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As a psychiatric nurse, I work in the therapy section and yesterday while on duty, I was faced with a dilemma. I received young male patient, who had on several occasions attempted suicide. On checking his report, there was a record of symptoms pointing to severe depression. I thus consulted with the mental health nurse, who affirmed that indeed the patient had shown signs of depression during examination, moreover that the psychotherapist in charge was aware of the mild symptoms, but had advised against any further follow-up on the patient, who, he considered was experiencing a post-traumatic stress disorder. Confronted with a dilemma, I utilized the five steps involved in the ethical decision making process, so as to come up with a solution.
The first step I took, as set forth by Aiken (104) was to analyze the data I had, in order to come up with relevant information concerning the situation. Thus, after an interpretation of the data I had, I noticed that the patient had displayed several suicidal attempts in the past single month. I therefore concluded that, the physician had let the symptom pass.
I thus went on to take the second step, which involves spelling out the dilemma at hand, as suggested by Aiken (104). I was torn between administering therapeutic treatment meant for depressed patients in order to prevent possible harm after discharge, or discharge the patient after slight recovery, as ordered by the doctor, since the mild symptoms had been treated. I was thus left with the option of moving on to the third step.
This involved the identification of all the causes of action that can be taken, without emphasizing on the possible results (Aiken 104). I thus followed my judgment, in line with the best interest of the patient. Considering that the psychotherapist had chosen not to order a therapy meant for depressive patients, I went to the chief physician and made known my findings.
Thereafter, I examined the merits and demerits that
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