There should be a rant here. Really there ought to be. I have a lot of anger directed toward “the system” right now that has very little opportunity for outlet. Outlet being anything more than a rant or raging against something which is beyond me, but which I am also a part of.
The system I am referring to is the publicly funded mental health system within the state of Colorado. There are so many issues with it, so many times where I and my co-workers are stuck between a rock and a hard place, between being ethical and recognizing that the bottom line still is, and always will be about funding. The safety of the consumers is taken so much more seriously than the safety of the staff, except where the risk of bad publicity or press is possible in which case much is swept under the rug. If someone doesn’t have insurance but truly has a need for services, we may be able to find some time, some funding, some help. But if someone else has insurance but no motivation or drive or desire to get better we keep throwing more and more services at them because god dammit, we can make up for their lack of anything if resources are thrown at them. Except it doesn’t work that way. And we all know it. But because they can get the services, it’s not right to hold them back for someone who maybe can’t afford them but would actually possibly benefit from them.
Oh is it so very broken.
And I feel dirty sometimes for being a part of it. For perpetuating it. Despite the fact that I dig in my heels and advocate for what is most ethical, at least as far as actual treatment and therapy is concerned. But I am very low on the totem-pole and my opinions only matter if I can convince the psychiatrist who is having the medical director breathing down her back as well as the board members and other such peoples that best ethical practice is not always best practice. And dammit she doesn’t have enough power to go against it either.
And the worst thing is that I can’t even blame them. If they weren’t so pushy about what they want from the programs I work with, the programs would no longer exist. Funding would have dried up years ago and the services wouldn’t exist for anyone. At least nothing that stayed around long enough to actually be of any use to the people who need them. But it doesn’t make it any easier to think about either.
Despite what it appears up above, you still haven’t seen my rant. You’ve seen the tale end of it, where I am on my hands and knees, spent and crying and begging for some brilliant solution to make itself known to me or the people around me. This is the spent and wrung out and just plain tired part of me begging for something to change.
In the meantime, I’m going to snuggle with my fiance and try to forget that when I wake up in the morning and get ready to go to work that despite all my best efforts, it’s never going to be enough to help everyone that needs it and that I’m part of a system that I cannot stand. Because there are some days or weeks where I have to forget it if I’m going to be able to do anything of what I can do for the poor souls caught up in the system. I know that I have been able to help people. I know that I have helped to turn around peoples’ lives and that they are better off for me having been their nurse. But on days like today, it’s so very difficult to remember that.
I have to try though.