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psych nursing/certified Parish Nurse
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LethaChristina has 45 years experience and specializes in psych nursing/certified Parish Nurse.

solitary archdiocesan contemplative/poet/writer with forty year nursing career

LethaChristina's Latest Activity

  1. For so many years I was highly-supportive of a universal healthcare with a single party payer... After 2 1/2 million dollars in care for myself... I have learned some incredibly difficult lessons: 1) having one's medical records, as well as all other records in a centralized place--is contributing to a take-over of personal privacy. I'll tell you: no "other" ever really knows a person--no matter how much medical information is accrued. In my case, it led to near devastation of my ability to survive (apparently I am no longer considered "hireable"--a terribly-limiting thing in this economy)... loss of identity that could have produced a "zombie" had I not been so well-educated, spiritually-astute, intelligent, and had so many physician friends who could intervene, and, as well, I have been effectively "dismissed" as a worthwhile person by many: in spite of my many, many contributions to society and my Church. 2) There is no way to expunge the faulty and damning medical records (even though the proof of the wrongfulness is available, and mostly public). It seems that by being a "Medicare" patient--there is no way to have the records investigated (by statute, the only thing that can be considered are the medical records themselves--not testimony by physicians, myself, outside research (no matter how "legit" it is), or even family members. 3) Medicare has no venue for not paying providers who give substandard or harmful care... so there is no help there, either. Each person is so complex (often) there simply cannot be enough "statutes and laws" in place to cover all exigencies... therefore, the use of a "single party payer" will end up in failure and damning the persons who need help: totally aside from the financial burden we cannot take on at this time. 4) Socialized medicine (you really need to look up leowolfvine's blog for some telling thoughts on this) is producing such dependent and helpless people--who, in their lack of respect for themselves, foist onto others their entire well-being... never learning from the lessons of life and sufferng. I'm not saying there aren't people who can't support themselves (particularly in this economic collapse)--but many have no chance at all in that kind of system. Only the few who are creative and well-educated (I'm not talking about degrees here)... enough to figure out how to survive on their own are "making it"... but right now, even those are having a hard enough time (particularly after being "labeled" as "sick": this has been stigmatized so badly--no one will give them a job--even if they are capable). After all, the records ARE available (in spite of HIPPA laws)--and people "talk"!
  2. LethaChristina

    PSYCH NURSES-please help

    Believe me, the field is full of "wounded warriers" (most can not deal with the amount of abuse happening to them as nurses in this field when they don't "understand")... spread yourself out in your reading (as suggested); not only have Freud and (not so much Jung) the "old school" (as already stated) become antiquated--the theories largely shown wrongful (Freud's contribution was the understanding that we are complex: "there's more than meets the eye". He also found that behavior is grounded in past life experiences--the most recent research in "neuroplasicity" has shown that it is entirely possible to transcend all past life experiences, brain injury, "brain chemical imbalance"--a flawed theory, as well as genetic inheritence)... yet it is also important to know the history of the field in order to integrate the new research, and to be an effective nurse (because each is unique, and does not "fit the pattern" of the prevailing theories and research). Without having a very broad background: usually not going first into psychiatric nursing... one can be stymied in one's assessments and interventions. A word of caution: don't let anyone limit you! Not by "incurable" dx, or words of derision, or any "stigma"... keep reading--and don't limit yourself there, either... it's a big world and you will meet some very intelligent and knowledgeable people who are "psych" patients who will challenge you every step of the way... it is important to have a very broad background!
  3. LethaChristina

    Psych nursing in Seattle area

    By the way, if a patient on a "voluntary" unit is declared detainable--they are transferred to one of the "involuntary" units--often quite a distance from the original hospital.
  4. LethaChristina

    Psych nursing in Seattle area

    There is a tendency in Seattle to isolate those who have been civilly-committed through the court system... while Northwest Medical Center's patients on both units are both voluntary (admitted through their own request) and involuntary... the ones where I specifically note as "voluntary" do not admit those under civil commitment laws (they do not have adequate security... are not locked units, etc.) People seldom change "status" in this state... unless a county-designated mental health professional is called and declares a person "detainable"... (also needed are two affidavits by persons who agree with this--do not both need to be professionals) while a person is on a "voluntary" unit. Changing status from "involuntary" to "voluntary" while detained is incredibly difficult... even though, per law, it is possible.
  5. LethaChristina

    I want you to help me, but you will do it my way.....

