Title:† Department of Public Welfare

††††††††† Helping People Help Themselves


Cindy: In the Department of Public Welfare, as a nursing professional, you have the opportunity to pursue various career paths. The Department of Public Welfare serves adults who receive services in our state-operated hospitals, forensic units, or centers. These individuals have mental health challenges and/or developmental disabilities. †Nurses may also work with court adjudicated youths who receive services in a state owned treatment center. The Department of Public Welfare also employs nurses at its state operated nursing home, South Mountain Restoration Center.


Patrick: I work with consumers who have mental health challenges.† They may have difficulty coping with life. They also experience stress, frustration and also disappointment.


Patrick: Mary, you look upset.


Mary: You better believe Iím upset! I want to go home!


Patrick: So you want to go on a home pass?


Mary:† Yes.


Patrick: Okay, well letís have a seat so we can discuss it. So tell me whatís going on.


Mary: Patrick, I had a really bad week. I miss my family and I just want to go home.


Patrick:† Okay.


Doris: Iím not taking that medication anymore. I mean, look at me. Iím fat! Iíve gained five pounds ever since Dr. Greene got me on this medication a week ago.††††††††


Patrick: Well, weight gain is a side effect of the medication. But, have you noticed any other changes?


Doris: Well, Iíve been thinking clearer.


Patrick:† Well, thatís a primary benefit of the medication.


Patrick: I am responsible for the safety of all the consumers on my unit. These responsibilities may include individuals who are having suicidal thoughts or engaging in self-abusive behavior.


Patrick: Hi Ann.


Ann: Hi Patrick.


Patrick: Hey Alex.


Alex: Hi Patrick.


Patrick: It sure looks good to see you smiling today. You look a lot better today. Tell me how you feel.


Alex: I feel good.


Patrick:† Good.


Ann: Iím covering Alexís one-to-one observation.


Patrick: Okay, may I please see his checklist?


Ann: Sure.


Patrick: Thank you.


Patrick: Good job Ann.


Ann: Thanks.


Patrick: Well, Iíll be back a little later to check on you. Okay?


Alex: Sounds good.


Patrick: Alright.


Karen: In the juvenile justice facility, one of my duties is responding to emergencies, such as sports injuries. We also do routine sick calls.


(Walkie-talkie beeps)


Jack: Manager 1 to the nurse. Can you come to the gym please?


Karen:† 10-4, Iíll be right there.


Jack: Hang in there.


Karen: Jedd, what happened?


Jedd: I twisted my ankle.


Karen: After an injured student is transported back to health services, we do an in-depth assessment.


Carol: As a multi-disciplinary team member, I work with the students and other team members. Together we help them achieve their goals as outlined in their individual treatment care plan.


Carol: You were involved in several restraints this month. You were aggressive toward the staff and on several occasions you expressed suicidal thoughts. But, you refused to see the psychiatrist.


Erica: I donít have to if I donít want to!


Carol: What can we do for you? How can we help you?


Erica: You can get me outta here. Iím tired of this place.


Carol: Sometimes the court may have to intervene in the studentís treatment plan.† I am responsible for providing documentation to support the courtís interventions.


Cindy: In a State Mental Retardation Center, part of my job is to administer G-tube feedings to individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.


Cindy: Catherine, are you ready for your medicine?


Catherine: Yeah.


Cindy: Okay.


Cindy: Respiratory care during an illness is a very important part of my job.


Cindy: Greg, Iím going to give you your breathing treatment. Now, while I put this over your face, I want you to take deep breaths for me.


Cindy: I give yearly summaries of individualsí health to our inter-disciplinary team. This summary includes their health history, medication profile, incidents, and any future health care goals. All of the information that is compiled during our team meetings is used to formulate a treatment plan. This ensures consistency of care for all our individuals.


Mary Kay: The Department of Public Welfare also has a place for registered nurses who choose to work in a non-clinical setting. For example, you may review requests for hospital admissions, review and approve home health care for adults and children with special needs, or review medical records for appropriateness of care.


Deb: The people I serve have difficulty representing themselves. I am their voice. I feel as though I am part of a large family. The working conditions are pleasant and I value the monetary and personal benefits. As a registered nurse working for the Department of Public Welfare, I believe I am really making a difference

in peopleís lives.