Lippincott NursingCenter.com is partnering with Lippincott Solutions
to bring you an inspired nurse’s story every month. Here is August’s nurse story, “A Better Life.”
A Better Life
Helene Vossos, DNP, PMHNP-BC, ANP
Stewart Marchman ACT Behavioral Services
As nurses, we must recognize how vulnerable mental health patients often feel, which can impact their access to mental health services.
As a mental health nurse, I participated in an "Open Access Model" to "walk in" appointments in an outpatient clinic that improved access to mental health services from 54% up to 94%. Many of our inpatient, outpatient, home health care and homeless patients lack communication skills and resources, and all nurses can help make a difference when coordinating their care. As a case study, we talk about Miguel, who is a 32-year-old immigrant from Puerto Rico, homeless in Florida, has a history of schizophrenia and is a new resident. He came to the states by boat, "for a better life." His history includes three previous self-inflicted stabbings to his abdomen and chest when he was out of medication and when "the voices were loud and commanding."
Historically Miguel was in contact with emergency department nurses, medical-surgical nurses, OR nurses, case manager nurses, mental health nurses and nurse practitioners for the past three years. All of these nurses are "mental health nurses" by proxy, as they all touched his life, saving him and helping him to maintain stability and get the health care services he needs by providing "walk-in" status during open-access for mental health services, and have provided a translator as well as additional assistance in maintaining appropriate medication and continuing outpatient services. Nurses save lives in all ways of collaboration, caring and research translated into clinical practice!
To see all 2016-2017 stories or to share an inspiring story of your own about being a nurse, or how you were inspired by another, and enter to win prizes, visit http://lippincottsolutions.com/inspirednurses. Be sure to check our blog every month for a new inspired nurse’s story.