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Sitter Utilization - Essay Example

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Many factors result in a patient harming oneself including mental illness, psychological factors, genetics, and drug use among other factors. According to Cleary (143), some people who do not suffer from any mental illness hurt themselves and others; however, suffering from psychiatric conditions increases the likelihood of a person doing self-harm. Individuals with personality disorders of any kind are at high risk of hurting themselves; including dual personality disorder and borderline personality disorder. In addition, phobias to various common phenomena cause people to harm themselves in one way or the other, as is depression caused by many pressures of daily living. Schizophrenia reduces a person’s ability to distinguish between real and imagined things, thereby causing a person to harm self or others. In addition, schizophrenic patients tend to be suicidal especially if the patients are young and know what the disease will do to their lives. Final in the list of mental disorders is Munchausen Syndrome, though it results in self-harm to a lesser extent. Recent studies have shown that terminally ill patients are also at risk of committing self-harm or suicide in extreme cases, for instance, HIV/AIDS patients. Psychologically, self-harm is caused by any form of trauma including childhood abuse, bereavement, and abusive relationships. Autism may cause patients to harm themselves, while other factors in life in may also contribute, including poverty and unemployment. Lesch-Nyhan syndrome is the only genetic conditions that result in self-harm; however, genetics predisposes a person to conditions like stress and depression that may cause a patient to self-harm. Alcoholics are the most predisposed drug users to self-harm, accounting for over 60 percent of drug users who do so. Harming oneself due to drug influence may occur when a person is abusing the drugs, due to the addiction, or because of withdrawal symptoms resulting from attempting to stop the habit (Laye-Gindhu and Schonert-Reichl 451). Self-harm takes many forms and includes biting, scratching, poking of eyes, banging the head, burning oneself, and piercing of the skin among others. While these are dangerous, they are not immediately life threatening except if the patient is attempting suicide. On the other hand, many patients may self-harm with the intention of committing suicide, especially by swallowing poisonous substances and other actions that are life threatening. While the treatment of these patients is results in healing that keeps them from self-harm, before full recovery the patient should be under close watch by a sitter to prevent self-harm of any form (Schoppmann 588). The Strategy The aim of this strategy is to guide patient caretakers on how to care for patients who are prone to self-injury depending on the level of risk that the condition puts the patient. In addition, it aims at defining if keeping watch of a patient improves the patient’s condition or makes it worse; if it is the former, a procedure is provided to measure the degree of improvement. A physician should specify all the requirements for a sitter depending on patient condition, and these orders should be given in daily to allow for necessary adjustments depending on patient condition. These orders should specify reasons such that the sitter can know why he or she is doing it, and to allow him or her to adjust conditions to suit the patient (Cincinnati ...Show more


A common phenomenon is observed in many patients where they lose their sense of judgment, and intentionally become a danger to themselves and others. In this regard, many of these patients are put under the care of a sitter who keeps an eye on them at all times to ensure the patients do not hurt themselves or those around them. …
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