I would like to know, are there many hospitals in the USA specially for people with developmental disabilities? Here in New South Wales, Australia they have downgraded these hospitals and moved these guys out to the community. I think for some it is a good thing, but for others it can be terrible. The clients in our hospital are mainly people who were sent out to the community but it failed. I think you still need these types of hospitals, but with a community atmosphere not a locked up environment. In New South Wales, Australia the community concept really came into focus in the 1980's and slowly these hospitals were downgraded. I know that psych. nurses not all, really don't like when DD's are addmitted when there is an emergency out in the community. I would like to know what views you have, and are such hospitals around in the USA.
Oct 22, '02
We have places in the US like: http://www.melmark.org/newhome.html
As a matter of fact, I just started there today. And so far I am really enjoying it!!!!
Feb 15, '03
I've been working in one of the community based programs you spoke of for about 12 years. Our program was opened in the1970's for the very purpose of receiving patients who were being placed in the community after several institution closings. After many years of trying to access regular physician services, we came to the conclusion that our special MRDD population really did need more unique medical services. We created and implemented the first successful Wellness Clinic designed for MRDD patients in Kansas. We have a variety of physicians such as the Primary, Neurologist, Dentist, Dietitian, etc. who come to the Clinic weekly to complete preventative and acute assessments. We have been able to reduce the number of exams done under anesthesia (related to anxiety and non-compliance) by 75%. We still have the dilemma of having to use the local emergency departments and hospitals when necessary. They definitely do not understand the unique needs of our patients, and we have had to do enormous amount of education, but the physicians and nurses are finally starting to catch on. I hope this answers your question. I would love to hear more about your MRDD experience.
Feb 15, '03
Kudos to you amlv! I have talked about these same type of needs for the MRDD population in our area. I am a nurse for a special needs school. I cringe at the possiblity of having to send some of our kids to area ER's. Although I know the docs are competent and very thorough, I feel a deeper understanding of MRDD and its components would be so helpful.
This is a hard topic to explain and approach, but your type of facility would provide an invaluable service. I'd like to hear more about it.