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Solnit, A.J. Priel, B. (1975). Psychological Reactions to Facial and Hand Burns in Young Men—Can I See myself Through Your Eyes?. Psychoanal. St. Child, 30:549-566.

(1975). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 30:549-566

Psychological Reactions to Facial and Hand Burns in Young Men—Can I See myself Through Your Eyes?

Albert J. Solnit, M.D. and Beatrice Priel

SUMMARY

Our work was organized according to the following principles:

1. Psychological care was designed to insure that sound physical care would also be sound psychological care, i.e., to validate the assumption that psychological considerations are not in conflict with excellent physical, medical, surgical, and nursing care.

2. Sound psychological care requires that each patient be enabled to become mentally and physically active, in an appropriate manner, in understanding and planning the treatment of his condition.

3. Regressive reactions usually are in the service of recovery. They should be expected both during the initial acute phase when the patient is overwhelmed and finds himself physically relatively helpless; and during the recovery phase when regressive irritability often ushers in the patient's first effort at being active on his own behalf.

4. Planning and treatment discussions among professional health care groups and between those in the same professional group must be ongoing and capable of achieving a reasonable working consensus as a requirement for maintaining excellence in the care of patients and in supporting the morale of the patients and the staff.

The application of these psychological principles meant in concrete terms for the patients that—

1. They had the opportunity to express their fears, questions, suggestions, and complaints so that they felt understood.

2. They received appropriate relief of pain, insomnia, and physical discomfort.

3. They knew who their doctor was.

4. They were cared for by a team of physicians, nurses, and other hospital personnel who worked harmoniously with effective communication and understanding about the care of the patients.

5. They were helped to cope with the injury and its treatment in a manner appropriate to each patient's age, cultural, educational, and religious background.

6. Finally, each patient received warm humane care with acceptance of and regard for his own uniquely individual needs.

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