By Chidinma Nwanekpe, RN, BSN, MPH
GAC Commissioner, Mental Health Nurse at St. Joseph’s
Working on my unit has exposed me to a lot of issues our mental health patients go through, but the most prominent one is homelessness.
For example, here’s a patient we’ll call “Mr. J.” Mr. J had been in the hospital for seven days when I arrived at work one day. In a mental unit, it’s not uncommon for patients to be reported as loud, upset, disrupting unit activity, and not heeding re-direction. Mr. J said he had been in the hospital for quite a while, didn’t know where to go after he was discharged because he was homeless.
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