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Discussion: Treatment of Psychiatric Emergencies in Children Versus Adults

The diagnosis of psychiatric emergencies can include a wide range of problems—from serious drug reactions to abuse and suicidal ideation/behaviors. Regardless of care setting, the PMHNP must know how to address emergencies, coordinate care with other members of the health care team and law enforcement officials (when indicated), and effectively communicate with family members who are often overwhelmed in emergency situations.

In this week’s Discussion, you compare treatment of adult psychiatric emergency clients to child or adolescent psychiatric emergency clients.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Compare treatment of adult psychiatric emergency clients to child or adolescent psychiatric emergency clients
  • Analyze legal and ethical issues concerning treatment of child or adolescent psychiatric emergency clients

To Prepare:

  • Review the Learning Resources concerning emergency psychiatric medicine.
  • Consider a case where your adult client had a psychiatric emergency. (Note: If you have not had an adult client with a psychiatric emergency, ask your preceptor to describe one of their clients with a psychiatric emergency to use as an example for this Discussion.)

Post:

  • Briefly describe the case you selected.
  • Explain how you would treat the client differently if he or she were a child or adolescent.
  • Explain any legal or ethical issues you would have to consider when working with a child or adolescent emergency case.

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