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Monday, September 10, 2012

Essay on Medical and Diagnostic Examination Research Paper

Essay on Medical and Diagnostic Examinations: Prevention is Better than Cure

The classic adage that “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” may be cliché but it still remains very much true today as it was centuries ago. In healthcare, preventive measures include medical exams or diagnostic tests and are under the field of laboratory medicine. In the past the focus has been on curing, restoration and rehabilitation but governments later found that investing in promotion and prevention saves a lot of resources and improves the over-all health status of a population.

Laboratory medicine is very valuable in clinical care. It is an essential component of high quality care providing healthcare professionals with necessary data that may be used for prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases (Value of Laboratory Screening). In the aspect of prevention, there are a variety of exams ranging from routine medical exams to more specific diagnostic tests. Routine exams are those that employers or schools may require their workers or students respectively, such as blood tests, urine and stool examinations from time to time. Diagnostic tests are those which physicians order typically after a patient comes in with complaints of certain symptoms and they can’t completely arrive at a definite diagnosis based on the patient’s medical history and present symptoms alone (Medical Health Tests). 

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At times, diagnostic tests are ordered for confirmation purposes already. Then there are also tests made for screening certain diseases among those who are found to be at risk or pre-disposed to certain medical conditions. Medical and diagnostic examinations help in the preventive effort by detecting potential problems ahead of time. Early detection facilitates early and less expensive interventions. Treatment at an early stage is also more effective than when started at a later stage of a medical condition. Routine exams may reveal health concerns previously unknown to the client and thus proper health teaching may be given to address those concerns early. Diagnostic exams may guide physicians in arriving with appropriate interventions to prevent worsening of the condition. The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the more options of care available to choose from with less invasive or less expensive procedures still applicable. Screening tests may help arrest the possible development of a condition. For instance, through screening, a client may find out that he’s at high risk of developing Diabetes Type II. Knowing such risk, he may choose to start modifying his life style to one that will prevent him from going down the diabetic path.    

When the opportunity comes for a routine test or a screening, people should remember that it’s for their own good. Some may hesitate because of the hassle and costs involved but they fail to consider that investing in prevention is much more convenient and economical than waiting to get sick and be hospitalized. Although cure may be available in certain medical conditions, the price you pay is much higher and the damage done may be greater and possibly irreversible. Prevention remains better than cure.  

Works Cited
“Medical Health Tests - Types, Procedures and Importance of Medical Tests.” 2011. Medical Health 
   2 September 2012 <>
“The Value of Laboratory Screening and Diagnostic Test for Prevention and Health Care Improvement.” September 2009. The Lewin Group Inc. 2 September 2012 <            BdrXRyI-HgEwFaGWln7V9phsp-ZGLH17M48Ii1UDte4Yxav6wzgO-6hZX5BPa_UvJ2tmqCr81Cbr4eOZ7vM0nv0oq3jHQQS8M9_9_nxhkzs7ZZYRv&sig=AHIEtbSXU7vleclUTfXsv          nw9yQtsfEPNKA>.
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Corporal Punishment Research Paper

Essay on The Psychological Effect of Corporal Punishment in Children

In our society, the word punishment usually has a negative connotation. When people hear such word, they generally associate it with discipline and may recall childhood memories of getting punished at home or in school. A more technical approach on punishment is that it is said to occur when an event following an action weakens the tendency to make that same action such as when a pigeon pecks a dish, it receives a brief shock which leads to the rapid decrease in the tendency of the pigeon to peck the dish again (Weiten 205). Furthermore, Weiten wrote that punishment encompasses far more than disciplinary acts but it is used more frequently for disciplinary purposes which brings forth interesting discussions.

In disciplining children, punishment may come in different forms. Some parents or teachers would resort to verbal reprimand, social isolation or withdrawal of privileges while some still use physical punishment or corporal punishment. Mash noted that in the past 50 years or so, child-rearing practices have been changing dramatically with parents being expected to focus on the child’s developmental strengths and limitations and move away from disciplinary control methods (458). In the past, corporal punishment is common and well accepted but toward the end of the twentieth century, movements have developed towards the abandonment of corporal punishment (Myers 207). Opponents of corporal punishment back up their cause with a growing number of research studies that indicate corporal punishment to have deleterious consequences among children. Such consequences, according to Flynn may be psychological or behavioral which may include alcohol abuse, depression, suicidal thoughts, behavioral problems, low achievement and future economic insecurity (qtd. in Myers 208). Favela highlighted studies that suggested that children who were spanked suffer emotionally, are more likely to have lower IQs and are more aggressive.  A meta-analysis from Gershoff on the positive and negative long-range effects of parental corporal punishment displays a more comprehensive view of the consequences of this form of discipline with the following findings: 
          Negative or undesirable outcomes showed decreases in the subsequent areas during           childhood: moral internalization, quality of relationship between the parent and   
          child mental health. Associated decrease in mental health was also found later in           adulthood. In addition, there were increases in the aspects of child aggression, child           delinquent and antisocial behavior. In adulthood, increases in the risk of being a      
          victim of physical abuse, risk of abusing own child and spouse, adult aggression,     
          adult criminal and antisocial behavior were observed among adults who experienced           corporal punishment during their childhood. There was only one desirable behavior           linked to corporal punishment which is increased immediate compliance in the part   
          of the child. (qtd in Mash 458)       

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More recent studies echo the results of Gershoff but her conclusions are not without critics. Arguments raised include that evidence linking spanking to negative effects is correlational which is not an assurance of causation. It means that corporal punishment cannot be directly pointed out as the cause for the negative effects enumerated earlier. In such light, Damon points out that there is still a great deal to learn about the long-term effects of corporal punishment and the factors that serve to moderate its effects (402). Moreover he expressed that although such form of discipline is usually associated with negative outcomes for the child, the associated pathway and the qualifying variables for such relationship are still unclear.

