Zyprexa, Haldol, lol
by Anthony Chicotel, CANHR Staff Atorney
CANHR recently learned of a nurse who posted the following statement via social media:
Someone is acting crazy. I think one of my [patients] needs sum cocktail. Zyprexa or haldol or both bwahaha. Wait I need careplan. Increase delusion aeb dressing like [a deranged movie] character bwahaha.
Astonishing. A statement like that is simultaneously scary, depressing, and a challenge to the least medicating movement. Obviously, the vast majority of nurses are caring and vital providers to our frail elderly population. But with nurses like this on the frontlines of our care facilities, we still have a long way to go to making sure that powerful psychotropic drugs are not misused to chemically restrain vulnerable patients who are experiencing disorientation or distress. Even if the post is meant to be humorous, it shows a disturbing insensitivity to people with cognitive disabilities and the victims of psychotropic drug misuse.
The key to the least medicating movement is to identify what causes a person with dementia to express distress and then remedy it. In this way, nurses and other health care providers can dramatically improve the lives of their patients. That is the hallmark of nursing.