The High Financial Cost of Depression

Depression is on the rise and it is not cheap.  While loneliness and the post pandemic world wrestle with the mental health issues that have added, individuals are beginning to see the rising cost of depression.  While only world wide, 5 percent suffer from depression, it still costs the world economy over 1 trillion dollars.  Also, for every dollar, it is important to note that additional funds go towards negative ways of coping.

The financial cost of depression and similar treatments are in the trillions of dollars worldwide

 

The article, “Depression is costing the global economy a ‘profound’ $1 trillion per year, warns U.S. Surgeon General” by Alexa Mikhail takes a closer look at these stats and how it is costing the global economy.  He states,

“As health officials continue to sound the alarm on the growing loneliness epidemic, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy says the prevalence of depression is closely linked. Loneliness and social isolation increase the risk for mental health problems, including depression. About 280 million people—or 5% of adults globally—have depression, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).”

“Depression is costing the global economy a ‘profound’ $1 trillion per year, warns U.S. Surgeon General”. Mikhail, A. (2023). FortuneWell.

To review the entire article, please click here

In the United States, the cost for depression is over 250 million alone and it continues to rise as more become depressed through the years.  What is causing this? Many blame loneliness.  Some blame the pandemic as well.  Regardless, investment needs to be put into helping individuals cope better with loss and if depressed, find the right help and learn how to cope and find healing.   Remaining permanently dependent on medication is not the answer for everyone either.  Some severe cases may need long term, but those with minor cases need coping as well to balance the issue within the mind.  The high cost of pharmaceutical drugs is astounding and depression is only aspect of it.  In addition anxiety, OCD, ADHD and other minor disorders are constantly treated rising the price globally.

So in essence, it is important to find the reason why depression is increasing, treat it more cost effectively and help people return to normal with stronger coping mechanisms.

Healthcare expenses related to mental health

One of the primary financial costs of mental health is the healthcare expenses associated with diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care. Mental health services, including therapy, medication, and hospitalization, can be prohibitively expensive for many individuals and families. Insurance coverage for mental health varies widely, with some plans offering limited coverage or high out-of-pocket costs. As a result, individuals often face significant financial strain when seeking the help they need.

Moreover, the lack of accessible and affordable mental healthcare options exacerbates the financial burden. Limited availability of mental health providers, especially in rural areas, means that individuals may have to travel long distances or pay exorbitant fees for specialized care. This further contributes to the hidden costs of mental health.

Lost productivity and economic impact

Another significant financial cost of mental health is the loss of productivity in the workforce. Mental health conditions can lead to decreased work performance, absenteeism, and even long-term disability. According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization, depression and anxiety disorders alone cost the global economy over $1 trillion in lost productivity each year.

Employers also bear the financial burden of mental health issues among their workforce. They face increased healthcare costs, decreased productivity, and higher turnover rates. Additionally, the stigma surrounding mental health often leads to a reluctance among employees to seek help, resulting in prolonged suffering and further financial strain.

The cost of untreated mental health conditions

Unaddressed mental health conditions can have severe consequences, both for individuals and society. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, these conditions often worsen over time, leading to increased healthcare costs and reduced quality of life. The cost of untreated mental health conditions extends beyond the individual, affecting families, communities, and the economy as a whole.

Individuals with untreated mental health conditions are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as substance abuse, which further compounds the financial burden. The costs associated with addiction treatment, legal issues, and lost productivity due to substance abuse can be astronomical.

Financial burden on individuals and families

The financial burden of mental health falls heavily on individuals and their families. The cost of therapy sessions, medication, and other treatments can quickly add up, straining budgets and depleting savings. In some cases, individuals may be forced to choose between paying for mental healthcare and meeting other basic needs, such as housing or food.

Furthermore, the impact of mental health on employment can lead to job loss, reduced income, or increased healthcare expenses. This creates a cycle of financial instability and stress, exacerbating the mental health condition and making it even more challenging to seek help.

The role of insurance coverage in managing mental health costs

Insurance coverage plays a crucial role in managing the financial costs of mental health. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, passed in the United States in 2008, requires insurance plans to provide equal coverage for mental health and substance abuse services. However, despite this legislation, many individuals still face significant barriers to accessing affordable mental healthcare.

Employers can play a vital role in ensuring comprehensive mental health coverage for their employees. Offering robust insurance plans that prioritize mental health services and provide adequate coverage can help alleviate the financial burden on individuals and families. Additionally, advocacy for broader insurance coverage for mental health treatments can contribute to a more inclusive and supportive healthcare system.

Strategies for reducing the financial burden of mental health

Addressing the hidden financial costs of mental health requires a multi-faceted approach. Here are some strategies that can help reduce the burden:

  1. Early intervention and prevention: Investing in early intervention programs and preventive measures can help identify and address mental health issues before they escalate. By providing accessible and affordable mental healthcare at the early stages, individuals can receive timely support, reducing the need for more extensive and costly treatments later on.
  2. Education and awareness: Raising awareness about mental health and destigmatizing seeking help is crucial. By promoting understanding and empathy, society can create an environment where individuals feel comfortable seeking treatment, reducing the financial burden associated with untreated conditions.
  3. Integration of mental health into primary care: Integrating mental health services into primary care settings can improve access and reduce costs. By offering mental health screenings and treatments in the same setting as physical health care, individuals can receive holistic care that addresses all aspects of their well-being.
  4. Community support and resources: Communities can play a vital role in supporting individuals with mental health conditions. By establishing support groups, providing resources, and fostering a sense of belonging, communities can help reduce the financial burden on individuals and families.

Conclusion: Investing in mental health for a healthier and wealthier society

The financial costs of mental health are often hidden behind the emotional and psychological toll that these conditions take on individuals and their loved ones. However, addressing these costs is essential for creating a healthier and wealthier society. By investing in accessible and affordable mental healthcare, promoting early intervention and prevention, and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, we can alleviate the financial burden on individuals, families, and communities. It is time to recognize and prioritize mental health as an integral part of overall well-being and work towards a future where everyone has equal access to the support they need.

Depression care has numerous costs. Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification

 

Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification.  Grief Counselors can better help individuals cope with loss and take workload from LPCs and other necessity of medicative needs.  While certified Grief Counselors can only help with basic loss and not depression or more severe maladies, they can play a key role in helping those suffering.  Some Grief Counselors are also LPC’s though and with a certification in Grief Counseling can confidently help those with depression.

 References

“The Economic Cost of Depression is Increasing; Direct Costs are Only a Small Part”. (2021). American Psychiatric Association. Access here

“How Much Does Depression Cost?”. Cherney, K. (2020). Healthline.  Access here

“The Costs of Depression”. Kessler, R. (2012). National Library of Medicine.  Access here

“Depression Cost the US $326 Billion Per Year Pre-Pandemic, a 38% Increase Since 2010”. (2021). Cision.  Access here

 

Holistic Health and Holistic Nursing Needs More Publicity

AIHCP offers a Holistic and Integrative Health Care Certification to qualified professionals who seek to utilize the use of herbs and other complimentary and alternative practices of medicine in conjunction with Western Medicine.  Through this certification, healthcare professionals who specialize in Holistic Nurses can give holistic health more publicity it needs.  This is important because holistic health helps individuals take more personal control over their health. It helps them understand the inner dynamics of the body, how organs function, how systems interact and how herbal and alternative methods while working with Western medicine can grant greater well being.