With more research findings that discredit the effectiveness of corporal punishment among children, societal views have now shifted to the discouragement of its use. However, despite the negative effects associated with physically punishing children, some parents still find it as an effective means of disciplining their children. The practice of corporal punishment cannot be easily uprooted from society because, as stated by Mash, cultural norms in many countries have long accepted corporal punishment as a primary, even necessary component of discipline (458). It will take more research to change the mind set about corporal punishment among parents, teachers and authority figures who grew up experiencing corporal punishment themselves and found it to be more effective than detrimental to their individual development.        

Works Cited
Damon, William and Nancy Eisenberg. Handbook of Child Psychology Volume 3: Social,    
           Emotional, and Personality Development, 6th edition. New York, NY: Wiley, 2006.
Favela, Regina. “Emotional and Physical Development of Children Who Get Paddled.” 10           June 2010. Live 6 September 2012  
          <               article/144862-emotional-physical-
          development-of-       children-who-get-paddled/>.
Mash, Eric J. and David A. Wolfe. Abnormal Child Psychology, 4th edition. Belmont, CA:  
          Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010.  
Myers, John E B. Myers on Evidence in Child, Domestic and Elder Abuse cases, Successor        edition. New York: Aspen Publishers, 2005.
Weiten, Wayne. Psychology: Themes and Variations, 8th edition. Australia; Belmont, CA:          Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011.

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Research Paper on Defense Mechanism Among Psychiatric Patients

Research Paper on Defense Mechanism Among Psychiatric Patients

Growing up, parents always keep reminding their children to take care of their well being by practicing healthy habits and avoiding detrimental ones with the focus usually on physical health. But health goes beyond the physical aspect of the person, to be well also means having a good mental health. When an individual has mental health concerns, the field of psychiatry comes into the picture. Geddes defines psychiatry as the branch of medicine that specializes in the treatment of brain disorders which primarily cause disturbance of          thought, behavior and emotion (3). Clients who have such problems are called psychiatric patients.

In dealing with psychiatric patients health care providers who directly interact with patients will find that knowledge about defense mechanisms can come in handy. According to Levenson, a basic understanding of defense mechanisms can provide the psychiatrist with another perspective in the process of examining a patient, it will aid in predicting or explaining the patient’s emotional or behavioral response to medical illness (56). Among nurses, familiarization of defense mechanisms helps in the provision of care as they establish therapeutic relationships with patients. Defense mechanisms which may be also known as coping styles are the automatic psychological processes protecting the individual against anxiety and from the awareness of internal and external dangers or stressors (Boyd 144). Since defense mechanisms are automatic responses, individuals are often unaware that they are using certain defense mechanisms already. Defense mechanisms may be adaptive or maladaptive and psychiatric patients use such processes excessively to a point that it becomes invariably maladaptive and becomes a problem. There are a number of defense mechanisms that a patient may use and one, two or more at a time which may differ depending on the situation and level of stress that they encounter. Some examples of common defense mechanisms include denial, suppression, repression, displacement, rationalization and reaction formation among others. Vaillant grouped defense mechanisms according to the degree to which each defense distorts reality and how effectively it enables the expression of wishes or needs without untoward external consequences in his hierarchy of defense mechanisms (qtd. in Levenson 56). 

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In the proposed hierarchy by Vaillant, there are four levels of adaptivity namely psychotic, immature, neurotic and mature. Psychotic defenses are characterized by their extreme degree of distorting reality wherein patients may need to take in psychotic medications to alter such defenses. Psychotic defenses include psychotic denial, delusional projection and schizoid fantasy. Immature defenses may be irritating and are often observed in patients with personality disorders. The immature defenses include the following: splitting, idealization, devaluation, projection, projective identification, acting-out, passive aggression and intermediate denial. Neurotic defenses are privately experienced or less interpersonal which often involve mental inhibitions. The list of neurotic defenses includes repression, control, displacement, reaction formation, intellectualization, rationalization, isolation of affect, and undoing. Mature defenses when observed in patients are appreciated by health care providers; it enables the individual to express himself/herself without negative consequences. Mature defenses include suppression, altruism, humor, sublimation, and anticipation. Each kind of defense has its own unique qualities that distinguish them from each other. For the psychiatrists or nurses to detect what defense mechanisms the patients are using they need to interact with their patients and observe keenly so that they may employ the appropriate interventions needed.             

Although the use of defense mechanisms is highlighted in psychiatry, it does not mean that only psychiatric patients use them. Even mentally healthy people use defense mechanisms from time to time when anxious or under stress.  But the difference lies in the severity and the context where defense mechanisms are used. Knowing what defense mechanisms certain psychiatric patients employ with the context in mind, helps health care providers in psychiatric institutions or in communities manage their patients appropriately and promote their well being.         

Boyd, Mary Ann. Psychiatric Nursing: Contemporary Practice, 4th edition. Philadelphia,Pa.:         Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008.
Geddes, John, et al. Psychiatry, 4th edition. Oxford;New York: Oxford University Press, 
Levenson, James L. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychosomatic      
          medicine: Psychiatric Care of the Medically Ill, 2nd edition. Washington, D.C:     
          American Psychiatric Pub., 2011.
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