Hi Again Casimir! Remember the discussion I sent you yesterday right:

Nursing is such a beautiful profession. It gives you the opportunity to growth and study further to work in different roles and scenarios. I always knew that in the future I wanted to advance my career and obtain my MSN however, at the beginning I had difficulty deciding which specialty I wanted to purse to advanced my career. I was in between Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Most of my entire years of being a nurse I have been working in an acute care setting. I’m very familiar with the illness, diagnosis, medication, treatment and care. I enjoy seeing my patients in ICU with the pass of the days recuperating little by little until they leave our unit completely recuperated and that brings me so much fulfillment. I always thought possibly in the future I would help these types of patient but in a different capacity. From being in charge of the care to ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, working with physicians to establish care plans as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. According to Dr. Melander, he believes “having NP’s in the acute care field keeps the lines of communication open and improves the continuity of care” Zaidel, L. B. (2004). I have always seen the acute care nurse practitioners as the liaison between patient and physician that facilitated the swift recovery time from admission to transfer. Seeing the procedures being done at the bedside such as emergent airway management and insertion of central lines for rapid fluid resuscitation was the talking point that sold me in wanting to become an ACNP.

With the pass of the years I continued my career as a nurse and I had the opportunity to work in a different setting like hospice. One thing I realize is that every where you go from children to adult, poor mental health is an issue. “Poor physical health can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health problems. Similarly, poor mental health can negatively impact on physical health, leading to an increased risk of some conditions”. (2018) After an exhaustive analysis, I decided I wanted to be working as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Working with the common denominator I have found through the years in most of my patients, poor mental health is the focal point in which I plan to focus on. I would love to not just only help one person but also help families and groups with various mental health problems. I want to have my own clinic where I receive all type of patients from kids to adults. Also, continuing working in a hospital setting in acute care but in mental health. I can see myself helping so many people and families around the world. I also want to be part of The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) which is a professional association organized to advance the science and education of psychiatric-mental health nursing. (n.d) It is committed to the specialty practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing, health, wellness and recovery promotion through identification of mental health issues, prevention of mental health problems and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders.

References

American Psychiatric Nurses Association. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.apna.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1.

Physical health and mental health. (2018, August 27). Retrieved November 13, 2019, from https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/p/physical-health-and-mental-health.

Zaidel, L. B. (2004). Acute Care Nurse Practioners: What Does the Future Hold? Nurse Practitioner, 17–20. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.ezp.waldenulibrary.or…

My classmate responded to that with the following message and now I have to respond him back and I do not know what to say. Can You please help me with that? Thank you very much!! I appreciate!!

Luis Russell: (Classmate response)

The fact that you want to help those dealing with mental illness is amazing. Mental health issues affect millions of Americans and our government and healthcare system have been ignoring this for decades. The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) stated the following findings:

  • 19.1% of U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2018 (47.6 million people). This represents 1 in 5 adults.
  • 4.6% of U.S. adults experienced serious mental illness in 2018 (11.4 million people). This represents 1 in 25 adults.
  • 16.5% of U.S. youth aged 6-17 experienced a mental health disorder in 2016 (7.7 million people)
  • 3.7% of U.S. adults experienced a co-occurring substance use disorder and mental illness in 2018 (9.2 million people)
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34

(National Alliance of Mental Illness, 2019)

These findings are staggering, and the slow response from government agencies and the healthcare industry is making matters worse. We do not need to watch the local news to see if these numbers are accurate; all we need to do is drive downtown in most cities in America to witness how these numbers reflect in our community. “More than half of those suffering from mental illness never get help, even people with health insurance” (Dembosky, 2016). Minhaj (2019) mentions in his video that some insurance companies do not offer adequate coverage for people dealing with health illness, and when they do, only a handful of providers are available for a large community. This is a huge problem.

“In the united states, 51% of counties have zero psychiatrists. In the 400 miles between Billings, MT and Bismarck, ND, there is only one psychiatrist in the entire area, Dr. Joan Dickson” (Minhaj, 2019). This is how under-resourced this health care specialty is and how much in demand Psychiatry Nurse Practitioners (PNP) will be. Now that I am learning all these facts, I am looking into the PNP program later on. I am in the Acute-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program (AGACNP), but I have been contemplating getting a second Post-graduate degree after I graduate and have a few years of experience as an AGACNP.

The specialty you have chosen to be part of is one that is in dire need of practitioners. The number of people with mental illness keeps on adding on, and those in the brink of suicide are having a hard time finding assistance to help them in the darkest time of their lives. I have taken care of so many patients who have attempted suicide; it is tough. Taking care of some of then left me in tears. Sometimes I ask myself, “why? What can it be so bad that makes someone think suicide is the way out?” I never get the answer to those questions because, only those who contemplate suicide, can answer it.

There was one patient I cared for who shocked me the most. She had attempted suicide; luckily, she was not successful. One note I read in her medical chart said she had been bullied her entire life, at school and home. She was homeless, I remember. While I was assessing her, I noticed she had scars on her body; she was what we call a ‘cutter.’ A cutter is “nonsuicidal self-injury, often simply called self-injury, is the act of deliberately harming your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself. It’s typically not meant as a suicide attempt. Rather, this type of self-injury is a harmful way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger and frustration” (MAYO Clinic, 2018). The lineal injuries on her left thigh spelled “ F A T.” To me, seeing that was so shocking and so sad. It was perhaps one of the saddest moments I have experience in my almost fifteen years of nursing, one of those moments I will never forget. Typing this reminds me of that feeling I got as I read those three letters.

Thanks for choosing this program; we need more practitioners in the mental health field. Although I would love to be part of it and help in this field, I do not think I am ready for it yet. I genuinely hope more nurses join the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program at Walden or any other institution because caring people like you, determined to help those with mental illness, are needed.

References

Dembosky, A. [PBS NewsHour]. (2016, November 1). Why insured Americans struggle to get mental health care [Video file]. Retrieved from

Mayo Clinic. (2018, December 7). Self-injury/cutting. Retrieved November 13, 2019, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sel…

Minhaj, H. (2019, November 10). Mental health [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.netflix.com/title/80239931

National Alliance of Mental Illness. (2019, September). Mental Health By The Numbers. Retrieved November 13, 2019, from https://www.nami.org/learn-more/mental-health-by-t…

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