Holistic Nurses can direct individuals on what herbs are complimentary or not to a prescription drug

 

Publicity to this is imperative.  In the article, “Alternative medicine needs more publicity” by Sonali Whittle, the importance of more publicity to natural medicine is encouraged.  She points out that with higher pharmaceutical prices, restrictions on certain medications, adverse side effects of certain medications and overall lack of sound guidance on general health, individuals need to be more aware of holistic health itself.   She states,

“According to the Cleveland Clinic, Western medicine can be understood as the traditional health care that is received in the U.S. Whether a visit to urgent care due to a fever or a yearly wellness check, almost everyone in the U.S. has come in contact with Western medicine. The techniques are based on empirical scientific work, and thus, there is a major emphasis placed on Western medicine as the golden standard of care. Although Western medicine helps many, there should be alternative healthcare methods such as holistic, herbal and complementary medicine instead of letting people think that they do not have options beyond traditional Western treatments.”

“Alternative medicine needs more publicity” Whittle, Sonali. (2023). The Highlander

To review the entire article, please click here

Holistic Nurses and Holistic and Integrative Health Care Professionals can be important influences on making alternative and herbal medication more public to patients.  Most, however, are not trained in these fields.  Those in mental health and healthcare seem to adhere to Western only medications or procedures.  While this may work for some, the importance of herbal remedies in prevention as well as helping overcome acute issues is very important.  Individuals need to be aware but also guided.  For instance, a person who is facing depression and is prescribed a SSRI, should never seek over the counter herbal remedies for depression such as St John Wort or Hypericum, or even 5-HSP, since these substances and herbs produce Serotonin.   If already on an SSRI, the added Serotonin level can lead to a toxic increase for the body and mind.  Hence, it is so important that whether facing diabetes, cholesterol, depression or any issue, that one consult healthcare professional to properly diagnose if a particular herb can co-exist with an existing pharmaceutical drug.

The benefits can be great and also free individuals over safe and regulated time from a particular drug for ADHD or OCD and allow one to have a more natural approach with the same results.  The issue is knowing about it and also having someone trained to guide individuals in utilizing it.  This is why the certification in Holistic Nursing for AIHCP is important to making public the benefits of alternative medicine and also providing the public with certified professionals to guide the patients through the process.

We will below quickly highlight benefits and downfalls of holistic medication.  Bear in mind,  we are looking at both, Western Medicine and Holistic Medicine being used complementary and under guidance of a healthcare professional

Benefits of Holistic Health

One can find less expensive ways to face minor issues such as OCD, ADHD, or even depression through the use of Holistic Medication or herbs.  These less expensive routes include less need of prescriptions and also can supplement an existing prescription. Caution must be taken though with certain SRRI as not to double dose through an herb.  This is why these less expensive remedies should be utilized through the guidance of a healthcare professional.  While online blogs and resources are available from reputable sources such as Cleveland Clinic or WebMed, it is still important to consult health care professional before ever discontinuing a prescription or supplementing.  For the most part, information can be found on many herbs, what they do, and which ones are complimentary with each other or with certain prescriptions and which one do not mix well.

There are numerous benefits to Holistic Health and herbs. Taking control of health and being preventative with disease are two important ones.

 

In addition, Holistic Health introduces the person to a higher level of personal accountability for health.  Individuals study and learn more about body systems, organ functions and how the herb helps heal the body or promote overall wellness.  Individuals are then more likely to make better health decisions as they build a health blue print for themselves in regards to their mental and physical health.

Holistic herbs and methods are also preventative.  If family history has diabetes, then certain herbs can be utilized to help protect the body prior to entering into diabetes.  The same can be true for mood and mental health, ADHD, OCD, as well as depression.  Many herbs also have preventative characteristics for cancer prevention, heart health, and so forth.  Prevention is an important key in health.  Holistic health is not reactive but proactive.  It looks for harmony in all the systems of the body instead of a more narrow look found in Western Medicine.  Holistic Health looks to prevent, prepare and coordinate between body systems for overall health in mind, body and spirit.

Finally, there are also many less side effects with herb than pharmaceutical drugs.  While certain herbs can cross each other out or cause damage if used with a drug or different herb, if one is able to work with a healthcare professional with education in holistic health, one will be able to create a far superior health plan for overall health without side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.

Downfalls of Holistic Health

This title is slightly misleading because there are truly no downfalls to Holistic Health, but when individuals misuse it, play doctor, or mix things that should not be mixed, then downfalls can emerge.

Holistic Health is empowering if studied and under care of a professional but it can become a dangerous endeavor for individuals who play doctor or think they know best.  These individuals do not understand the universal nature of holistic health that is more preventative in nature.  In some cases, these individuals may stop taking a prescription which may cause withdraws, or even worst, cease treating the issue, while supplementing with another drug.  An example may be someone who immediately goes off a Statin for cholesterol and replaces it with an herbal remedy.  This can be extremely dangerous.  As stated earlier, it can also be dangerous if someone starts to take St John Wort with SSRIs.  Hence it is important to be empowered in health but also educated and follow the advice of a healthcare provider in regards in discontinuing a medication or supplementing one with an herb.  It is important to also note, some Western Drugs are needed for more severe or acute situations.  Drugs for cancer care may be more powerful for acute diseases despite side effects.  In addition,  herbs that may ease minor OCD or ADHD, may need the stronger pharmaceutical for severe and extreme cases of mental health, despite side effects.  Again, playing doctor with Holistic Medicine without knowledge and a healthcare expert can be dangerous.

In addition, it is important to remember that many Holistic medications are not placed under the tighter scrutiny of the empirical verification and approved case studies.  Many are known to work and do, but many are not pressed under the same case study regulations found in pharmaceuticals.  They are more known through time and culture to provide certain advantages.  There has been more work and progress to understand the nature of the herb, its make up and ability to proceed with some fact, but again herbs are not regulated.  This again does not mean they are not beneficial and work, but it does point to some lack of in-depth study.  With more publicity, the more scientific data can be gathered in promoting the benefits of Holistic medicine.

Conclusion

Holistic mediation needs to be made more public, but within a restrained and protective way.  Individuals must know what Holistic offers and what it cannot offer.  Individuals must understand how to supplement or not supplement with pharmaceuticals.  This involves an educated and trained base of healthcare professionals who do not only see medication under a Western prism, but also under a Holistic one.  Holistic Nurses can better guide individuals and educate individuals through the process of utilizing alternative and holistic medications to better their lives.

Understanding and utilizing Holistic Health is key. Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic Nursing Certification

 

Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program. Also known as Holistic Nursing, the program is online and independent study and offers a four year certification in Holistic Nurses.

Additional Resources

“When medicines and supplements don’t mix”.  (2020). Mayo Clinic.  Access here

“6 Tips: How Herbs Can Interact With Medicines”. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. NIH.  Access here

“A holistic approach to integrative medicine”. (2023). Mayo Clinic.  Access here

“MERGING conventional and complementary medicine in a clinic department – a theoretical model and practical recommendations”. Perard, M. et. al. (2015). National Library of Medicine. Access here

 

 

 

 

 

Postpartum Depression Video

After the birth of a child, it should be a celebratory time, but for some, postpartum depression can strip one of the joy of a newborn and as well limit one in the new responsibilities of infant care.  If symptoms persist for longer than a week, it is important to contact a mental health care professional who better help one with diagnosis and proper steps to correct the issue.  Primarily a woman issue, men can also fall victim to it, so it is important that partners watch each other after the following days of child birth to ensure each are properly coping with excitement but also stress that comes with a new born child.

Postpartum depression can rob one of the excitement of a child. Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification

 

Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.

