Many hospital emergency departments are overcrowded and short-staffed, with a limited number of hospital beds. It is increasingly hard for emergency departments and their staff to provide the necessary level of care for medical patients. Caring for people with psychiatric disabilities raises different issues and calls on different skills. In Emergency Department Treatment of the Psychiatric Patient, Dr Stefan uses research, surveys and statutory and litigation materials to examine problems with emergency department care for clients with psychiatric disorders. She relies on interviews with emergency department nurses, doctors and psychiatrists, as well as surveys of people with psychiatric disabilities to present the perspectives of both the individuals seeking treatment, and those providing it. This eye-opening book explores the structural pressures on emergency departments and identifies the burdens and conflicts that undermine their efforts to provide compassionate care to people in psychiatric crisis. In addition to presenting a new analysis of the source of these problems, Dr Stefan also suggests an array of alternatives to emergency department treatment for people in psychiatric crisis. Moreover, the author proposes standards for treatment of these individuals when they do inevitably end up in a hospital emergency department. Emergency Department Treatment of the Psychiatric Patient presents a thoughtful and thorough analysis of the difficulties faced by people with psychiatric disabilities when seeking emergency medical care. It is essential reading for anyone working in a hospital emergency department, as well as health care policy makers, and advocates and lawyers for people with psychiatric disabilities.
1. Introduction ; 2. Overview of Emergency Services for People with Psychiatric Disabilities ; 3. Patients' Problems in Emergency Department Care ; 4. Professional Issues in Emergency Department Care ; 5. Legal Rights and Standards in Emergency Department Treatment of People with Psychiatric Disabilities ; 6. Solutions to Problems in Emergency Department Treatment of People with Psychiatric Disabilities ; 7. Conclusion ; Appendix A: Emergency Department Treatment of People with Psychiatric Disabilities: Findings and Proposed Standards
"Emergency Department Treatment of the Psychiatric Patient is a marvelous work. It shows us the ED through the eyes of the patient. Even more important, it shows us how rules and procedures can be set up that help ED personnel to respect and support people with mental illness during what are often their worst moments. This book should be read by everyone who works with people with mental illness."--Charles W. Lidz, Ph.D., Research Professor of Psychiatry, Director, Center for Mental Health Services Research, University of Massachusetts Medical School "Although more by default than design, hospital emergency departments have become settings where the nation's failures in addressing the needs of people who have mental illnesses are routinely played out. For many of these individuals, the emergency department has come to represent less a safe haven and a gateway to care than yet another affirmation of how a "mental patient" is an unwanted burden. Ms. Stefan's thoughtful analysis of this scenario and recommendations for improvements make Emergency Department Treatment of the Psychiatric Patient essential reading for anyone concerned about the disjuncture between physical and mental healthcare and the nation's urgent need for meaningful reform."--Robert Bernstein, Ph.D., Executive Director, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law "Emergency Department Treatment of the Psychiatric Patient includes a set of valuable proposals by experts for standards of care for emergency mental health treatment. As an overview of current conditions and futures directions, [this] book will serve as a valuable handbook and reference handbook for clinicians who work in emergency settings, for emergency room physicians, for health planners, and for attorneys and other advocates who work with persons with serious mental illness."-- Robert M. Factor, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Director, Emergency Services, Mental Health Center of Dane County ..".a concise yet comprehensive discussion of these various problems and challenges from both a macro and micro level...it is an excellent work...appropriately organized and clearly written and consider it a must-read for health care professionals across disciplines who practice in the area of emergency medicine."--PsycCRITIQUES