In the early 1960’s, Ken Kesey worked in the psych ward in a veterans hospital as an aide. During the course of his job, Kesey realized the administrators were giving patients experimental LSD to cope with their mental illnesses. After seeing this being done, he started to wonder, who is mentally stable and what classifies a person as insane (Kesey)? With this in mind Ken Kesey wrote, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. This classic novel depicts the image of a psych ward under control by the manipulative, Nurse Ratched.
Since there are few regulations and a general lack of state presence in the mental health community, there is a lot of room for error and potential discrimination. On television and in the media we hear the horror stories of nurses manipulating and abusing patients to gain a twisted sense of superiority. Even though some of the stories in the media can be extreme, a majority of patients feel like they have been discriminated against while being treated, in fact “Many patients who seek help for mental health problems report feeling ‘patronized, punished or humiliated’ in their dealings with health professionals” (Christina Pellegrini, 2014). Walking into a health care facility, one expects to get fair, nondiscriminatory treatment, yet many patients feel as if they were punished or humiliated for seeking treatment. This feeling of denigration “[includes] negativity about a patient’s chance of recovery, misattribution of unrelated complaints to a patient’s mental illness and refusal to treat psychiatric symptoms in a medical setting”(2014).
This is a term that is continued to be used but some hospitals have replaced it with the terms bullying or lateral violence. Horizontal violence is violence between nurses and it explains the behavior nurses have toward their coworkers and other healthcare professionals. This type of violence interferes with working together as a team and communicating between coworkers, which are things that are needed to promote and care for others. Horizontal violence is an action that has been reported and documented in nursing and other healthcare professions for many years. This type of behavior between nurses has provided very discouraging and truly serious outcomes for nursing professionals and unfortunately for their patients as well.
Many of these people may feel they have reasons for their abusive nature although this does not make it right. Emergency room nurses are among the highest who experience physical abuse. Emergency room nurses deal first hand with those that come through the doors with various illnesses and emergency situations. For the patient and family this is the most stressful time not knowing what is wrong or when patients are still very much under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Several studies have found that most of the physical abuse was pulling or grabbing and most of that was by patients on drugs, alcohol, and the psych patients.
There may be outside factors that are contributing to the psychologist incompetence such as emotional disturbances and in some cases maybe even drugs. However, the leading cause for unethical decisions related to a therapist’s competence appears to be inadequate training/experiences followed by emotional disturbances. Koocher and Spiegel (2008) noted that, majority of the professionals that were reported to the ethical committee or other boards had miscalculated the level of their overall skills or ability to apply certain techniques or services. In addition, personal distress is common among therapists and feelings of incompetence exists on a continuum (Thériault and Gazzola,
In my experience, the nursing team and physicians do not give the same attention to a psychiatric patient that they would give to a traditional medical patient. While this may be due to burnout or risk assessment situations, it does definitely show the
Schizophrenia can be a debilitating disorder, however, there are many treatments that can allow people who suffer from it to lead normal lives. “Schizophrenia, a complex and often disabling mental illness, is among the most serious of brain diseases” (Veague 1).To some schizophrenic patients, imagination and reality become so intertwined that they cannot distinguish between them. Those who suffer hear and see what no one else around them hears or sees and sometimes finds it impossible to believe the voices and visions are all a part of their imagination. Before the 1950’s, many schizophrenics had to remain in mental hospitals. Emil Kraepelin, a German psychiatrist, provided the first characterization of schizophrenia, in the late nineteenth century.
As a current practicing mental health professional nurse, I am able to observe the many inadequacies that are present in the treatment of individuals suffering from mental illness. I have had the privilege at various times, to shadow advanced practice nurses practicing in behavioral medicine as well as other specialties within nursing. I have perceived first-hand the benefits these providers have been able to offer their patients, especially those with limited access to care. I have a special interest in treating the mental health of veterans and those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders and traumatic brain injuries. I have witnessed this population’s needs being most often misunderstood and often neglected within segments of our society.
A mental disorder can be spotted in an individual who deviates from human contact or who has estranged behaviors not considered to be of the typical majority of the populous. They're everywhere, and in people who you would never expect. From being dealt with in law, all the way to your own community, humankind is riddled with various degrees of sleep insomnia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Theres a lot to take in for people who seek more knowledge in the vast universe of understand the human mind, so much so that scientists and researchers are still uncovering new mysteries today. Yet with what we understand, some of these behaviors have explanation.
One way that has personally proven to be the most difficult for me, is separating the patients from their disease symptoms. Mental health nurses usually see patients at their absolute worst. When symptoms are not managed, and the disease is un-controlled, is usually when patients are admitted to the hospital. During this time, symptoms may be so severe, their true personality is hidden. One way that I have found to be helpful in reaching out to the individual, and to find the essence of themselves is by listening.