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Treatment Programs

To obtain data for this assignment, I called the Chrysalis alcohol and drug treatment center. The call was received by a female call-center agent. I informed her that I was making a call to make inquiries, and she was ready to give me any information that I needed. To begin with, I asked her to describe to me a treatment plan for alcohol. She informed me that a treatment program is a road map that an alcohol patient would follow in the course of his or her treatment. She indicated that the best plan would cover up to five years or until the relapse rate of the addict would fall to zero. However, she was quick to remark that every person's journey is different.

The agent informed me that once a person comes to Chrysalis, the first thing is usually the development of a treatment plan. The plan first covers a diagnostic summary of the patient. It is a multi-disciplinary report that shows the current state of the alcoholic and his or her needs. The next thing is usually to give the alcoholic medical treatment. During it, a problem list is developed. The call agent has noted that all problem statements are usually abstract concepts because one cannot see, touch or taste the problem, for example, such as self-esteem. An example of a problem is acute alcoholism, which is identifiable through the presence of high blood pressure, restlessness, and cravings, and profuse sweating to name a few (Epstein & McCrady, 2009).

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The agent informed me that for each patient they write progress notes at each stage. The aim of this is to help in the evaluation and determination of the way forward as pertains to the treatment plan. The next step is to develop the goals and objectives of the treatment program. The latter is a comprehensive one, and it aims at achieving identifiable results. A goal and an objective are different. She pointed out that a goal in an alcohol treatment plan is a brief clinical statement of the condition that is expected to change in the patient or some cases in the patient's family. Goals are more than merely the elimination of the disease (Epstein & McCrady, 2009). Examples of goals that this facility uses include the following: a person will develop a commitment to sobriety, the patient will learn necessary skills for a sober lifestyle, ways how to eat a healthy diet and show progressive signs of gaining weight, and he or she will learn good communication skills among others.

After developing goals, the facility's next agenda is to develop objectives of the treatment plan for the individual. An objective for the latter is a specific skill that the patient will need to acquire to achieve the already developed goal. It includes things a recovering alcoholic will aim at accomplishing through the whole process of treatment. Objectives are observable, can be heard, felt, and even touched, but goals are abstract concepts. Examples of objectives that Chrysalis uses are as follows: the patient should be able to verbalize that he or she has a problem, verbalize an understanding of the latter, and learn to cope with uncomfortable feelings among others (Heather, 1995).

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The agent reaffirmed that treatment plans for each patient were always different. At that point, she said that those alcoholics who suffer from depression have extra objectives to help them reduce its effects. Recovering alcoholics should learn to say positive things to themselves, develop or engage in recreational activities, become accurate in their thinking, and improve their relationships with other people, more so the closest people such as their spouses.

Furthermore, the agent informed me that the next step in the program is to develop interventions. She said that the latter involve things that the patient will do to achieve the set objective. She indicated that the objective must be measurable. The way to develop interventions was by looking at patients' needs (Heather, 1995). Examples of interventions include asking the patient to write at least five negative consequences of their alcohol use and encouraging the one to share anxious feelings.

As the treatment continues, both the patient and the staff evaluate its effectiveness. It entails keeping a score of the progress. The score entails three broad things: feelings, thoughts, and behavior. Data are collected and kept in each patient's file. At that point, the agent informed me that the patient had to know to do some things necessary for him or her to heal. Patients must first begin by identifying and acknowledging a problem. Then, they must understand and be able to say how alcohol addiction has impacted them and their lives negatively. They must then learn what they intend to change and master it. They should begin practicing changes (Heather, 1995).

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As a means to help me understand the whole process, the agent gave an example of a problem typical of many alcoholics, and she explained to me the necessary goals and interventions. The example was of an alcoholic who experiences impulse control disorder that is evident through frequent fights, loss of control when angry, and abusing people near him. A goal to that problem would be for the patient to learn to manage one's angry feelings. An objective to this goal can be the one visiting a staff psychologist for him to learn stress management techniques. An intervention to this problem is that the psychologist will teach the alcoholic techniques of how he can manage his stress, for example, through biofeedback, relaxation, or desensitization.

The final section of the treatment program is to have a periodical treatment plan review. In Chrysalis, specialists do this every week. Patients' progress is discussed, and if changes are needed the treatment plan can be modified. Therefore, treatment programs for alcoholics in Chrysalis are effective and developed considering the needs of every patient. Assessment and evaluation tools that are used to monitor the progress of the patient at each stage help to revise and continue treatment in the right direction, minimizing chances of relapse.

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