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Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that disturbs the proper thought process of an individual and thus makes them act unusually, which further affects the normal sensation. This type of disorder is seen quite rarely and is even observed in about 7-8 individuals within a population of 1000 individuals (National Institute of Mental Health, n.d.). The illness is basically observed in the early adulthood of human life specifically within the ages-range of 16-30. However, it may also be observed in children at certain points of time (National Institute of Mental Health, n.d.b).
This type of mental disorder can happen to any person whether through gene of parents or other environmental factors. The reasons for Schizophrenia are still not clear to medical science but the researches are continuously being carried out to abolish such disorders. Some of the common symptoms that can be noticeable include hallucinations, reduced thought process, movement disorders, reduced speaking and problems related to attentiveness among others (National Institute of Mental Health, n.d.). As the reasons for such disorders are still unclear, treatments are only concerned with the reduction of the symptoms. However, the treatment of Schizophrenia has to be started in the primary stages after noticing the symptoms of such mental disorders to obtain the optimum benefits. The treatments include the use of antipsychotic medications or various other human psychiatric therapies but as the former is associated with many side effects, the significance of later are considered to be huge (National Institute of Mental Health, n.d.).
The patients suffering from Schizophrenia may not agree to undertake medical treatments and therapies as they lose the ability to understand their illness. Moreover, several other factors such as the side effects of the medicines, cognitive deficits, fear of getting addicted towards medicines and poor doctor-patient relationships are also involved in being the reasons for lack of cooperation for medical treatments. In such a case, the psychiatric therapies need to be undertaken involuntarily or through forced medication to cure the patients effectively (Schizophrenia.com, 2010).
The human psychiatric therapies have to be conducted with lots of specialized medical staff and nurses. As the disorder is critically associated with mental disorders, the use of trained nurses can prove to be highly effective (Turkington, Kingdon, Rathod, Hammond, Pelton & Mehta, 2006). The nurses should possess proper knowledge on the background of the disease and the type of patients they need to handle. While handling Schizophrenia patients, the behavior and actions of the nurses and medical staff cannot be the same as handling other patient types. The nurses need to involve the patients in the process of medication as they are reluctant to do so naturally. The use of proper nursing will further enable the patients to cooperate with them during the medical treatments and will ultimately result in curing them completely from the ailment.
The paper intends to provide a comprehensive explanation on the impacts of force treatment on the patients suffering from Schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a serious disease to handle due to its complexity and the mental condition of the patients suffering from it. Therefore, it becomes immensely important to build a proper structure of medical treatment to treat such a critical disease. Primarily, the focus should be given on understanding the nature of the disease and also its remedial treatments that are already in practice or in the stage of development. This is followed by evaluating the effects of using force treatment that also needs to be analyzed and understood in relation to the mental condition of affected patients. Moreover, the medical experience of nurses must also be evaluated so that required training and guidance can be provided to them for handling such issues.
Analysis of the Issue
Schizophrenia is such a mental disorder that does not allow the sufferers to realize that he is affected by such disease. Therefore, the patients are mostly unwilling to undergo any type of medical treatments for themselves. This actually poses a great problem for the family members and the medical staff to treat the sufferer with medical therapies and treatments effectively. In order to understand the treatment plan of the disease, a foundation has to be laid by analyzing the issue from different aspects. Starting from the historical background of the disease, social, cultural, legal, ethical and economical issues need to be identified and analyzed effectively (McIntyre & McDonald, 2013).
Similar to any other mental disorder, Schizophrenia patients does not prefer to undergo any medical treatment as they are unaware of the critical situation they are in. This type of attitude compels the medical team to carry out forced treatments so that the patient can get cured successfully. The reason for forced treatment is to avoid the ultimate consequences of non-treatment that includes violent behaviors, madness or even suicide (Schizophrenia.com, 2010).
The individuals suffering from Schizophrenia may be from any social class or culture. As the cultural background has a lot of importance in the perception, communication and support system, it creates a difference in treatment of the same type of patient in two different cultures (Versola-Russo, 2006). The action taken by the nurses in the process of forced treatment may not be accepted in certain cultures. There are restrictions and bindings that can enter such treatment procedures and the medical staff and nurses hence need to be aware of such facts.
As the treatment is related to a mental illness, there is a considerable amount of risk that gets involved in the process of treatment. In such conditions, the patients are unable to give the consent and therefore it becomes necessary acquire the required consent from one of his capable family members. Even during the course of treatment, there are lots of ethical issues that need to be addressed and countered by the medical staff. In such situations, the nurses might have to deliver half truth or even false statements to the patients in order to make them continue the treatment. Moreover, the nurses and medical staff might also have to support some risky and unethical ambitions of affected patients so that they do not get violent at any point of time (Howe, 2008).
Apart from all these issues, it must also be noticed that the treatment of any kind of mental disease requires extensive amount of money, which may cause financial burden for the family. This burden can be generally observed in the developing and poor economic countries, where the people are unable to pay for the treatment of such critical diseases (Jenkins, Baingana, Ahmad, McDaid & Atun, 2011). The financial burden hence raises the mental pressure of the sufferer and compels them to commit something which is not even good for the society.
Arguments in Relation to Force Treatment
Forced treatment basically means involuntary treatment. The difference between normal treatment and forced treatment is the nature of consent. If the consent is provided by the patient for his treatment, then it will be considered as a normal treatment procedure. However, in the cases of mental disorders and other emergency reasons, the patient does not remain in the condition to give the consent by themselves. This induces the medical team to take consent from their family members to continue the treatment process. Such treatment may act as force towards the patients as they might not be aware of such illness or may not even be prepared for the respective treatments.