    Oh, I'm sorry if I offended you--that was never intended. I do know that much of what is "presented" (even seeing on these threads the comments about "frequent fliers", and people with "insignificant" reasons for being in the ER) is simply that: "what is presented as the complaint". Our inability to "listen" because of time constraints, too many patients who are "sicker" or "more critical", as well as "preconceived ideas and assumptions" about each patient (including their behaviors) limits us markedly in our assessments. I am totally sympathetic with the REAL reason for ER's (so transgressed upon with these "minor" situations--who often have no where else to take their concerns--often not able to even access medical care any other way)--so please understand my comments are mostly those of "didactic" nature... I WANT you to continue to be able to do what is most needed--care of the "emergent" situations and conditions. However, lobbying for more effective ways to treat these "non-emergent" situations (where care does not really happen, except in the simple contact with healthcare providers--which sometimes reinforces "dependency") may be a good action for those interested enough in being "advocates" of a more equitable system of care--and better outcomes for all concerned. Some hospitals have an "urgent care" or some such thing where people can go for these kinds of things... although my experience of this at Group Health Coop in Seattle was less than good--they, too, were only interested in the mechanical processes of lab tests, medicines, or binding up cuts and scrapes. Seattle at one point had an "open door clinic"--I worked there for awhile as a volunteer... including phone lines for the public to simply talk to trained personnel. It was much less intimidating than calling the Crisis Clinic. When it closed, there seemed to be no other real avenue for this sort of thing (that I am aware) around-the-clock. I also do not know if having the open door clinic reduced visits to ER's in the area--it might be interesting to research. So many people simply need to be "heard" (not so unlike these thread;)s). Thanks for "listening"!
  6. LethaChristina

    Replacing Patient-Centered Nursing with Society-Centered Nursing

    No kidding! The "stigma" is complete and damning--even when a person is not sick at all! The old notion that one cannot heal from these things has gotten so out-of-control it is unreal. As long as society continues to "pigeonhole" people--this happens in more than psychiatric patients--but in many other varying ways, too... we will have this mess--the reason for my insistence about not using ANY labels at all! Called a "free-thinker" by one psych nurse--disparagingly, of course... she obviously is not keeping up with the research and hasn't had much well-rounded experience in life. Another person used a "quote" of Florence Nightingale in which she disparages "martyrdom"--the context, of course, was left out; I have no idea of what Flossie actually meant... but I know I have felt like a "martyr" to the system nearly continually... and continue to fight the implications of that. This article by Leo (is it really a book, Leo?) is "right on"--and badly needed. Leo has an uncanny sense of balance and "rightness" about his thinking. I'm far too passionate: it turns people off when I "crusade". This is not normally on spiritual issues (my real career right now)... but when involving healthcare--I really do "heat" right up... I've seen too much abuse and devaluation of the human person that has broken my heart so much... by the "system" currently in place. As I say so often: we reap what we sow. The underlying "sins" of the nation show up most strongly here. Yah, Pope Benedict XVI-you, too, are "right on"!
  7. LethaChristina

    Behavioral Unit anyone?

    The word "myth" is understood as to mean "made up" in this society... unaware of its real implications, in spite of Joseph Campbell. I said in the post clearly: words are very limited--and we, especially as communication nurses, need to be wary of being "too concrete" (the reason for the length of the post--but I also realize so many of us skip reading deeply into what is being said, if it is lengthy). What we do to each other in the way of limiting people was my point: the whole idea of "illness" can be very limiting... especially as we use it today in psychiatry. In no way did I negate the difficult journey of life--you have apparently not read all my posts (I guess there should be no reason why you should--but, like the "usual" take of people--assumptions are made all too often on flimsy evidence--another point of my article "the Spiritual Emergency"). Apparently you didn't see all my references to the hundreds of thousands of people on the streets--having failed at "biological psychiatry" (or was it the other way around?) You think, after working in over twelve treatment facilities and for thirty years all over the country I am a fool? I am as guilty of perpetration of false theories and treatments as the next psych nurse--don't think I haven't spent a great deal of energy and time processing all that (including three separate confessions at the request of my confessor). I'm sure you are feeling my "heat" right now... in spite of the healing that occurred in those confessions/my heart is bleeding and breaking. Many of the posts I see asking for info about psych nursing in the Washington State threads deal mostly with pay scales, and how "good" the atmosphere feels at the hospitals--in order to choose where to work. Frankly, it is this kind of attitude amidst nurses that will never allow us our full potential as "patient advocates".:redbeathe
  8. LethaChristina

