Interactive online modules that considers the approach to the assessment of the patient with behavioural disturbance. The course will explore the immediate priorities in assessment and management that focus on reducing risk (to the patient and others) and screening for immediately treatable medical causes such as head injury, hypoglycaemia, infection and drug intoxication or withdrawal. It will also consider the steps in managing the severely agitated patient and options for pharmacological sedation.
Relevance to General Practice
Behavioural emergencies are complex and misleading. The cause of the acute behavioural change may be as simple as “a bottle of vodka” or as sinister as meningitis. The differential diagnosis is incredibly broad therefore these patients require a careful assessment of both their physical and mental health. This course is highly relevant to rural general practice in teaching a structured approach to assessment, management and safe disposition of the agitated patient.
- Outline the immediate priorities in the assessment of the patient presenting with disturbed behaviour
- Describe the indications and procedure for physical restraint of a patient
- Describe crucial elements of the history and physical examination that can help differentiate medical from psychiatric causes of altered mental state.
- Determine the need for laboratory testing in patients with altered mental state
- Explain the Red Flags for the patient at high risk for Self Harm and criteria for immediate referral to specialist services.
Domains of General Practice
D1. Communication skills and the patient-doctor relationship
D2. Applied professional knowledge and skills
D3. Population health and the context of general practice
D4. Professional and ethical role
D5. Organisational and legal dimensions
Curriculum Contextual Units
- Rural health
- Abuse and violence
- Addiction medicine
- Psychological health