Caring for Clients with Mental Disorders

Research Support

The need to provide a feasible solution to the problems affecting the nursing care of mentally impaired patients is not only urgent but also critical. The solution to be applied should vividly and fully address the problems affecting the provision of sufficient health care to patients with mental health needs. As already mentioned in parts B and C, the problems that require a tenable solution include incompetence of nurses in providing quality mental health care, the negative attitude among nurses regarding this issue, inadequate training and limited research among health providers regarding the same. In providing an appropriate solution, several measures should be put in place. First, nurses need to be knowledgeable and competent about the provision of mental health care nursing. Second, nursing colleges should emphasize psychiatric training and third, nurses should have a positive attitude towards psychiatric nursing, so as, to ensure that mentally impaired patients receive quality health care.

Increase in Nursing Knowledge and Competence

Mallik, Hall and Howard, (2009, p. 8) did research on the role played by nursing knowledge in making sound clinical decisions. They argue that, since nurses are in contact with patients most of the time, they are able to monitor both the physical and mental changes in the patient. Most clinical decisions are to be made based on the observations made by the nurses. Several services are led by the nurses and thus they have a vital duty in decision making. Nevertheless, most of the decisions are made in conjunction with other health care providers and in liaison with the patients. Therefore, nurses are supposed to be knowledgeable so as to make plausible clinical decisions. Making clinical decisions requires that nurses be accessible to both informative and intuitive sources of knowledge (2009, p. 8).

Research also reveals that to offer quality mental health care nurses should possess the ability to understand mental, safety practices, role boundaries and health principles. This calls for interpersonal skills such as compassion, excellent listening skills and willingness to offer help to the mentally sick, in assisting them to recover from their state to a better condition (Baker, 2001). Besides these skills, a nurse should have professional knowledge that makes them have an understanding of the mentally ill patients’ spiritual, psychological and social needs (Mallik, Hall and Howard, 2009, p. 13). Moreover, this knowledge enables them to have a comprehensive understanding of the patients’ physiological needs, with regard to the problems and treatment.

The competence of nurses in providing care to mentally sick people can also be enhanced by working together with other health care providers. These may include psychiatrists, occupational therapists and psychologists, who also have their roles to play (Secker, Pidd and Parham, 1999). This is important in helping the nurse assess and examine mental health disorders due to their complexity. Therefore, to enhance their competence and knowledge, nurses ought to be involved inefficient communication, both with patients and with other health care professionals. Additionally, to be more competent, research shows that mental health nurses should specialize in several areas of mental health. These include substance misuse, cognitive-behavioral therapy, assertive outreach, adolescence psychiatry, crisis intervention and forensic nursing (Mallik, Hall and Howard, 2009, p. 13). This research is very important since it provides both internal validity and external validity into showing the importance of knowledge and competence in resulting in the provision of quality mental health care.

Nursing Colleges should Emphasize Psychiatric Training

In their research about providers of mental health services, Stevens and Rodin acknowledge the role of psychiatric training, in preparing nurses, to offer quality mental health care. They argue that nurses who have received psychiatric training in college for a period of about three years are eligible to provide an environment that is both safe and therapeutic in the hospital. They can also monitor patients with diverse mental disorders within this setting. In addition, the nurses trained in this field are also qualified enough to provide their services in other environments such as the community and outpatient clinics (2001, p. 3).

The latest report from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Physicians reveals that all medical health providers should receive training in psychiatric and addiction services. Due to the increasing misuse of alcohol and dual diagnosis, it is vital for nurses and other health professionals to be trained in the same so as to be competent in attending to these mentally related problems (Rassool, 2006, p. 274). These findings have internal and external validity towards the role of nursing colleges in providing psychiatric training.

Nurses should have a Positive Attitude towards Psychiatric Nursing

Elder, Evans and Nizette, (2009, p. 418) did research and discovered that a greater percentage of nurses have had experiences with people who have mental complications such as self-harm and suicide. Research shows that nurses have a negative attitude towards patients of this kind. This is due to the nurse’s anxiety and concern emanating from her/his personal attitudes, and, moral, legal, practical and ethical requirements of care. Therefore, care for clients who have mental, related problems like these may require that besides changing the attitude, the nurse should be accorded clinical supervision and support from other experienced health care professionals. This will enable the nurse to nurture a positive attitude, knowledge and skills relevant to providing care to these mentally challenged patients (2009, p. 418). This research contains both internal and external validity in supporting the need for a positive attitude by nurses towards providing mental health care.

Reference list

Barker, P. (2001). The Tidal Model: developing an empowering, person-centered Approach to recovery within psychiatric and mental health nursing. Journal Of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 8(5), p. 233–240.

Elder, R., Evans, K., and Nizette, D. (2009). Psychiatric and mental health nursing. Chatswood: Elsevier Australia.

Mallik, M., Hall, C., and Howard, D. (2009). Nursing Knowledge and Practice. Web.

Rassool, H. (2006). Dual diagnosis nursing. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing.

Secker, J., Pidd, F. and Parham, A. (1999). Mental health training needs of primary Health care nurses. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 8, p. 643–652.

Stevens, L., & Rodin, I. (2001). Psychiatry: An illustrated color text. London: Elsevier Health Sciences.

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