    Psych nursing in Seattle area

    There are also mental health units (a voluntary adult unit) at Swedish Cherry Hill... two gero-psych units at Northwest Medical Center in Shoreline (voluntary and involuntary) I'm pretty sure a unit at Steven's in Edmonds (I think involuntary) a unit at Overlake (Bellevue) for voluntary child's psych at Childrens... Fairfax--a psych hospital in Kirkland king co. detox unit youth detention in Seattle (on Alder) the king co. jail has a psych section there is also another psychiatric hospital (I can't remember the name) for mostly involuntary patients in West Seattle I have worked in many of these places--yes, the collegiality is good--but treatment premises are pretty much out-dated in many of them--heavy into "biological psychiatry"--and little attempt to incorporate the new more promising therapies (except perhaps at the VA Hospital--I have a friend who has been treated there for years, as well as knowing navy physicians who have been treated there with success from "war trauma" with rapid-eye movement therapy.) There are also several addiction treatment centers.
  9. LethaChristina

    Would like to become a parish nurse

    Hi moogie, I want to thank you for the Star Trek quote--I love it!
  10. LethaChristina

    Discussing End of Life Issues Part 2 - Living to a Ripe Old Age

    I was listening to a long-time neighbor's story about her husband's dying process not long ago. Neither of them were even told the husband had aggressive and all-over cancer--not at all until after he had died; he was subjected to frequent paracenteses (eventually the fluid was "black", as described by my neighbor), and twice-to-thrice/day doctors' office visits up until the very end (how in the world does any rational doctor justify this--when the man can hardly move or breathe--and the wife is obliged to "carry" him into the office?) It was an incredible mess--and not at all dignified and peaceful! My heart just bled for her... who still carries wounds of not being allowed to know or plan appropriately. You know, after all I have seen as a nurse--and heard (all kinds of people tell me all sorts of things)... is it any wonder I have a lingering cynicism about medicine--and got out!
  11. LethaChristina

    The Nurse's Role in Providing Spiritual Care - Is It OK to Pray?

    hi, since I can't address hospital nursing at this point--not being there, I offer some reflections: perhaps we forget the role of the nurse is "total assessment"; and includes the appropriate spiritual nursing diagnoses, too. So many are "fearful' due to institutional bias, not understanding their own issues for many reasons--or able to deal with them--much less those in others, and the list goes on and on. With the modern concepts of Western medicine (realize, it has actually only been around for about one hundred and fifty years) excluding the spiritual dimension of humanity-hard-wired into our psyches (yes, even for the "atheist"--another topic for another day)... and also well-knowing the sensitivites of those "hurt" by "organized religion" (bless you very much--all of you; I tried to address this on another blog site--knowing how horrendously awful it is to be "persecuted" by the very ones who are supposed to be ministering... yet challenging these hurt ones to "go beyond the hurt" because it is only hurting themselves--not others). I also am well aware God put us all in the faith traditions He wanted us in--or we wouldn't be there. Jesus' words? "In my house are many mansions." I have a strong respect for the personal journey in life--yet, it would be unfair of me not to challenge (here I use that word not in an aggressive way) thoughts/beliefs that lead to personal disintegration of one sort or another (I am a Catholic educator as well--although my knowledge of many other faith traditions is alive and kicking, too)... without the intent of "proselytizing" (for it is always presented as "possibilities") but for further reflection--we each really ARE responsible for each other's welfare... not to "take over"--but to offer possibilities not before entertained. The final choice ALWAYS must rest with the individual--with respect for each other intact. Many times this comes in form of "exploration and debate" with people--a spiritual AND intellectual tool (for both people). "Hurt" in this process would come out of artificial boundaries of finding lack of time to adequately explore the issues on both sides... or interference from outside sources that were not overcome... or the "other" running before the process was completed (after all, these issues ARE both challenging and sometimes scarey)... having had these experiences many times--I, too, feel great sorrow when misunderstandings and misinterpretations occur--I am a person who cares deeply--and do not want to offend. But they just do. Each of us has many things to learn about "forgiveness" and surrender to those things out of our control--as well as taking responsibility for any of our own flaws. Intellectual and deep spiritual conversations/debate are rare in this country/world. There seems instead to be either flight from it (for fear of offending?), or else so much "heat" no one wants to "take it on." I'm empathetic with these--but we are truly much lessened because of it. I value most highly those friends of mine who "plunge right in" loyally standing-by the next day after one of the heated discussions. That, indeed, is real human respect.
  12. LethaChristina

    Parish nursing IS "real" nursing---vent

    No kidding it's REAL nursing--politics and all! It takes the guts of Judas Maccabees to do--the reason our training is so tough! But that's what we LOVE, isn't it!
  13. LethaChristina

    Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC): FAQ

    hello, I wanted to comment on the "quote" on your blog--about the wounds and faults of the mind leaving scars... I want to refer you to the research on "neuroplasicity"... which basically says that we are NOT bound by past life experiences, brain amines, injury, nor anything else... we simply can transform in ways unimaginable to the "old science"... when conditions are right. Please don't limit anyone or anything in healing power of the divinely-created human brain--which is certainly capable of self-healing! Thank you.
  14. LethaChristina

    Harborview or Swedish?