In this respect, it must be observed that the concept of forced treatment is not as simple as it appears. Different cultural, legal and social barriers and issues may come into effect while carrying out the treatment process that is required to be addressed properly (McIntyre & McDonald, 2013). Apart from this, there are lots of demerits of such type of treatment, which may badly affect the patient and others within the treatment environment.
The system of force treatment is quite commonly observed in case of the treatments associated with mental disorder. Individuals affected by such problems especially Schizophrenia cannot realize that they are suffering from illness as the part of the brain and is hence responsible for improper understanding, which has already been damaged. This results in reluctance of the patients to undergo any kind of treatment. They are also afraid of the side effects of the medicines that are prescribed to them. Moreover, some other factors including the unfriendly attitudes of the doctor and thoughts of having drug addiction also decreases the chances of the patents to indulge themselves in the treatment process (Schizophrenia.com, 2010). However the cruel consequences of the disease compel the use of force treatment to get the patients cured.
The patients suffering from Schizophrenia are often out of the reality. They cannot realize the actual world and are often tempted to perform some activities, which are harmful for them as well as the society. They may commit violence, madness or disturbances that cannot be tolerated in the society (Schizophrenia.com, 2010). In such situations, it is extremely important to start the medical treatment of the patient even if there is no consent provided from the patient’s end. In such a situation of involuntary treatment the medical staff and nurses have to make the patient realize that they are in need of such treatments (Brakel & Davis, 1991). If they do not realize the importance of the treatment, they may try to create violence in the treatment area and this may turn out to be more aggressive in nature as they would think that they are deprived of their right to speech for their treatment. They might also try to commit suicide as they would want to be free from the effects and consequences of such mental disorder (Schizophrenia.com, 2010).
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Force treatment can be highly beneficial for the patients who are uncontrollable by their family and society and are not voluntarily opting for any medical treatment. The dreadful effects of the disease can be effectively controlled by medical treatment and therapies. This can in turn decrease the need of re-hospitalization, medication and separation of the patients, which has significant economic and financial benefits. However, it has been observed that if there exists prolonged hospitalization in involuntary treatment of Schizophrenia, the chances of re-hospitalization get increased and the self rated medical adherence gets decreased immensely (Jaeger, Pfiffner, Weiser, Langle, Croissant, Schepp … & Steinert, 2013).
Application of Personal Nursing Experience
Nursing is not only involved with supporting the medical team in the process of medication of the patients but also in various other departments in the ultimate process of recovering and maintaining a healthy community of families and individual. It involves significant amount of skill to carry out such a profession as the nature and scope of the profession is related to medical field. Moreover, some ethics are also associated with the practice of nursing, which include maintaining privacy and confidentiality, providing safe and companionate care and finally promoting health and well-being among others (Canadian Nurses Association, 2008). There are different areas of nursing, among which the treatment of mental disorders are considered to be extremely tough and critical.
Mental disorders, especially in case of Schizophrenia do not generally provide a chance for the sufferers to understand that they are ill. They are also reluctant to undergo any type of nursing therapies or medical treatment and therefore the methods applied for their treatment are also not the same as of any other type of medical treatment. There might be a need for involuntary treatment in such patients. Nursing, in such cases must be highly sophisticated to recover the patients effectively from the disease.
In the initial stages, the entire issue of the disease and the possible treatment process has to be identified and plotted out. While understanding the patients suffering from Schizophrenia, it has to be noted that they can be extremely violent if their demands are unmet. Therefore, they have to be given utmost freedom in the process of their medical treatment even if it is an involuntary intervention. Proper nursing leadership is expected from the ones, who are experienced in the treatment of these types of patients. The requirement of training is also an important aspect and it should be a continuous process so that the present scenario and the progress of medical science in this field can be accounted, evaluated and followed in subsequent treatment procedures. The nurses and the medical staff should also communicate and exchange their views and experiences within themselves as it will help them to gather practical case knowledge for their skill development.
During the treatment process, the nurses need to behave as a friend with the patients as any kind of physical or mental force can change the entire mindset of the patients regarding the treatment. Proper nurse-patient communication is essential in getting patient’s co-operation in the treatment process. The environment, in which the treatment process is programmed, needs to be soothing so that the patients find peace and serenity to recover from the disease. Although the most important aim of the nurses should be to reduce the use of antipsychotic medication in the patients and replace it with natural human medical therapies.
The treatment of Schizophrenia patients involves a lot of skills due to the complex nature of the disease. Medical science has already discovered the ways, through which the symptoms of Schizophrenia disorders can be controlled and reduced to a considerable extent. However, the patients suffering from such disease do not opt for the medical treatment for several reasons. These result in the occurrence of certain non-treatment consequences such as violence, extreme madness or criminal activities. The suffering patients can even commit suicide to be free from all these issues which is not at all beneficial either for the patients or the society. The use of force treatment or involuntary treatment becomes mandatory in such cases to bring an end to these consequences.
While providing such treatment, the various factors that are associated with it must be addressed and evaluated properly. The medical staff and the nurses also need to be aware of these issues as an efficient professional in the treatment procedure. The process should hence be handled with an objective to minimize the negative aspects and simultaneously increase its derivable advantages. This is the manner, in which the involuntary treatment process can provide comprehensive recovery facilities to the Schizophrenia afflicted patients.
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- Canadian Nurses Association. (2008). Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses. Canada: Canadian Nurses Association.
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- Jaeger, S., Pfiffner, C., Weiser, P., Langle, G., Croissant, D., Schepp, W., … & Steinert, T. (2013). Long-term effects of involuntary hospitalization on medication adherence, treatment engagement and perception of coercion. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 48(11), 1787-1796.
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- Schizophrenia.com. (2010). Getting treatment for people when they lack insight into their illness.
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