An older lady with a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder was admitted to our acute district general hospital down the road. She lives just out of area and was brought to our local acute hospital through the vagaries of chance. She was maintained on depot flupentixol decanoate (depixol) which had kept her well for a number of years.
She was having this injection every 2 weeks, without any side effects or problems, sought to continue it and both the patient and her psychiatrist/mental health team wished for it to continue. Her mental health team were remarkably helpful, faxing over depot cards and loads of relevant material for me. Continuity of care can work.
On the ward, her mental health was stable. Not a surprise. She'd been stable in the community for a few years, now.
She was referred because the nurses couldn't give her the depot injection. The ward nurses (RGNs) within the district general hospital are trained and competent to give injections, of course. But apparently the technique and administration of oily depot antipsychotic medication is something that mental health nurses (RMNs) are trained to do, but RGNs are not. So the acute hospital referred the lady to my door, for one of my nurses to drive over just to give the lady her injection. She did, shes a helpful soul and wanted the patient to get the right care.
But it struck me as odd. As a doctor, my training in procedures was p'raps more cavalier than it is now, being of the see one/do one/teach one school of practice, so I just assumed if you can give an injection, and you know the drug, you're fine to do it. I vaguely recall discussion about what the differences in practive between an RGN and RMN are, but since both nurses do injections, I'd not appreciated that the nurses can each only do certain types of injections.