Mental Illness Of The United States Essay

Mental Illness Of The United States Essay

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Mental illness is a growing epidemic in the United States, one out of every four adults experiences some type of mental illness each year. This equates to 61.5 million America’s that are diagnosed each year with a mental disorder, about 13.6 million of those individuals are diagnosed with a serious mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, dementia, or schizophrenia (National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2013). These are very startling statistics, as this only includes the individuals that are diagnosed, not the individuals that go undiagnosed. There is mental illness in all areas of the medical field, including; emergency rooms, psychiatric units, long term care facilities, and physician offices. Since mental illness can present in any of the above facilities it is crucial for nurses to understand the basics of mental illness. I have not been in a mental health clinical rotation thus far; therefore, I will be discussing an experience with an individual from my fundamental clinical rotation.
A particular experience that has shaped the way I will care for my future patients with mental illness was with a 97 year old woman that had been diagnosed with dementia. She was unable to feed herself, so at breakfast and lunch I assisted her. It took quite a lengthy period of time for her to eat because her teeth were in very poor health and she had dysphagia. I never experienced any issues with her choking because I fed her at a slow pace and only when she was ready. That was when one of the certified nursing assistants (CENA) told me that it was going to take me all day to feed her and she would show me the proper way to feed this patient. She then came over, mixed all of the patient’s pureed food together and shoveled huge bites into her ...


... middle of paper ...


...tient would not have choked on her food.
This particular experience greatly impacted how I will care for my future patients and affected me emotionally. As mentioned above, mental health is everywhere, regardless of the field of nursing an individual goes into. Therefore, it is crucial for me, as a student, to understand the basics of mental illness, laws about DPOAs in regards to mental health patients, as well as the proper communication techniques for patients with mental illness. Learning about mental health has reshaped my future thinking as I was unaware that a patient presenting with a mental illness is deemed incompetent of making their own decisions and they are given a DPOA. Had I known this information before it would have saved a great deal of confusion during my first clinical rotation, but it seems to be a DPOA is given for the greater good, or is it?

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