The World According to Dr. El debuts on McKnight’s LTC News

Posted by Dr. El - March 12, 2013 - Depression/Mental illness/Substance Abuse - 2 Comments

I’m very pleased to announce the debut of my new column at McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.  The World According to Dr. El is a twice monthly column that will address mental health issues in LTC.

Please visit and “Like” the page on McKnight’s to show your support for addressing the mental health concerns of all those involved with LTC.

 

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Inside the mind of an LTC shrink

I sat in morning report as the nursing supervisor announced the arrival of a new resident.  An 80-year old woman was taken to the hospital after a fall at home, where she received a below-knee amputation and contracted C. diff before being transferred to our facility.

I looked around the room and speculated about what each of my team members were thinking, imagining thought bubbles over their heads:

  • The wound care nurse was wondering how the leg was healing.
  •  The rehab director was considering the chances an 80-year old woman might be able to manage on a prosthetic leg.
  • The infection control specialist was mentally reviewing a checklist of infection control procedures that needed to be put in place.
  • The social worker was hoping the woman lived in a ground-floor apartment.

What was I thinking about this new admission? I was worried she might be suffering from symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder if she had been alone on the floor for any length of time after her fall.

I pondered how she might be handling the assault on her femininity of losing a leg. I wondered about the quality of her family supports and whether she’d consider attending the choir performance where one of the soloists was a glamorous amputee from the third floor.

For more: Inside the Mind of an LTC Shrink