by Kayla Ortiz
Today I worked with a psychiatric nurse in the behavioral health and substance abuse clinic at mercy care. We discussed general patient care for behavioral health and substance abuse, and we looked through the charts of patients who were referred to the clinic. Furthermore, we saw one patient who visited the primary care clinic and was referred to the substance abuse clinic, and performed a behavioral health screen that was required to be in the substance abuse program. From this experience, I learned how to screen patients for substance abuse, and help provide them with resources based on their condition.
Later on this afternoon, I went to a hypertension/blood pressure education class that was taught by a nurse from the American Heart Association for patients who were diagnosed with hypertension. In this course, patients were educated on hypertension and how to manage it. The patients were given their own blood pressure machine, and were taught on how to measure their pressure. The patients are required to measure their blood pressure regularly, and report their lowest blood pressure screening to the American Heart Association weekly. From this experience, I learned about how to educate patients on maintaining their blood pressure through their medications, diet, and lifestyle in a way that is sustainable and individualized for each patient.