I love helping them and watching them grow and mature.

How is the collaboration with IPC leadership?

IPC leadership is wonderful. They are responsive when I have a question or concern. They will work hard to make sure you are satisfied with what you are doing. They do check ins regularly to ask about any problems or concerns.

In your experience, having worked with IPC in the past year, what do you see as the benefits of working with a physician owned group?

Working for a physician owned group is beneficial because they have actually “been there and done that”. They understand how taxing this position can be and are helpful when you need guidance. They are great collaborators.

Do you have a favorite stress reliever that you share with your patients?

My favorite stress relievers are going for a walk or doing a mindfulness session to regroup and recharge.

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