Electroconvulsive Therapy

  1. 0
    Are there any ECT nurses in here? I have questions as to what it entails.
  2. 28 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I wouldn't call myself an "ECT nurse," but I've been a psychiatric nurse for a long time, and have been involved in ECT and working with clients receiving ECT. What are your specific questions?
  4. 0
    I understand the pre-procedure assessments, but I am wondering what I would actually be doing during the procedure other than applying the BP cuff and perhaps administering the sedative?
  5. 0
    In my experience the nurse is mostly there to set things up once the patient comes in and disconnect things once the procedure is done. The procedure is so quick, there's really not time to do much else. The anesthetist should be handling most everything else and the physician is doing the actual procedure. I've seen an experienced nurse get people in and out in basically 15 minutes. The majority of that time is the anesthetic doing its thing and then making sure the patient is stable before performing the actual procedure.
  6. 0
    I too am curious about this treatment..it sounds...barbaric in the sense of convulsions..does the patient actually convulse?
  7. 2
    It's not at all like in the movies, at least most of the time. Sedatives and paralytics are given. Usually all you'll see is a lower leg twitch.
    Debilpn23 and IdrilRN like this.
  8. 2
    Quote from Lucky724
    I too am curious about this treatment..it sounds...barbaric in the sense of convulsions..does the patient actually convulse?
    The patient is unconscious (general anaesthetic) and has had a muscle relaxant. As Whispera wrote, all you'll see is a slight twitch of the lower leg (and a pointing index finger and a bit of a facial grimace). There is no incontinence.

    ECT saves lives. Do you think mastectomy is barbaric?
    IdrilRN and elkpark like this.
  9. 0
    My post was not meant to be insulting or to cause anyone to become defensive.. the reason I was asking is because, in the 1970's, my mother went through the treatment and is WAS barbaric at that time...I wanted to know if the measures taken and treatment provided, had progressed since then. And, yes, in the sense a breast is removed, I do think its" barbaric" in the sense of the trauma to the body but also necessary - as ECT is. It was a question based out of personal interest - that is all. It's unfortunately you assumed something more.
  10. 1
    Quote from Lucky724
    My post was not meant to be insulting or to cause anyone to become defensive.. the reason I was asking is because, in the 1970's, my mother went through the treatment and is WAS barbaric at that time...I wanted to know if the measures taken and treatment provided, had progressed since then. And, yes, in the sense a breast is removed, I do think its" barbaric" in the sense of the trauma to the body but also necessary - as ECT is. It was a question based out of personal interest - that is all. It's unfortunately you assumed something more.
    The word "barbaric" implies "insensitive, unnecessary brutality". Unfortunately, psychiatry has a history of "treatments" that were ...... less than humane and grotesquely inconsiderate. And we still, sometimes, actually inject people with powerful drugs which have unpleasant side effects against their expressed wishes.

    Sorry to hear about your mother: I've no doubt her experience was horrific.

    Progress has been made since the 1970s. ECT is now a treatment of last resort when a profound depression has failed to respond to antidepressant meds, or if the patient's mood needs to improve faster than than the meds will work.
    ktliz likes this.
  11. 0
    "...Electroconvulsive Therapy....?"

    Look up fainting in Webster's Unabridged dictionary and you will surely find my picture


    ...And just went I thought psych nursing was for me...I recant


Top