Tied Up and Isolated in the Schoolhouse
Mohr, Wanda K
The Journal of school nursing : the official publication of the National Association of School Nurses 2010 Apr ; 26(2): 91-101
In 1999, the United States General Accountability Office (USGAO) investigated restraints and seclusion use in mental health settings and found patterns of misuse and abuse. A decade later, it found the same misuse and abuse in schools. Restraints and seclusion are traumatizing and dangerous procedures that have caused injury and death. In the past decade, restraints and seclusion have gone from being considered an essential part of the psychiatric mental health toolkit to being viewed as a symptom of treatment failure. In most mental health settings, the use of restraints and seclusion has plummeted due to federal regulations, staff education, and concerted effort of psychiatric national and local leadership. The purpose of this article is to provide a background to and an overview of the present imbroglio over restraints and seclusion in public and private schools, articulate their dangers, dispel myths and misinformation about them, and suggest a leadership role for school nurses in reducing the use of these procedures.
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