Monday, April 29, 2013

Patient Population

What kind of patients does a CPS PHN work with? Well, in general (general!) for the most part families who have child abuse tend to be low-income families, not highly educated (no higher than high school or less), no health insurance, without good-paying jobs, living in crowded apartments with several families, and very busy trying to survive. I feel guilty sometimes when I go home to my very nice life. I do not currently have the problems my patient families have. My case load is most made up of infants who have been exposed to some illegal drug and/or alcohol and tested positive at birth. Another large part is children with chronic diseases either genetic, inherited, or random and the parents with their busy life have had trouble giving medication consistently so they've been referred for medical neglect. A smaller portion of PHN cases are physical/sexual abuse. These are the truly sad ones because you see how a human being adult could harm an innocent child. These are the children with fractures, abusive head trauma, bruises, rape, etc. If you've ever read Dr. Zimbardo's work from Stanford University, it's easy to see how anyone could become a person so overwhelmed that their release came in the form of abusing someone else. No one is immune from doing evil. NPR recently had an interesting segment on why good people do evil. I fell it's a way that answers people's questions about why God let's bad things happen. We're human, we're animals, we're primal. And when you need to survive, you'll do anything to anyone.

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