    Hi, I've worked at Swedish and Harborview... and also been a patient in both facilities. I do not think Seattle is a very good place for healthcare generally...especially having worked/been a serious visitor in other parts of the country. The amount of "psychiatric survivors" on the streets is legion (what does that say about psychiatry there--or anywhere?) When "healthcare" becomes "power" (who am I talking about here? having also participated in the same)... and people are not called "people", but less than human (even when their behavior indicates they are not functioning as a human) because of "the fault of the medical system" as well as the many, many myths WE have perpetrated as a society (including that we have the right to "intervene" in others' lives and life choices--i.e. "socialized medicine" causing people to lose their will to survive as well as the demonization of learning from mistakes and suffering, and the dignity of life and death). Having myself seen the results of "considering someone less than human and less than dignified" and the resulting loss of human identity--what can we expect? Needless to say, I am no longer welcome in any nursing capacity in Seattle--the "system" does not seem to tolerate change agency very well... too much money involved in the "status quo" apparently. By the way, VM is NOT known generally as a good place, either. Having had a friend's husband die from their incompetence, as well as an 18 y/o nephew with cancer of the roof of his mouth so badly mismanaged (he could easily have lost his life: this scholar-student and star football player)--whose family could not afford the kind of care he needed... so his treatment was delayed to a dangerous point by VM (why was not he referred to where he could get immediate care?)--and when the intervention came, it was a total disaster. There many such "case histories" there I could give you, but won't. I have had other friends move out of Washington, as well... the reason? "It is a police state" (quotes from a friend, a Sorbonne-educated artist). When forced-detention is done to un-sick and politically-active people--as recently I quoted the supervisor of defense attorneys for the county as saying to me over the phone--and to "many", I'm sorry--it's pretty grim out here! Call it the effects of "liberalism" if you will--I say we educated people have a general lack of humility and a good deal of "following the herd mentality" in order to 'get along'" to perpetrate our own well-being.
  15. LethaChristina

    going into art therapy... need some help...

    Hi, I have education both in music therapy (and plain music) and art (visual)... I worked as a professional artist as well as psych nurse for several years. I have also worked in many different modalities and treatment facilities. The best place to use all my skills was at a State Hospital (in this case, Dammasch State Hospital in Wilsonville, OR)... where, as charge nurse, I had utter freedom in running groups and activities for the 120 patients on my unit (mostly adolescents). Using art and music in these groups was welcomed both by the patients as well as the staff. I was employed as a charge nurse, however--receiving the appropriate remuneration. The whole experience was very pleasant and rewarding. At least, in state hospitals at the time--there was quite abit of flexibility in how the milieu was managed.
  16. LethaChristina

    A different perspective

    a humble thank you for these "real life" experiences and sharing... to remember that each patient dying is someone's loved one... even though we know not who that is. my Catholic faith has been so helpful with my own experiences of death--the "Communion of Saints" is all around and accessible... my mother smiles at me from heaven during the hard times--right next to the Sorrowful Mother (mary as she stood beneath the cross of Christ, etc). This kind of communication doesn't just end when "the spirit knows we don't need them anymore"--because we ALWAYS need them! "Not scientific"--hey, there, what in the world are you calling "not scientific"? Perhaps you do not read enough quantum physics, or something... we are ALL part of each other--right down to sharing our molecules and atoms continually... when we think we are so "knowledgeable" we have not adequately addressed our own vulnerabilities and continuity with each other. We NEED to do this crying/laughing/screaming together! The mystical elements of life--now so denigrated and downplayed (mostly because there is no "pigeon-holing" that can be done with them!)--and accessed by the "shamans" and "medicine people" of the earliest history of humankind... as well as the most-highly spiritual of all ages... is alive and well--and growing in intensity in people from all walks of life! when we can each respect the journey each is on--then we will be well on our way to the equitable world for which we all hope so much. Bless you, keep the faith--however you interpret or know that! thank you, Mom, for your beautiful spirituality--and your attempts to reconcile what was, at the time, not reconcilable--your prayers meant it could be healed with enough time! I count on your prayers of intercession from heaven, too! we all do