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The article that I read is a situation specific theory. It is called “Crisis Emergencies for Individuals with Severe, Persistent Mental Illnesses: A Situations-Specific Theory”. In this article, it talks about the severe increase in emergencies for people with severe, persistent mental illnesses (SPMI) and (ISPMI) individuals with mental illness to include bipolar, major depression and schizophrenia.

The term crisis is becoming more prevalent when describing mental illness situations. Crisis happens when an individual experiences frequent disruptions that lead to several hospitalizations. Communities lack the appropriate resources needed to help, so a majority of people end up either on government assistance or homeless because they are unable to find adequate help. Emergency rooms are becoming the primary point of entry, either brought in by family, themselves or by the police; who bring the patient to the emergency room to avoid the justice system. Not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. By law, the emergency rooms cannot refuse treatment to the individuals because of the Act of 1986: EMTALA. It states you must accept and treat all patients that come into the emergency room. Dealing with mental illness in patients is similar to my clinical nursing practice because as an emergency room nurse you still have to treat these patients. You need to have special training in crisis situations so that they do not escalate. Nurses must display a general appearance of certainty. One must be able to handle the situation and not let the person be in any way shape or form a danger to himself or others. It is important to understand that it is your job to maintain patient safety as well as do your best to assist the patient to a mental health facility as soon as possible. With the insufficient resources, these patients may end up spending days or even up to a week in your facility waiting for placement.

Crisis emergencies for these individuals are consistent with my nursing practice because I have ended up in this situation of having to take care of a patient waiting for placement. Any nurse who works in the emergency room will have this situation happen to them at some point in their career. The thing that I think is most important is staying up to date with your knowledge and education on mental illness, crisis situations and how to defuse the situation.

Brennaman, L. (2012). Crisis Emergencies for Individuals With Severe, Persistent Mental Illnesses: A Situation-Specific Theory. Archives Of Psychiatric Nursing, 26(4), 251-260. doi:10.1016/j.apnu.2011.11.001

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