 

Please also review AIHCP’s video on Postpartum Depression

Chronology of Addiction and Substance Abuse

Addiction always begins with simple curiosity and eventually develops into habitual or biological and neurological dependence.   A simple taste, smoke, snort, drink, or injection can lead to a life long battle with addiction.   Peer pressure and escapism from issues can all open the door into these unhealthy habits.  Some have an easier escape via counseling and coping, while others have a more difficult escape due to withdraw and physical and neurological cravings for the substance itself.  Depending on one’s family history, the nature of the drug itself, personality,  and commitment and support, addiction recovery can have a long chronological path with many different stages and outcomes for different people.  Again, it simply begins with curiosity gone terribly wrong.

The process and chronology of addiction goes in phases but the entrance and exiting of addiction is different for many people based on numerous subjective aspects the addiction and its story.

 

The article, “The Chronology of Addiction: Watch Out for Key Warning Signs” by Dr Sachin Mangla looks at the chronology of addiction and paths it can take.  In the article, Mangla states,

“Although the factors that lead to addiction are varied, it is extremely hard to pull oneself out of the vicious cycle of addiction. Additionally, in a recent study, it has been found that individuals who are caught in one addiction are at an increased risk for developing another new addiction. While this is especially true among patients with alcohol dependence, this could be equally applied to other forms of substance abuse, including opioids, sedatives, inhalants, cocaine, amphetamines and cannabis, among other things”

“The Chronology of Addiction: Watch Out for Key Warning Signs”. Mangla, S. (2023). HealthShots.

To review the entire article, please click here

Entering Addiction

If one is seeking answers why individuals become addicted, then one will find a wide variety of reasons.

Age itself plays a key role.  Individuals in their teens are more prone to experiment and try new things that can be harmful due to peer pressure but also due to depression and hormonal changes.  With life seeming more dramatic that it is, individuals with low self image and chemical changes into adulthood may seek relief from substances, especially if good family support and example is not present in the home.  Teens can easily become attached to smoking, drinking and weed at an early age.  Some will later through these gateway drugs experiment with worst drugs in college and later life, especially if life takes an ugly turn.  While some may be able to “grow out” of it, some do not.  Family life and support, morals and upbringing, mental stability, and genetic predisposition are all issues that point to one “growing out” of it or going down a darker path.  Ultimately, curiosity can play a key role that can lead to a regretful decision.

In addition to age itself, many find themselves addicted through misuse of pharmaceuticals.   Adults who are hurt on the job in the past were ordered opiates, a time of pain reliever with highly addictive qualities.   Through misuse of prescribing, many became addicted well after their healing from the injury.  While the pain went away, the addiction to the opiate continued.  This led to massive pill abuse over the years and is another ugly path and chronological process of addiction.

Others enter into the devastating process of addiction through mental anguish.  Those suffering from depression, suicidal thoughts, extreme anxiety and loss in life, turn to drinking and other substances to alleviate the pain.  They enter into a chronic relationship with the substance as a way to cope with the issue.  This improper coping method leads to a disastrous addictive behavior.

Exiting Addiction

Entering addiction is far easier than exiting.  While many have their own stories why they became addicted, those exiting have multiple different struggles.

Those with genetic predisposition can face a harder path than without.  Family history can reveal genetic predispositions to addiction of a particular substance.  In terms of alcohol, some may have no predisposition while others will develop into alcoholism and have severe physical and mental repercussions when they try to escape the substance.  Hence, those without these genetic predispositions have an easier time leaving the addicting path than others.

However, there are some substances that are far more insidious than alcohol and leave a higher rate of addiction.  Cocaine, Heroin, Opiates and Meth are examples of drugs that are far more addictive in nature and leave a far higher percentage entranced by its power.   Beyond the gateway drugs, more advanced drugs have a strong ability to trap individuals in a physical and mental addiction that has severe withdraws and a life long craving.

Exiting addiction is also a different story for those with poor coping abilities.  Those without support systems and coping strategies will find it much harder to escape addiction.  If an individual has family support, peer groups, and healthy strategies when coping with issues, then exiting is far more easier than people who have not these things.  Peer support groups are an excellent way where like minded individuals can come together and share their stories and mutual support. AA has created a system based upon peer support and better coping that emphasizes responsibility and admitting the problem.  Hence exit can be easier for some but harder for others without the necessary tools to mentally cope and deal with the pressures of exiting addiction.

Different Paths

Hence everyone has different entrance and exit stories regarding their personal addiction.  There are many subjective issues that create different stories and outcomes for different people.  Addiction Counselors are able to identify and classify these subjective elements and help create the best exist plan for an individual.  They can identify the issues and habits and also understand the unique situation for the individual and help find the best exit path, strengthening and supporting against particular weaknesses for that particular person.  Some may have different needs to exit an addiction, but due to their unique path, will have different addiction exit plans of action.  Substance Abuse Counselors or Substance Abuse Practitioners can help individuals find the best tailored plan.

Substance Abuse Practitioners can help individuals understand their unique situation with addiction and the best ways to fight it. Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Practitioner Training Program

 

It is important to note for some, addiction may be a life long cross.  Relapses happen, and in many stories, relapses are common.  Relapses should not be a sign of shame but a sign of how powerful the addiction is and how hard it is to overcome.  One who relapses must find the courage and strength to continue the plan.  By admitting one is human and imperfect and that one has a problem, then one can better face addiction and possible relapse with a stronger resolve next time.  Support groups, substance abuse practitioners and family and friends can all play a positive role in helping those who fall, to get back up again.

Stages of Addiction

After curiosity or for whatever reason one decides to try a substance, one may become enticed by it.  Some may though choose to never do it again due to a negative social experience, but some will continue to experiment with the drug on a social level.  Some may binge the drug during the weekend or only on particular days.  This type of abuse is known with alcohol and binge drinking.  Usually this begins only as a social experimentation with the drug itself but will later catapult into other parts of life.  Many simply the stages with binging, withdraw and negative effects and finally preoccupation and anticipation as the brain craves the drug again.  Hence the vicious cycle.

Dr. George E. Valliant listed and more detailed explanation in his three core phases of drug abuse.  As shown above, the asymptomatic phase results in various social settings for amusement and has random occurrences of hangover or physical discomfort following binge episodes.  It is sporadic.  However, this is not say minus addiction, it is not abuse of the substance.  If multiple social events occur, and the individual continually over consumes, or participates in dangerous behaviors it can become a serious issue in itself.  It can become in some ways a dangerous social habit while not per say addicted to the drug.  If one cannot cope in public or social settings without a particular substance, then one seriously needs to reflect on one’s life and where it is going and how bad it can become if something were to go wrong.

Valliant’s second phase results in abuse.  While considering social settings that result in continual misbehavior as abuse, when abuse of the substance is in response to poor coping with life at work or in relationships, or to deal with loss or depression, then it can become a more addictive problem in traditional sense.  Individuals at this phase may drink or abuse the particular drug alone and find themselves facing negative social, legal or physical health issues, but still find the need to abuse the drug despite these issues.

Finally, Valliant points out the final phase of dependency. In this case, addiction is in full display.  The person needs the drug to function in life.  Valliant listed four qualities associated with this level of addiction.  He points out a high tolerance for the drug, the development of withdraw symptoms when the drug is absent in the system, inability to regulate intake of the drug, and significant disruption in all aspects of life.   While some of these qualities may also exist in the second phase it merely shows the danger of addiction when any abuse takes place.

