Wellness nurse, Lori Harris, LPN is tasked with prevention, employee health and leading nursing groups for Pomegranate teens, alongside individual, group and family therapy sessions, school , and recreation in a jam packed schedule. Nursing groups are an ideal component of Pomegranate Health Systems broader educational, advocacy, and outreach mission. “Lori brought in a lung today,” mentioned the CEO, “isn’t that wonderful to make the dangers of smoking real?” With that, inquiring minds had to ask, ‘What else is going on!? Is it true?”
“Oh yes!” Lori exclaimed with excitement, “teens want to know the effect of different medications, drugs, substances, on their health and lives. The squishier and more real I can make it, the better! We dissect lungs, livers, brains, kidneys and even eyeballs. It’s very real and immediate education!’ Her dark eyes danced with delight. Lori thrives with workshops on infectious diseases, STD prevention, wellness, and the brain. The more she can learn and teach the better.
Right now, there’s a major movement underway to limit or avoid psychotropic medications altogether. As with so many trends, the mood of the moment is to not approve medications because of potential risks on developing bodies and brains. According to the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) report ‘Treatment of Children with Mental Illness’, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health, “Some children need medication to manage severe and difficult problems. Without treatment, these children would suffer serious or dangerous consequences. In addition, psychosocial treatments may not always be effective by themselves. In some instances, however, they can be quite effective when combined with medication.’ (p2) Pomegranate’s philosophy is to accomplish the most with the least. When teens arrive- some on multiple and lengthy lists of meds, it takes a while to wean and adjust dosages to arrive at the optimum solution for each individual case. Years of experience with adolescents by Pomegranate psychiatrists and nurses makes a difference.
This is why Pomegranate treats teens with a thorough and integrated program including physical health (exams & nursing group), psychosocial therapies (CBT, EMDR), and psychiatric care in a comprehensive care plan in a secure residential environment, with follow up care recommendations put in place. For Lori, who tracks even the common cold with a vengeance, wellness at its core is a body-mind-emotion-spirit holistic proposition. For teens with serious mental and behavioral health issues, that’s even more important in learning to manage their symptoms and being a partner in their healing process. She hopes to add many more exciting and interesting workshops to the routine sounding title: ‘nursing group’ in the very near future. Pomegranate is committed to permanency. With just under 20 nurses under the direction of nursing director Rosetta Cowan, RN, BSN, Pomegranate teens can count on intensive care 24/7.
[Photo credit: teen alcohol abuse by Stokkete, Dreamstime image 26207646]