The following paper will describe the home health nursing program previously promoted and approved for implementation concerning mental health outpatient care. It was discussed that patients with mental disorders receive considerable benefits from home care supplemental to their treatment plan arranged and implemented by their physician or psychiatrist. In the previous proposal, patients diagnosed with major depressive episodes and those with schizophrenia were considered as the primary target groups in home care initiatives. As such, the project discussed specific treatment concerns associated with those mental disorders while conceding that other mental illnesses exist which home care could provide effective supplementary care. In this paper, a short summary will be provided describing the measures previously recommended before continuing to outline the specific implementation of the project.
Its goal is to effectively demonstrate core home nursing care concepts toward the supplemental treatment of mentally ill patients in the home setting. Mentally ill patients routinely suffer social stigma and prejudice associated with the diagnosis of their disorder. In the family and the community, mental disorders are still misunderstood and patients are susceptible to discrimination resulting from fear and ignorance by others.
[...] The application of complimentary and alternative medicine in providing health care for patients with a mental disorder has a mixed reception in medical literature. While patients suffering panic and anxiety disorders, and major depressive disorders were found to seek complimentary and alternative health services, it remains unclear whether these were as a result of conventional medicine failing to effectively treat their illness [Unutzer et al., 2000]. Notwithstanding, it is necessary that all health care for the patient be approved by their physician and any attempt to discontinue conventional medical care (such as the use medications) must be discussed with and approved by them [Finkelman, 1997; Rice, 2006]. [...]
[...] Employment qualifications for nurses hired in this project should prefer those with a four-year baccalaureate in nursing (BN or BScN) as opposed to a collegiate diploma. Additional course-work in psychology or pharmacy, including interdisciplinary work in anthropology, sociology, social work, cultural studies or humanities is also encouraged for candidates. The preference for BN or BScN candidates rests with the fact that the interdisciplinary advantages associated with the degree will assist the nurse in providing home care in that the work requires considerable self- management, knowledge of foundational psychology, and interpersonal skills in an otherwise undirected environment. [...]
[...] Education on the conditions of mental illness and the monitoring and application of medications aside, PHCNs are able to improve the patient's quality of life by allowing outpatient care which can further the promotion of independence through self-care and non-institutional living. In order to facilitate this aspect of home care, nurses are able to record diet and exercise in the patient while encouraging that they maintain a routine consistent with healthy self-care. By discouraging the use of alcohol and recreational drugs, which can have an adverse impact on the patient in conjunction with their medications and the underlying symptoms of their illness, and by advocating proper hygiene and social interaction, nurses are capable of assisting the patient in establishing equilibrium in terms of their quality of life. [...]
[...] Patients with mental disorders are capable of living full, rewarding lives filled with personal accomplishment and self-satisfaction. By assisting them in the home, effective outpatient care can reduce the need for hospitalization or the return to inpatient care. Many hospitals are reducing inpatient care, and without the effective tools to cope with their illness thousands of mentally ill Canadians have recently found themselves displaced to the streets. Without appropriate medical care, many self-medicate through the use of dangerous and addictive street-level recreational drugs. [...]
[...] Likewise, complimentary and alternative health care should also be viewed in the light of a supplement to conventional psychiatric care. As Unutzer et al. (2000) caution, it is the responsibility of alternative care providers to attempt to discern whether their patients are suffering from an underlying psychological illness and to recommend conventional health care as a result. To facilitate their provision of supplemental care, the PCHN may find it beneficial to carry a tablet PC with them to each assignment. [...]
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