So many do not escape addiction.  Lives are ruined due to it.  Some die of over doses and are found later.  Others waste away family relationships and finance to pay for the substance.  Others destroy family relationships and betray responsibilities.

If anyone sees signs of these qualities even at a mere social level, there is still time to address the issue.  Whether it is due to coping or merely because one needs a substance to be social, these are signs of a deeper need that needs met.  Drugs are not the answer to meet these issues.  If one needs help, they can turn to substance abuse practitioners, LCPs, or peer support groups to find the solution and better coping needed to overcome potential disaster.

Conclusion

People become addicted for different reasons and the nature of the addiction varies dependent upon a variety of factors.  For some exiting addiction may be easy, but for others it may a long process with relapses, but with good guidance via a substance abuse counselor or support group, one can find the courage to push forward and exit substance abuse.

Understanding the stages of addiction is important. Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Practitioner Training Program

 

Please also review AIHCP’s Substance Abuse Counseling Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a Substance Abuse Practitioner.

Additional Resources

“What Are the Physical and Mental Stages of Addiction? “.  American Addiction Centers. (2022). Access here

“Addiction: Stages, signs, and treatment”. Richards, L. (2023). Medical News Today. Access here

“What Is Addiction?”. Tyler, M. (2018). Healthline.  Access here

“The 3 Stages of the Cycle of Addiction”. Swain, E. (2023). Addiction Group.  Access here

Legal Nursing and Expert Witness

Malpractice is a common occurrence in health care.  When a standard of care deviates and causes significant injury, individuals can look for recourse to the legal system to find justice.  Malpractice lawyers can help find fair and just settlements.  In addition, Legal Nurse Consultants can play a key role in helping cases through their expert testimony, as well as guidance to the legal team regarding standards of care and the details of a particular procedure.  They can create briefs and present statistics and studies on certain cases to portray how a particular health care professional may have strayed from proper standards.

Legal Nurses can supply their expertise on the stand in malpractice cases as an expert witness

 

There are a multitude of types of malpractices in a variety of health care fields.  The article, “UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIMS” by Intizzar Ali presents a detailed list of the types of malpractice cases that can occur in health care.  He states,

“Medical malpractice is a serious issue that can have severe consequences for patients. When healthcare professionals fail to meet the standard of care, it can lead to devastating outcomes. As a patient, understanding the different types of medical malpractice claims is crucial to protect your rights and seek justice when necessary. Here are six distinct categories of medical malpractice, shedding light on their unique aspects.”

“UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIMS”. Ali, I. (2023). INSC Digital Magazine

To read the entire article, please click here

There are many types of issues that can lead to injury to a person.  They range from medication errors to surgical errors to even follow up errors.  They can occur in any field.  It is the particular wisdom of the Legal Nurse Consultant as expert witness that can help a case be won or loss in court.  Their opinion and expertise in a particular field allow them to testify to certain procedures as to whether they were performed negligently or properly within the standard norm of care.  They play a critical role in any malpractice case and are sought after by malpractice attorneys to strengthen cases and break down the cases of others.  Legal Nurse Consultants can serve as expert witnesses for the health care provider in defense or for the patient’s legal team.

Expert witnesses have an abundance of knowledge via advanced degrees, licensures and research within and within the field of study.  Many are also board certified in their field. Within the Daubert Standard in conjunction with rule 702,  an expert witness possess knowledge, skill, training, experience and education. Through this standard, they are able to write and supply written reports, statements and an oral disposition to help the jury come to a clear understanding of the civil or criminal case regarding malpractice (Maggio, E. 2023).

The rule demands that the expert witness’ scientific and specialized knowledge help the trier come understand and come to a proper conclusion of the fact.  Furthermore, the testimony must be based on sufficient facts and data.  Also, the the testimony must be based on reliable principles and methods.  Finally, the testimony of the expert must reflect a proper reflection of those principles, methods and facts regarding the issue.

To review, please review “Federal Rule 702: What Constitutes Expert Witness Testimony” by Maggio, E. (2023).Expert Institute by accessing here

In the world of litigation, the expertise of a legal nurse consultant can be invaluable. These professionals bridge the gap between the medical and legal fields, offering their knowledge and experience to attorneys and clients involved in medical-related cases. A legal nurse consultant is a registered nurse who possesses specialized training and qualifications that enable them to provide expert opinions and insights in legal matters. They play a crucial role in assisting with the preparation and presentation of cases, as well as providing valuable guidance throughout the litigation process.

AIHCP helps train professionals as well as nurse in both legal nurse consulting and healthcare legal consulting to learn the necessary information to utilize their skills as an expert witness in malpractice cases.  The program trains individual with case history and helps them learn how to present a case.

The Role of a Legal Nurse Consultant in a Case

The role of a legal nurse consultant varies depending on the specific needs of the case. They often serve as a liaison between the medical and legal teams, helping attorneys understand complex medical jargon and terminology. By reviewing medical records, conducting research, and analyzing relevant healthcare data, they can identify and highlight critical issues that may impact the outcome of a case. Their expertise allows them to provide objective opinions on the standard of care provided, potential breaches in that care, and the causal relationship between medical actions and patient outcomes.

Furthermore, legal nurse consultants play a vital role in the discovery process. They assist in organizing and summarizing medical records, identifying missing or incomplete documentation, and preparing questions for depositions and interrogatories. Their knowledge of medical procedures and protocols enables them to identify any discrepancies or deviations from accepted standards of care. By thoroughly analyzing the medical evidence, they can identify potential areas of negligence or malpractice that may strengthen the client’s case.

How a Legal Nurse Consultant Can Strengthen Your Case

The involvement of a legal nurse consultant can significantly strengthen a case. Their expertise allows them to critically evaluate medical records and identify any inconsistencies or red flags that may be crucial to the client’s position. By carefully examining the medical evidence, they can identify and explain complex medical concepts to the legal team and the court. This helps attorneys build a compelling narrative that supports their client’s claims and increases the chances of a favorable outcome.

A legal nurse consultant can strengthen your case. Please also review AIHCP’s Legal Nurse Consulting Program

 

Moreover, legal nurse consultants can provide valuable insights during settlement negotiations or mediation. Their understanding of both the medical and legal aspects of a case allows them to effectively communicate with all parties involved. By presenting the facts in a clear and concise manner, they can help facilitate a settlement that is fair and equitable for their client. In cases that go to trial, legal nurse consultants can serve as expert witnesses, providing testimony that carries significant weight due to their specialized knowledge and experience.

Common Tasks Performed by Legal Nurse Consultants

Legal nurse consultants perform a wide range of tasks to support attorneys and clients in medical-related cases. These tasks include but are not limited to:

  1. Medical Record Review: Legal nurse consultants meticulously review medical records to identify any gaps, inconsistencies, or deviations from accepted standards of care. They analyze the records to understand the sequence of events, identify potential negligence, and determine causation.
  2. Research and Analysis: They conduct extensive research on medical conditions, treatments, and procedures relevant to the case. This helps them gather evidence and identify expert witnesses who can provide valuable insights and opinions.
  3. Expert Witness Preparation: Legal nurse consultants assist in preparing expert witnesses for deposition and trial testimony. They help them understand the legal process, formulate effective responses to questions, and ensure they present their opinions clearly and convincingly.
  4. Case Strategy Development: They collaborate with attorneys to develop case strategies that align with the unique circumstances of each case. Their insights and expertise contribute to the development of a strong and persuasive argument.
  5. Trial Support: Legal nurse consultants provide support during trial, helping attorneys with the presentation of medical evidence, preparing demonstrative exhibits, and assisting with the examination of witnesses.

