Hospitalization after WWII
Mild cases, such as people with epilepsy or the elderly, could be boarded successfully within private care homes as they did not need the medical specialties of a hospital. The nursing home was deemed best for those who needed less specific care treatments and regimes. Private mental hospitals were suggested for those who were extremely violent, as they could use physical restraint to protect both the patient and the caregivers. The state hospital was seen as the last resort for those who could not financially afford other medical treatments for their family members, or for those with marginal cases (Fay et al., 1955).
Interestingly, state hospitals were ideal for those with mental illnesses but whose families did not want to lose their economic or social standing in the community. Clergymen, lawyers, doctors, business men, and those with extreme economic or social standing in the community should never be sent to institutions that were solely reserved for mentally ill patients. This meant their best option for treatment was at the state hospitals, where they could technically have been admitted for a variety of reasons. The use of state hospitals helped to protect the mentally ill from feeling the stigma from the outside community and from suffering another attack if they woke to find themselves in an insane asylum (Fay et al., 1955).
It was advised that mentally ill patients have their own special floor or wing within a hospital, staffed with specially trained nurses and various personnel. Special accommodations were recommended in order to provide the best care possible for patients. For instance, windows were sometimes installed above the ground floor for confused patients (Fay et al., 1955).
- Patients received a medical approach for their illnesses instead of being brushed aside.
- Clinical and laboratory tests were available in the hospital, but were very rarely available in other care facilities.
- Nurses and other trained professionals were on hand when it was necessary to provide electric shock, insulin, or other major treatments.
- Patients were seen daily by their doctors.
- Psychotherapy was available in the hospital setting.
(Fay et al., 1955)
Fay, T., Hadden, S. B., Langdon, R. L., Mallin, A. W., Nodine, J. H., Wilson, W. W., Winkelman, N. W., Winlock, R. M. (1955). General treatment measures, psychotherapeutic measures, and the drastic therapies. In D. J. McCarthy & K. M. Corrin (Eds.) Medical Treatment of Mental Disease, (pp. 491-604). Philadelphia, PA, US: J. B. Lippincott Company.
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