Psychological Complications Resulting From Illnesses and Injuries
Depression Resulting from Cancer
The care given to patients who have cancer is intricate to student nurses and professional nurses. Care for cancer patients involves effective physical and psychological care. Working with these patients can be emotionally challenging (Granek et al., 2019). The nurses should portray skills and attitudes to offer quality care to cancer patients. In my nursing practice, I have encountered many cancer patients. The most memorable is my first cancer care: a 22-year-old man diagnosed with skin cancer. My duties involved monitoring the patient’s physical and emotional health, administering medication, educating the patient and his family about the disease, and helping with symptom management.
During the psychological care, I noticed that the patient was depressed and was battling with suicidal thoughts. He was utterly hopeless and felt like a burden to his family. The most challenging situation was offering emotional help to the patient to help him overcome suicidal thoughts. Our medical facility was faced with an oncology nursing shortage, forcing us to help with cancer patient care. It was challenging, having never encountered such a complicated case in my practice.
According to Kozhyna (2018), the prevalence of depression in cancer patients ranges from 40 to 60%. These patients are at a higher risk for suicide. Early detection of depression among cancer patients may help identify those at risk of committing suicide. The journal highlights the challenges of identifying depression cases among cancer patients. Among the 154 sample patients in the study, 103 had suicidal behaviors. The patients have anxiety, are moody, and experience acute grief with the diagnosis of cancer. Mental distress can affect the length of hospital stay, treatment adherence, course of the disease, and the patient’s quality of life. Psychological care can ease emotional suffering in cancer patients and improve the quality of life.
During patient care, I employed numerous strategies in addressing suicidal care. The primary strategy involved being emotionally present and available. It involved listening to the patient to discuss his troubles and well-being and being overly supportive. Through assessing the patient’s emotional status, I was able to detect the expression of suicidal ideation. It helped the hospital to act fast in offering the necessary emotional help. Besides, I focused on relieving the physical suffering of the patient to help with the treatment. With the experience I have gained in my field, I have realized that we should have involved a psychiatrist. It is crucial to immediately send the patient for further assessment by a psychiatrist or psychologist.
When it comes to medical ethics, there are essential requirements and standards based on which healthcare providers are mandated to act. The patient-nurse relationship is bound by the ethical devotion of confidentiality (Moini & Moini, 2017). A patient’s information should not be disclosed to family members in a typical scenario unless the patient gives consent. A suicidal patient should talk to a caregiver or a psychiatrist with utmost confidentiality and disclosure. A legal implication can be in a case where the medical professional offering psychological care to the patient is required to appear before the court. In case a patient commits suicide or is reported to have attempted to commit suicide, the instance might become a court case. The psychological caregiver can be required to give a testimony on the mental health of the patient.
Granek, L., Nakash, O., Ariad, S., Shapira, S., & Ben-David, M. (2019). Strategies and barriers in addressing mental health and suicidality in patients with cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum, 46(5), 561-571. https://doi.org/10.1188/19.onf.561-571
Kozhyna, A. (2018). Comprehensive analysis of suicidal behavior in depressive disorders in cancer patients. https://doi.org/10.26226/morressier.5a6ef3ebd462b80290b580a4
Moini, J., & Moini, M. (2017). Legal and ethical aspects of health care. Fundamentals of U.S. Health Care, 56-77. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315620374-3
We’ll write everything from scratch
The nurse’s role goes far beyond that which is expected. Nurses are the main communicators between patients, doctors, and family, and they care for more than just physical ailments. Often, nurses are presented with difficult situations where being an advocate becomes paramount to the healing of the patient. One of the issues that patients with acute and chronic illnesses or extended hospitalization face is a tendency to become depressed. The nurse’s role in this situation requires more than just attention to the physical problem. Another situation where a nurse may need to shift his or her care is when a patient presents with a suspicious injury or illness. In addition to considering the legal and ethical responsibilities of the nurse, he or she must consider the psychological undertones that may be present.
For this Discussion, you will consider delicate situations that nurses often face and analyze the implications of these situations. Reflect on a patient care situation in which you have encountered one of the following:
- A suspicious illness or injury
- Depression resulting from illness or injury
Then, locate at least one scholarly journal article related to your patient care situation that offers strategies for managing the circumstances.
Respond to the following:
- Explain your patient encounter, highlighting the challenges the situation presented, and briefly summarize the contents of your journal article.
- What strategies did you employ to help handle the situation? What other strategies could you have used?
- How did you advocate for the patient in the situation?
- What are some of the legal and ethical implications that need to be considered when providing care for patients with depression resulting from illnesses or injuries or suspicious illnesses or injuries?