Key Qualifications and Skills of a Legal Nurse Consultant

To excel as a legal nurse consultant, certain qualifications and skills are essential. These include:

  1. Registered Nurse (RN) Licensure: Legal nurse consultants must possess a valid RN license, ensuring they have a fundamental understanding of medical concepts and patient care.
  2. Clinical Experience: A strong clinical background is crucial for legal nurse consultants. They should have experience working in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, or long-term care facilities, to gain practical knowledge of medical practices and procedures.
  3. Legal Knowledge: Legal nurse consultants need to have a solid understanding of the legal system, including medical malpractice laws, healthcare regulations, and litigation procedures. This enables them to effectively bridge the gap between the medical and legal worlds.
  4. Analytical and Critical Thinking Skills: Legal nurse consultants must possess strong analytical and critical thinking skills to review and interpret complex medical records and identify key issues that may impact the case.
  5. Communication Skills: Effective communication is crucial for legal nurse consultants. They need to be able to clearly and concisely communicate medical concepts to attorneys, judges, and juries who may have limited medical knowledge.
  6. Attention to Detail: Legal nurse consultants must have a keen eye for detail to identify discrepancies or inconsistencies in medical records and other evidence. Their attention to detail ensures that no crucial information is overlooked.

Finding and Hiring a Reliable Legal Nurse Consultant

When seeking a legal nurse consultant, it is essential to find a reliable and competent professional who can meet the specific needs of your case. Here are some steps to follow when hiring a legal nurse consultant:

  1. Research and Referrals: Start by conducting thorough research and seeking referrals from trusted sources, such as attorneys, colleagues, or professional organizations. Look for legal nurse consultants who have experience in the specific area of healthcare relevant to your case.
  2. Review Qualifications and Credentials: Carefully review the qualifications and credentials of potential legal nurse consultants. Ensure they possess the necessary licensure, certifications, and professional affiliations.
  3. Interview Process: Conduct interviews to assess the consultant’s knowledge, skills, and compatibility with your case. Ask about their previous experience, their approach to case analysis, and their familiarity with relevant medical procedures and standards of care.
  4. Check References: Reach out to references provided by the legal nurse consultant. Ask about their experience working with the consultant, their professionalism, and the outcomes of their cases.
  5. Agree on Terms and Fees: Discuss and agree upon the terms and fees associated with the legal nurse consultant’s services. Ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of the scope of work, payment structure, and any additional expenses that may arise.

By following these steps, you can find a reliable and qualified legal nurse consultant who can greatly contribute to the success of your case.

Case Studies: Successful Outcomes with the Help of a Legal Nurse Consultant

To illustrate the significant impact a legal nurse consultant can have on a case, let’s examine a few real-life examples:

Case Study 1: Medical Malpractice

In a medical malpractice case, a legal nurse consultant reviewed the medical records of a patient who suffered complications following surgery. Through meticulous analysis, the consultant discovered a crucial error in the administration of anesthesia. This error significantly contributed to the patient’s complications and subsequent decline in health. The consultant’s expert opinion and testimony played a pivotal role in proving negligence and securing a substantial settlement for the patient.

Case Study 2: Personal Injury

In a personal injury case, a legal nurse consultant was instrumental in evaluating the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries. Through a comprehensive review of medical records, the consultant identified additional underlying conditions that exacerbated the plaintiff’s injuries. This information allowed the legal team to pursue additional claims for damages, resulting in a significantly higher settlement for the client.

Case Study 3: Product Liability

In a product liability case involving a defective medical device, a legal nurse consultant played a crucial role in identifying the product’s design flaws and potential risks to patients. By thoroughly analyzing the device’s specifications and reviewing adverse event reports, the consultant provided expert opinions that supported the plaintiff’s claims of negligence on the part of the manufacturer. This ultimately led to a successful verdict in favor of the plaintiff.

The Potential Impact of a Legal Nurse Consultant on the Opposing Side

When facing an opposing legal nurse consultant, it is essential to recognize the potential impact they can have on the outcome of your case. Just as a competent legal nurse consultant can strengthen your position, an equally skilled consultant on the opposing side can challenge your arguments and evidence. It is crucial to thoroughly prepare and anticipate their strategies, ensuring your case remains strong and resilient.

Legal Nurse Consultant Fees and Considerations

Legal nurse consultant fees can vary depending on various factors, such as the complexity of the case, the consultant’s experience and qualifications, and the geographical location. It is important to discuss and clarify the fee structure before engaging their services. Some common fee arrangements include hourly rates, flat fees for specific tasks, or contingency-based fees where a percentage of the settlement or award is paid to the consultant.

When considering the cost of a legal nurse consultant, it is essential to weigh it against the potential benefits they can bring to your case. Their expertise and insights can significantly increase the chances of a successful outcome, potentially resulting in a more substantial settlement or verdict.

Conclusion: The Value of a Legal Nurse Consultant in Litigation

In conclusion, the role of a legal nurse consultant in litigation cannot be overstated. Their unique blend of medical and legal knowledge allows them to provide invaluable support and expertise to attorneys and clients involved in medical-related cases. By thoroughly analyzing medical records, conducting research, and offering expert opinions, they can strengthen a case and increase the chances of a favorable outcome.

Please also review AIHCP’s training program in Legal Nurse Consulting

 

When seeking a legal nurse consultant, it is essential to find a reliable and qualified professional who possesses the necessary qualifications and skills. Through careful research, interviews, and reference checks, you can find a legal nurse consultant who is best suited to meet the specific needs of your case.

While legal nurse consultant fees should be considered, it is important to recognize the significant value they bring to the litigation process. Their contributions can make or break a case, ensuring that justice is served and fair compensation is obtained for those who have suffered due to medical negligence or malpractice.

By harnessing the expertise of a legal nurse consultant, you can navigate the complex intersection of medicine and law with confidence and achieve the best possible outcome for your clients.

References
“How an Expert Medical Witness Shows Negligence”. Goguen, D. All Law.  Access here
“The Many Ways a Legal Nurse Consultant Can Serve as an Expert Witness”. HGexperts.com  Access here
“Always a Nurse: The Legal Nurse Consultant”. Howland, W. (2020). NAQ Nursing Administration Quarterly. Access here
“Rule 702. Testimony by Expert Witnesses”.  Legal Information Institute.  Access here

Nursing Impact and Opportunities

Nursing has many opportunities and nurses should take advantage of the many available ways to be a larger and stronger impact on nursing itself.  One does this by not only great and professional care for patients but also excelling in the career itself through associations, boards, mentorships, and diversification of talents.  One can indeed make a large splash in the nursing field by immersing oneself into the many ways to bring others together professionally and perform at a higher level within whatever field one finds oneself.

As a nurse, you can make a huge impact on the industry and patients by utilizing your talents and character

 

With so many ways nurses can proceed professionally, one can find a perfect niche to find satisfaction and the ability to make the profession a positive experience for fellow peers as well as the patients cared for.  The article, “5 Ways to Make a Positive Impact in the Nursing Profession” by Farah Laurent looks at five particular ways to be a positive impact.  She states,

“Nursing does not always get the glory that it deserves and sometimes gets portrayed in a negative light, but it is one of the best professions in the world. If you are a nurse looking to make an impact, you surely can.”

“5 Ways to Make a Positive Impact in the Nursing Profession”. Laurent, F. (2023). Daily Nurse.

