In the know: Dealing with a potentially psychotic patient

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, September 28, 2009

 Dealing with a patient who exhibits psychotic symptoms is never easy. During the workup and into the treatment of psychosis, always include the patient as a partner in his or her care. You need to determine how much involvement the patient can accept. Resist the urge to think that just because the patient is having psychotic symptoms, he or she is "totally out of it."

Being able to differentiate and describe the symptoms of a psychotic state enable you to make a good assessment and look for resolution or progression of symptoms. Symptoms a patient may experience during a psychotic episode may include:

  • Hallucinations, or seeing, hearing, feeling, or otherwise perceiving things that are not perceived by others
  • Delusional beliefs, or false fixed beliefs
  • Disorganized thinking and speaking
  • Extreme excitement and confusion
  • Illusions, or mistaken perceptions

For more information, check out the HCPro book, Stressed Out About Difficult Patients.

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