Lessons learned: The Day I "Sat"


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    Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 46 years experience.

the day i "sat"

by donna dee davis, msn, cns, aprn

i have been in psychiatric nursing for close to 20 years. i teach and work clinically, and today i'd be working on an inpatient psychiatric unit. i arrived at work only to be informed that someone would be sent to the intensive care unit to "sit" with a patient for whom one-on-one observation was prescribed. the patient had taken an overdose of an antipsychotic drug last night in an attempt to end her life. she had driven herself to the emergency department (ed) before she lost consciousness. my first thought was that this was the last thing i wanted to do. no one wanted to go and i was per diem, so i reluctantly volunteered. off i went to "sit."

as i was heading to my assignment, i started wondering how this woman differed from me. what have i done during my recent times of stress and challenges to cope with my own personal struggles? why was i able to cope and she was not? the answers came immediately. i practice what i teach. i practice the "four pillars model of stability" that is implemented on the behavioral health unit where i usually work. the model is focused on achieving and maintaining mental wellness by taking responsibility for one's life. the stability pillars are empowerment, optimism, meaningful activity, and beliefs. all of the programs offered on the unit are related implementations.


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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. I could have used this when I went through my divorce. Even though five years have passed and I am happily remarried, this article still helped me. Thank you so much for posting it.

During my divorce, a meaningful activity was taking a nurse refresher course. I loved it, and it gave me optimism that there was something out there that I really loved to do. There was something that made me happy besides being married to a man who didn't love me anyway. lol Gaining autonomy has been harder. I am still working on it. My spiritual beliefs are just coming alive now after five years.

I, too, was about to give up and overdosed on a prescription tranquilizer given to me by my dr. at the time. It really isn't possible to become spiritual and happy on addictive medication.

For anyone going through a divorce, there is real happiness afterwards. These four principles say it all on how to overcome the pain of divorce and other similar types of great stressors in life.

Thanks again.


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