To read the entire article, please click here

The fifth option Laurent highlights is of extreme importance.  It relates to expanding horizons.  There is so much more to nursing than merely bedside care.  Many talented nurses utilize their skills in the courtroom, behind the desk, managing, working in forensics, or creating their own healthcare educational institutes.  The options are endless for certifications.  AIHCP offers numerous certifications for nurses to make a big impact and specialize in.  In addition, those with nursing degrees can later enter into special nursing licensures at the level of Nurse Practitioner and other fields.  With so many ways to make an impact, one’s particular interest can grow from basic nursing into so many other venues where nursing as a base can catapult one into other areas.

Commentary

Nursing is a noble profession that plays a vital role in healthcare. Nurses are the backbone of the medical industry, providing compassionate care and support to patients in various settings. The field of nursing offers a wide range of career opportunities, each with its own unique demands and challenges. In this article, we will explore the different types of nursing fields and discuss what makes a good nurse.

The Importance of Good Nurses

Good nurses are essential for the smooth functioning of healthcare systems. They are the primary caregivers, responsible for providing physical, emotional, and psychological support to patients. A good nurse has the power to make a significant impact on a patient’s well-being and recovery. Their expertise and dedication help create a safe and comfortable environment for patients, ensuring that they receive the best possible care.

Different Types of Nursing Fields

Nursing offers a diverse range of career paths, allowing individuals to specialize in different areas based on their interests and skills. Some common nursing fields include:

1. Medical-Surgical Nurses: These nurses work in hospitals and are responsible for caring for patients before and after surgery. They manage medications, monitor vital signs, and provide wound care.

2. Pediatric Nurses: Pediatric nurses specialize in providing care for children and adolescents. They are trained to handle the unique physical and emotional needs of young patients.

3. Critical Care Nurses: Critical care nurses work in intensive care units (ICUs) and provide specialized care to critically ill patients. They are trained to handle complex medical conditions and emergencies.

4. Psychiatric Nurses: Psychiatric nurses work in mental health facilities and assist individuals with mental illnesses. They provide counseling, administer medications, and help patients develop coping strategies.

5. Geriatric Nurses: Geriatric nurses specialize in caring for elderly patients. They assist with daily activities, manage chronic illnesses, and promote healthy aging.

Other specialties are open to Nurse Practitioners who also have higher areas of expertise, in addition to non licensed fields such as Legal Nurse Consulting, Holistic Nursing, Nurse Patient Education, Forensic Nursing or Case Management.

Characteristics of a Good Nurse

Being a good nurse requires a unique set of qualities and characteristics. Here are some key traits that distinguish a good nurse:

1. Compassion: A good nurse is empathetic and compassionate towards their patients. They genuinely care about the well-being of others and strive to make a positive difference in their lives.

2. Strong Communication Skills: Effective communication is crucial in nursing. Good nurses are skilled listeners and can convey information clearly and concisely. They are able to establish trust and build rapport with patients and their families.

3. Critical Thinking: Nursing often requires quick decision-making and problem-solving. A good nurse possesses strong critical thinking skills, allowing them to assess situations, analyze data, and make sound judgments.

4. Emotional Stability: Nursing can be emotionally challenging, as nurses witness the pain and suffering of their patients. A good nurse has emotional stability and the ability to remain calm and composed in stressful situations.

5. Adaptability: Healthcare is constantly evolving, and a good nurse must be adaptable to change. They are open to learning new techniques, technologies, and best practices to provide the highest quality of care.

Skills Required for Each Nursing Field

While the core nursing skills are similar across different fields, each specialization requires additional skills and knowledge. Here are some essential skills for each nursing field mentioned earlier:

1. Medical-Surgical Nurses: Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to multitask are crucial for medical-surgical nurses. They should also be adept at wound care and patient education.

2. Pediatric Nurses: Patience, a nurturing attitude, and the ability to communicate effectively with children are important for pediatric nurses. They should be skilled in administering medications and managing childhood illnesses.

3. Critical Care Nurses: Critical care nurses need to have advanced knowledge of life support systems, ventilators, and other critical care equipment. They should be skilled in interpreting complex medical data and responding quickly to emergencies.

4. Psychiatric Nurses: Psychiatric nurses should possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills. They need to be knowledgeable about different psychiatric disorders and have expertise in therapeutic interventions.

5. Geriatric Nurses: Geriatric nurses should have a deep understanding of the aging process and common geriatric conditions. They should be skilled in managing multiple chronic illnesses and coordinating care for elderly patients.

Education and Training for Nursing Fields

The educational requirements for nursing vary depending on the specialization. However, all nursing fields require a minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Some specialized nursing fields may require additional certifications or advanced degrees. After completing their formal education, aspiring nurses must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become a registered nurse (RN). Continuing education and professional development are essential for nurses to stay updated with the latest advancements in their field.

AIHCP offers a variety of certification in Legal Nurse Consulting, Holistic Nursing, Nurse Patient Education, Forensic Nursing or Case Management.

 

Certification, especially from AIHCP can help nurses also diversify in a variety of areas such as Legal Nurse Consulting, Holistic Nursing, Nurse Patient Education, Forensic Nursing or Case Management.

Challenges and Rewards of Being a Nurse

Nursing is a demanding profession that comes with its fair share of challenges. Nurses often work long hours, handle physically demanding tasks, and face emotional stress. However, the rewards of being a nurse far outweigh the challenges. The opportunity to make a positive impact on patients’ lives, the satisfaction of helping others, and the potential for career growth and advancement are some of the rewards that nurses experience.

How to Become a Good Nurse

Becoming a good nurse requires dedication and continuous self-improvement. Here are some tips to become a good nurse:

1. Seek Mentorship: Find experienced nurses who can guide and mentor you in your career. Learn from their expertise and seek feedback to enhance your skills.

2. Stay Updated: The field of healthcare is constantly evolving. Stay updated with the latest research, advancements, and best practices to provide the best care possible.

3. Practice Self-Care: Taking care of your own physical and mental well-being is crucial to be a good nurse. Prioritize self-care activities like exercise, meditation, and spending time with loved ones.

4. Embrace Continuous Learning: Nursing is a lifelong learning journey. Embrace opportunities for professional development, attend conferences, and pursue advanced certifications to enhance your knowledge and skills.

The Impact of a Good Nurse on Patient Care

A good nurse has a profound impact on patient care. Their expertise, compassion, and dedication contribute to positive patient outcomes. A good nurse can provide comfort to patients, advocate for their needs, and ensure that they receive the highest quality of care. The presence of a good nurse can alleviate anxiety and fear in patients, fostering a sense of trust and security. The role of a good nurse in patient care cannot be overstated.

Conclusion: The Role of a Good Nurse in Healthcare

In conclusion, the field of nursing offers a wide range of career opportunities, each requiring unique skills and knowledge. A good nurse possesses a combination of qualities, including compassion, strong communication skills, critical thinking abilities, emotional stability, and adaptability. They play a crucial role in the healthcare system, providing compassionate care and support to patients. By becoming a good nurse, one can make a significant difference in the lives of others and contribute to the betterment of society as a whole.

Please also review AIHCP’s multiple certifications for nurses and other healthcare professionals

 

Please also review AIHCP’s multiple nursing and healthcare certifications.  The certifications are four year certifications and can be earned by nurses.  The certifications include Legal Nurse Consulting, Holistic Nursing, Nurse Patient Education, Forensic Nursing or Case Management.

Ultimately you can make a huge impact in nursing by not only being a nurse but by also picking a particular nursing area you like and becoming successful at it!

