Treatment of Psychiatric Emergencies in Children Versus Adults. Visits for mental health problems to both pediatric primary care settings and pediatric emergency departments have skyrocketed in recent decades, and now account for up to 25-50% of primary care and 5% of pediatric emergency department visits.(1-6) Both pediatricians(7) and pediatric emergency physicians(8, 9) identify lack of training in and lack of confidence in their ability to care for mental health problems as barriers to caring for these patients. The focus of this article will be the two most common pediatric mental health emergencies, both of which involve threats to safety, i.e. suicide, where there is risk of harm to the patient, and homicide or aggression, where there is risk of harm to others. Additionally, the challenges of caring for children with autism or other developmental disabilities will also be discussed.
Treatment of Psychiatric Emergencies Children Versus
The diagnosis of psychiatric emergencies can include a wide range of problems—from serious drug reactions to abuse and suicidal ideation/behaviors. Regardless of care setting, the PMHNP must know how to address emergencies, coordinate care with other members of the health care team and law enforcement officials (when indicated), and effectively communicate with family members who are often overwhelmed in emergency situations.
In this week’s Discussion, you compare treatment of adult psychiatric emergency clients to child or adolescent psychiatric emergency clients.
- Compare treatment of adult psychiatric emergency clients to child or adolescent psychiatric emergency clients
- Analyze legal and ethical issues concerning treatment of child or adolescent psychiatric emergency clients
- Consider a case where an adult client had a psychiatric emergency. If you have not had a personal experience with an adult client who had a psychiatric emergency, you can conduct an internet or library search to identify one.
For the assignment you will:
- Briefly describe the case you selected.
- Explain how you would treat the client differently if he or she were a child or adolescent.
- Explain any legal or ethical issues you would have to consider when working with a child or adolescent emergency case.