Thereby it is important that the professionals in the field must ask for additional advice.
Patient rights also include a freedom towards observing their lives in the clinics in accordance to their cultures and ethnic backgrounds. It has been mentioned that racial disparity is one of the main issues in the clinic so the freedom being given to the already mentally vulnerable patients is lesser that is having a negative impact on their well-being (Lloyd, King, and Deane, 2008, p. 38).
3. Strategies to Ensure Confidentiality
One of the main facts that need to be highlighted here is that the mental healthcare professionals should be aware of the rights of the mentally ill people. One of the main responsibilities that the mental healthcare professionals should have is to make improvements in the mental health of the patients. Patient recovery is the main aim in these cases.
In the mental clinic, it was observed that any treatments and assessments that are to be designed and decided upon are being shared with only the family members. To make sure that the confidentiality is achieved, the information shared with the patients or the family members are not shared with anyone outside the office of the healthcare provider. On the other hand, the second main fact that was observed in the mental health clinic was that file maintenance was being ensured in the case of the patients who belonged to the White backgrounds and the level of secrecy was lesser in the case of the patients who belonged to more culturally diverse backgrounds. The racial and ethnic disparity is one of the greatest issues being seen in the mental clinic. Caretakers that are being assigned to the Hispanics and African-Americans are also Hispanics or African-Americans. Although this is the example of racial disparity being observed in the clinic but there is one underlying advantage. It is seen that the cultural practices of the caretakers are the same as that of the patients based on which the development of understanding between the caretakers and the patients is higher. The disadvantage in this case is that the knowledge and awareness of caretaking sensitivities is lesser in Hispanics and African-Americans based on which the quality of the care in racially different patients is lower. White caretakers are more educated and privileged based on which the quality of care is better in White patients. Information that is being shared with the Hispanics or African-American caretakers is seldom kept confidential based on lesser awareness in lesser privileged caretakers. Opposite is the case with the White and more privileged caretakers in the mental clinic. The sharing of important information thereby is under a great racial and ethnic influence.
Sharing of information and confidentiality include the issues that are most important to the career of the mental healthcare professionals as well as the patients. For the medical healthcare professionals, it is important that the healthcare providers or caretakers are kept in mind in all the discussions that involve confidential information sharing between the patients and healthcare providers (Nelson, 2003, p. 28). It has been reported by many authors that if healthcare providers or caretakers are excluded from the discussions of confidential levels, there can be serious financial, medical, practical, as well as personal consequences for the mental healthcare professionals.
There is no doubt about the fact that mental illnesses are the kind of illnesses that require a full time caretaker with a patient. In mental healthcare, it is important that all patient related information is shared with the caretaker. It is to be seen that the mental healthcare providers and the staff must be aware of the fact that the caretakers are the ones who know the patients best as they are with the patients all the time. Thereby it is important that the caretakers are kept in the loop. On the other hand, in regards to the need of confidentiality required in the mental healthcare professions, it is important to realize that mental illnesses can cause sudden changes in the situations and to these situations, all caretakers are supposed to respond. One of the main facts that has been highlighted by the authors is that mental healthcare is represented by an increased partnership between patients and healthcare providers (den Exter, 2009, p. 49). Difference of opinion is the main subject of mental healthcare and these are to be shared with the caretakers.
Part 2: Analysis of Ethical Dilemma
The ethical situation being observed in the mental clinic has been observed with all its details in the section above. More importantly, the actual situation has been compared with the required theoretical ethical consideration by the help of creating theoretical links. Following are some of the main ethical dilemmas that are observed in the work environment.
1. Racial Disparity
Reports that have been recently published have shown that between 1990 and 2000, 25% of the population increase in U.S. was based on racially diverse people. More than 43% of the people in U.S. belong to ethnicities that are non-English language speakers. One in ten Americans is foreigners now. Based on these facts, it is important to see the great diversity in ethnicities and races of people and population of U.S. (Valfre, 2004, p. 55). This is the same ethnic and racial disparity being seen inside the mental healthcare facilities in the modern days. On the other hand, it is important that the mental healthcare professionals realize the fact that the culture of patients as well as the caretakers has an important influence and impact on healthcare provision in mental clinics.
What Mental Healthcare Workers Are Doing
One of the main ethical dilemmas that has been seen in the chosen mental clinic relates to the ethical and racial disparity faced by the Hispanics and the African-Americans. Racial and ethnic minority populations in the mental clinic are based on the following facts.
1. The patients belonging to different races and ethnicities are the ones that do not get an easy and equal access to healthcare in mental services (Bhugra, and Malik, 2010, p. 78).
2. Necessary mental health services that are required by the mentally ill patients are not provided to the patients based on races and ethnicities.
3. It has been seen that the patients receive poor treatments and assessments as compared to the patients who belong to a majority of White population.
4. The patients in the mental clinic settings are underrepresented and are not treated well.
5. The most important fact that has been seen in the setting is that related to the caretakers assigned to the patients. It has been seen that caretakers are from the same ethnic background as that of the patient based on which although understanding between the patient and healthcare provider is better but confidentiality is at stake. Caretakers from different ethnic backgrounds are the ones who are less privileged and have lesser knowledge about information sharing based on which information sharing is less confidential. Any knowledge that is shared between the caretaker and patient is lesser confidential.
What Patients belonging to Minorities are Doing
The ethical dilemmas are not only seen at the end of the mental healthcare service providers but the responsibility lies at the end of the patients as well. The patients, same as in the case of the caretakers, are less privileged and have lesser information in relation to the use and access to the health services. Within the mental healthcare setting it is seen that the patients who belong to the minorities are lesser aware of the ways in which the healthcare services are to be used. In the mental clinic setting, it has been seen that the patients belonging to the minority often misuse the healthcare services or often do not take the required assessments and treatments. A great delay in seeking the treatment has been seen at the end of patients who belong to the minorities as Latinos, Hispanics, and African-Americans (Elder, Evans, and Nizette, 2009, p. 38).
2. Issues with Information Sharing
The second main issue that has been seen in the selected mental clinic is that there is a great risk being taken in the confidentiality needed between the patients and caretakers or mental healthcare workers. It has been seen that the information and knowledge as well as the awareness of the caretakers belonging to ethnic and racial minorities is lesser especially in the case where increased confidentiality is needed. Information sharing in the patients, patients' families, and caretakers of the patients is very important (Johnson, 2007, p. 55). Complete secrecy is to be ensured and it should be ensured that all information must be kept between the patients, families and their caretakers. But in the mental clinic setting it has been seen that the caretakers are lesser informed based on which information is at a risk of being shared outside the clinics.
One of the main facts that need to be highlighted here is that there is no highlight and focus…