Monday, July 26, 2010

Intrinsic Value of Career

I did a treatment team today with a nurse with whom I do not normally get to visit and share.  The treatment team was laid back and relaxed.  It was very nice.  We talked about how much the patients benefit from the "In Cell" program that we offer where I work (a psychiatric prison. In Cell means they work on self study materials in their cell, then discuss it with the social worker.)

My comments were that some patients are truly motivated to learn and do better.  When I have just one treatment team, I tell my patients that if there is no evidence they are working on their In Cell, there is no promotion in privilege level. Under those circumstances, patients make more effort to "learn." 

The nurse wondered if the reason they had so many nursing call ins was because the nurses felt unfulfilled.  They dispense pills, even to people who do not need pills.  They do not attach any intrinsic value to their work...

I did not consider this at the time, but realize I could have told her that if she hears those comments, she needs to tell the nurses their role with the "catch out patients" is to educate them about the need to adjust to their environment, accept their fate of being in prison, and learn what they can about coping with the prison environment. Nurses can have a major role in patient care, to teach them about learning to report their symptoms, take their medication, and problem solve appropriately.   I bet we can do that....

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