References 

“Jobs for Nurses: 50+ Different Nursing Positions”. Nurse Journal Staff. (2023). Nurse Journal. Access here

“15 Nursing Jobs Can Work Instead of Bedside”. Nurse Journal Staff. (2023)., Nurse Journal. Access here

“The Many Ways Nurses Make a Positive Impact in Health Care”. (2019). Advent Health.  Access here

‘Nurses can and do make a real impact’. Bennett, V. (2017). Nursing Times. Access here

SAD VIDEO

SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that coincides with the change of seasons.  It can be during any type of season but primarily occurs during the Winter months.  It is quite different than the Winter Blues in that it is consistent every year.  It is hard enough without longer days and sunlight to function but with Winter, especially after the Holidays, many will fall into SAD.

The change of the season can have a depressing effect on many. Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification

 

Individuals can find help, medication, as well as light therapy to help.  It is important to identify if you do have SAD and find the appropriate help from a licensed counselor who can guide you in the right direction.  SAD is more than being upset about the weather but a type of depression that needs professional care.  Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification.  While certified grief counselors who are not licensed counselors as well cannot treat depression, they do have the training to spot it and send you to a professional counselor who can treat it.

AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.  Please review the program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.

 

Please review AIHCP’s video below

Role of the Funeral and Cultural/Social Wakes in Grief Recovery

It is often said, funerals are for the living, the dead no longer need anything.  Funerals, wakes, and other cultural forms of communal grieving are all essential elements in helping individuals grieve the loss of a loved one.  It is a coming together where individuals can express sympathy and acknowledge the loss.  Research shows that cultures that emphasize communal grieving usually have far less prolonged grief disorders when the loss itself is not complicated.

Funerals and wakes help the bereaved accept the reality of death, mourn collectively, remember the person, and offer prayers for the deceased

 

Hence, funerals and wakes play a critical role in the bereavement process for the living.  While religious beliefs hold firm that these events are also spiritual and prayers are offered for the dead in the afterlife, the psychological implications of mental health for the living are obvious and clear.  The article, “Funerals: Study shows Irish wakes may help more with grief” by Matt Fox looks at how such communal events during grief help a higher percentage of individuals avoid complications in grief.  In regards to Irish wakes and grieving, he states,

The authors of the research, which has been published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress. said that “cultural differences with regard to death may be an explanatory factor” to the reduced levels of the disorder in Ireland. “For example, in Ireland, it is customary to hold a wake (i.e., social gathering prior to a funeral) during which family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues and acquaintances can come to pay their respects and support the bereaved,” the authors said.”

“Funerals: Study shows Irish wakes may help more with grief”. Fox, M. (2023). BBC News.

To read the entire article, please access here

Commentary

On the surface one may only spiritual needs of the deceased being met.  From a religious standpoint, prayers are offered for the deceased.  In Christianity, a solemn service of memorial and prayers is completed after prior to burying with ritual prayers said at the grave site.  Other Christian denominations, such as Catholicism, offers a Funeral Mass for the soul of the deceased as well.  In other cultures, days of prayer are also offered. In Hinduism, there are a series of days with various rituals to prepare the soul for the transmigration into the afterlife in finding a new vessel.  So the importance of the funeral and wake are still very spiritual for the deceased, but again from a psychological standpoint, the memorial of life, the gathering, and the funeral itself is very much for the living.

In various cultures, intense periods of grieving are granted to the deceased. Within Judaism, there is a series of days of grieving assigned for the family.  Other cultures have similar days of mourning.  Some cultures have very loud and mournful events where crying and waling is encouraged, while other cultures remain more reserved.  As seen above, the Irish themselves offer a wake prior to the funeral instead of merely after it.  The article by Fox, emphasizes the importance of how communal events that emphasize grief outwardly and permit individuals to express it are far more healthy in the long run.  Cultures, as well as individuals families, that express grief communally and come together have a far less chance of experiencing prolonged grief or even depression.

The Wake and Funeral

The wake and funeral is not only an expression of sadness for the entire family and a social expression of it, but it also aids the family in accepting the reality.  Many individuals may be in denial.  The funeral, calling hours, or wake give these individuals the ability to witness and come to terms with the reality of the death.   The funeral itself is the exclamation mark of the true end of one’s earthly life.  It verifies, it seals and ends all debate.  The person is no longer with us.  This permits individuals to accept but also find consolation with others in expressing the grief and pain.

The funeral in many ways is more for the living than the dead. It helps prepare the living for the long bereavement process. Those who grieve collectively are less likely to face prolonged grief and other grief disorders

In addition, the communal event permits others to cry together and to be there for each other.  Instead of grieving alone, one finds solace with others.  Others who may be experiencing a harder time are given the care and attention they need at the funeral.  The mutual support benefits all parties involved.  While its fine to celebrate the life of the deceased, it is important not to negate the mourning aspect with an overt toxic positivity.  Many events celebrate and remember.  Remembrance is definitely part of it.  It is also an important part of the entirety of the process in accepting the death.

It also gives recognition to the person.  It shows the love for that person.  This creates a sense of happiness in a way to see how many loved the deceased.  It can give comfort to the mourning that their closest loved one was treasured and loved by so many.  It is good to see how the deceased was so beneficial and important to so many other people.  This is especially beautiful for veterans, when the flag covers the casket and the shots are fired to the sound of a trumpet.

Funerals are for the Everyone

The misnomer that children should not attend a funeral is finally being dismissed as a myth.  Children should also be able to express their grief and witness the finality of a person’s life during a wake and funeral.  They can express their feelings, witness the finality, say goodbye, and share their feelings with others. It is an excellent example of life for children to be at a family members funeral.

Funerals again capture the finality of death and help others come to grips, find consolation, and the ability to move forward.  For those closest to the deceased, funerals are the first step to a long bereavement.  Those not as attached may shed a moment of sadness, but they are able to proceed in life well after the funeral, but for those closest to the deceased, the funeral is only the start of accepting the lost.  It helps, but it far from heals the open wound.

Conclusion

Funerals and wakes are key to healthy bereavement.  While some families may prefer to postpone it, the event itself, according to studies, helps prevent many prolonged grief disorders. They are mostly important for those who attend to come to grips with the loss.  The social setting helps others grieve together.

Funerals allow us to grieve collectively. Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling and also its Funeral Associate Program

 

Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification, as well as its Funeral Associate Certification.  Both programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.

Additional Resources

“Understanding the 6 Purposes of a Funeral”. Hospice Basics.  Access here

“Should We Celebrate Funerals?”. Doka, K. (2021). Psychology Today.  Access here

“Psychologist On Why Funerals Are Fundamental To Processing Grief”. Kelly, M, Doubek, J. (2020). NPR. Access here

“The Primary Emotional Purposes of a Funeral or Memorial”. Friedman, R. (2014). Psychology Today. Access here

Christian Counseling and Good Stewardship of Time

Is time the ever hunting predator or a special gift?  Some individuals fear each day as one’s life draws closer to its end.  Others see time as a precious gift to be utilized and appreciated for the moment.  Different mindsets can establish different life styles.  One can live in fear or one can better utilize the time that God has given to them.  Ultimately, what we discover after our 20s is that time starts to go faster.  This realization is not only due to a more established work schedule but also because the brain is learning less and experiencing less new things.  When younger, time seems to be forever.  Ever remember how long it would take for Christmas to arrive, but now it comes too fast?  A younger brain perceives time differently than a more mature brain and because of that as we grow older, the years seem to go faster.

