The Issue Of Healthcare Professionals

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According to Wild Iris Medical Education (2013), a mental health crisis is an intensive behavioral, emotional, or psychiatric response triggered by a precipitating event and if this crisis is left untreated, it could result in an emergency situation, placement of a person into a more restrictive setting such as inpatient hospitalization, or significantly reduced levels of functioning in the person’s primary activities of daily living. When individuals who are in distress call a telephone hotline or go to an emergency department, healthcare professionals assess the person and the problem, identify the precipitating event, consider influencing factors, and plan appropriate intervention (Wild Iris Medical Education, 2013). Triage is the process of determining priority for treatment based on severity of condition and in every crisis event, triage must address each of the following factors: safety concerns, immediacy challenges, ethical principles, and legal issues. The most urgent concern of healthcare professionals is the safety of people in crisis as well as others who may be in danger. Clinicians gather information about: The presence of guns, knives, explosives, or other harmful devices Threats of violence by the person in crisis to self or others History of harm by the person in crisis to self or others Intoxication of the person in crisis or others through various substances Environmental hazards that might complicate interventions (e.g., fire, wind, water, trauma, toxic fumes, random gunfire) Healthcare professionals follow ethical standards of care at all times, whether or not a patient is in crisis and these standards are based on ethics, the branch of philosophy concerned with the rightness or wrongness of human behavior... ... middle of paper ... ... been considered less invasive than physical restraint and seclusion; however, no drugs have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as chemical restraints, and Black Box warnings for the off-label use of medications have been issued (Wild Iris Medical Evaluation, 2013). There remain unresolved issues concerning the use of chemical restraints: Are chemical restraints ever appropriate? If appropriate, what are the reasonable thresholds for their appropriate use? Experts disagree on the use of the term chemical restraint, and a survey done for the Expert Consensus Guidelines on Behavioral Emergencies revealed that most experts believe that medications used to treat specific psychiatric diagnoses should be considered treatment measures rather than restraints, even in the absence of provisional diagnosis (Wild Iris Medical Evaluation, 2013).
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