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Old 09-17-2008, 07:17 AM
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Default 'Abhorrent behaviour' towards psychiatric patient

"A coroner has criticised the behaviour of a nurse towards a patient who committed suicide as "abhorrent", but has stopped short of blaming her for the woman's death.

Emily Chapman, 20, had made regular complaints to her parents and written diary entries about her fear of Margot Gattenby, one of the nurses who cared for her in an acute psychiatric ward at Cumberland Hospital."

http://www.aol.com.au/news/story/Cor...141/index.html

This article is about how badly the patient was treated. But I wonder why didn't staff recognise that the nurse was frightened? Why didn't they suggest means of help for her?

I really really admire psychiatric nurses. I find it hard to deal with violence. To be able to develop the skills to 'talk someone down' so that they don't feel threatened any more, is wonderful.

This nurse was 20. She sounds like she must have just been out of her training.

How can you say that one nurse is responsible for a patient's suicide?
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:25 AM
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It's like a child being bullied in school by one person in her class. That one person can be responsible for the bullied child's fear and low grades, etc.You're right, someone should have investigated her fears further, but it's possible that they just thought the paranoia was part of the reason she was hospitalized.
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:13 AM
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I think the nurse was the old lady in that picture.....

The patient was the 20 year old one, right?

Either way..... I see this nurse going to a lot of sensitivity training etc.... Who knows if she will return to our profession.
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:28 AM
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Maybe I see this differently from just this article, but is it possible that the patient was, in fact, paranoid?? A sorrowful ending no matter what, but having been accused falsely in the past by a patient with a major mental illness (and in Home Care...so there were no witnesses, just my notes!) maybe I am willing to consider her innocent until otherwise proven..JMHO
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:55 AM
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Oh, ok, I think I totally misinterpreted this one. I thought the nurse was frightened of the patient! Duh.

Blueridge, I really admire you homecare ppl. That is one of the main reasons why I wouldn't want to do it, you wouldn't have much legal protection.

I actually went to the NSW govt site to look for the coroners report...they are updating the site so it isn't available. i don't trust media; I don't think any nurse does?!
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:35 AM
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I agree with all of you, but, sadly, it is all too easy, and too frequent, for patient (or, more appropriately sometimes, inmate,) complaints to be ignored. The tendency to push everything under the rug of psychopathology happens all too often; it's easier that way, and who's to prove otherwise? It usually only comes to light when something like this happens, and I'm not blaming the nurses here. The doctors, who just breeze through occasionally, are the worst culprits. Bring them in, calm them down, kick them out.

Excuse me; I have some writing to do.
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:26 AM
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Not a problem PP. I think you are right but I also think that the staff should be supporting each other and communicating between themselves, and their patients, from all echelons, so that the patients can get real care.

Like I said, I couldn't do it. I am not that good at communication...
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:31 AM
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I think there's not enough info in the article for me to form an opinion. The only person interviewed was the doc. His opinion is the only one we get.
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:35 AM
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Yep, that's why I went looking for the coroner's report. I'm not morbid, but I don't trust the media, after my own experiences. The coroner's findings are usually public, but as I said, they are doing something to the site...
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