Time can be seen as a predator out to get us or as a gift from God. Each day is a gift, spend it wisely.

 

So is time a predator?  Time is what we make of it.  As temporal beings, we are in an intimate relationship with time that we cannot escape.  Each second, each minute, day, month and year coincide with each breath, thought and action. Unlike God, who existed before time and exists outside of time, except within the Incarnation, God experiences each year simultaneously.  Each decade and each century are spits in a bucket to the eternal nature of God.  They exist side by side, witnessed and reviewed.  Since temporal creation is within time, it is subject to time and we must learn to accept our limited temporal existence and maximize its fruits.

Jesus relates in Matthew 25:14-30 the story of the servants and the talents.  Each servant according to their standing and ability were given coins by the master.  The first servant was given 5 coins, the second 3 coin and the third 1 coin.  Upon a certain amount of time, the master returned and asked what the servants had done with the coins.  The first had doubled, the second had added, and the third presented no growth.  Instead, he horded it and buried, only to return to it to the master.  The master furious, sent the servant away.

What can we learn from this story?  Jesus was teaching that we must produce in this world. We cannot horde our talents or gifts or waste precious time.  Time is limited and to sit on gifts and do nothing as time passes is not acceptable.  Instead we are called, even with very little, to show progress with the time given and spiritually grow and give back.  Those who waste time, fear time, or neglect their talents are misusing the gift of time.  Instead they fear it and progress with very little success in life.

Many experience this type of fear in life in middle age.  Those who have stagnated in life, revert back to past impulses and see their lack of fruits, while those who have worked hard, have a far easier time with aging.  Aging with success and accomplishment is key to self esteem but it is also key to spirituality as well.  As we grow, we hope by  middle age, we have also grown spiritually with God.  When we reach a ripe old age, if God wills, we should be able to look back with joy and happiness not despair and regret.  Those who work hard in life and do not waste time will bear fruit.  Many who show healthy aging have accomplished a variety of goals that Erick Erickson divides into 8 stages of human life.  When these stages are not met, then despair, sadness, and regret and regression emerge.  Wasting time in life, playing and not advancing physically, professionally, academically, mentally and emotionally is not only spiritually damaging but also psychologically damaging according to Erickson.

Have you neglected the time God has given with sloth and laziness instead of industry and faith?

 

A far simpler analogy is the story of the Three Little Pig. In the children’s tale, we see lazy and industrious mindsets and how one leads to safety and prosperity while the other leads to folly and danger.  The pig who plays the flute builds a straw house and wastes his time playing and not working, while the pig who plays the violin with him spends time building a stick house. While the stick house is more sturdy, it nonetheless is still destined for failure.  Upon the arrival of wolf, he classically blows the houses down.  The two run to the eldest brother, who did not play or wasted time, but employed the use of the shovel to build a strong brick house.  Ultimately, at least in the cartoon version, they find refuge with the older brother and defeat the wolf.

So time itself is something that needs to be properly utilized in life. No matter the age, doing things right and within the time given are keys to success.  Today, many youth seem to stagnate in their 20s.  There seems to be a new norm that life does not start till after college.  This leads to stagnation for many.  Instead of working harder, younger people party harder.  They seem to play the flute more than work the shovel.  Maturity seems to be coming later than past generations.  Families are made later in life with career goals prolonged into the distant.  Time though is of the essence.  It is still good to see young adults pushing forward in marriage and work.  Sometimes these commitments, even if in school, strengthen people. By placing faith in God, making commitments and growing up sooner is not a bad thing.  It may not be meant for all but the 20s should not be seen as a time to learn morality and make mistakes but to grow and mature academically and in the faith.  It is a time to foster relationships and if called to marriage, to find that special someone.  Late vocations to marriage and the priesthood or religious life are fine, but sometimes, individuals tend to waste time as an excuse to face responsibility in the world.  Sometimes, the youth need a push of encouragement instead of a safe place to waste time.

Those who appreciate time, appreciate now.  They appreciate family and friends and make time for them.  They realize the preciousness of duty in work, school, family and God.  They ensure that those obligations are met and not wasted in sloth, gluttony, drunkenness, frivolous spending,  and material things.  Instead they cherish goals, duty and love of God and family.  Through this, they appreciate each day and week and what it means to live and accomplish things.  All things are offered to God as prayer. Even in the smallest things, life itself becomes a prayer.  In this way, the return is great for the master unlike the servant who buried his coin.

Time Management

Time management is key. Once one understands that they need to utilize time better, then they are able to make real life changes and give back to God.  The first step is prioritizing life.  Duty to God, family and career need to be labeled universal objectives.  Things that take away, or prevent these duties and goals from being accomplished need to minimized, replaced, or given a certain time of week.  It can be very beneficial to divide the week up into days and list particular duties whether home, work, family, or to God.  Create a list and as things are accomplished to particular days, cross them off.  This can be very rewarding and the brain is known to send a feeling of pride and accomplishment.  Hence calendars, and duty lists can keep someone accountable but also allow them to see the progress.

As for longer term goals, one needs to address what one wishes to achieve it.  One can do research during a phase of time and then start to bring the research to application and work.  One should assign a certain amount of time it would logically take to accomplish certain goals, both professionally and academically.  One can then have a rough outline of where one wishes to be in one year in comparison to another year in regards to goals.

Again, the most critical element is living each day and completing it.  Giving each day to God as a prayer and finding value in what matters most in life.  Appreciating the finite reality of time and what exists in one’s life now may not exist later.  Appreciate, love and give praise to God each day for what is good and then pray to God to help one achieve what needs to be done in the future.

Conclusion

Much can be said about utilizing time properly.  Yes, there needs to be balance.  Too much work and no relaxation can be damaging to the body and mind, but one needs to be conscious of time and appreciate it but also realize that no day is guaranteed.   Christian Counselors, pastors and spiritual directors can better guide young people in the proper direction of life.  They can point towards goals and duties and how important it is to offer to God everyday, one day at a time.  They can remind the youth of the value of time and how to be a proper steward of it.

We are stewards of time God has given us. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification

 

Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.

Additional Resources

New King James Version. Matthew 25:14-30.  Bible Gateway.  Access here

“Teaching Time Management to Teens: Less Stress, More Balance”. Baum, R., Shahidullah, J. (2023). HealthyChildren.org.  Access here

“Stop Wasting Time: How to Live Life to the Fullest”. Becker-Phelps, L. (2022). Psychology Today. Access here

“How to Stop Wasting Time”. Baby, D. (2023). WebMD. Access here

Revealing Bad News in Healthcare Video

The ability to communicate bad news to a patient regarding terminal illness or to express a death of a loved one to waiting family is a key skill in healthcare.  Once considered not critical to performance, it now is a key skill to recognizing that there is more to people than merely physical well being, but also mental and emotional.  Hospitals and health facilities are now putting time and effort into training for staff to have the necessary skills to share bad news and how to properly communicate it.  Still, many physicians try to pass the torch to others to do this for them.

Revealing bad news to patients or family of patients requires training and care. Please review AIHCP’s Pastoral Thanatology Program

 

Many are uncomfortable to communicate bad news but the necessity to learn about death, dying and grief and how to mentally and emotionally help individuals processing this information is something that needs addressed regardless of discomfort.  Bedside manner, expressing bad news, and helping others cope are becoming part of the job description.

AIHCP’s Pastoral Thanatology Program helps train healthcare professionals and chaplains in helping the dying and families of the dying able to find consolation in those dark hours of bad news and death itself.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Pastoral Thanatology

Please review the video below