Which competences did a nurse need to take care for depressive patients ? (which knowledge, skills, aptitudes)
Nov 15, '01
I am not sure of your question but I will try to answer the best I can.
To treat depressed patients you have to look up DSM IV listings for depression. I am not sure if you use that book over in your parts but I am sure you must have some sort of equivilent.
You need current med knowledge esp of side effects as SSRI's have many sexual side effects which patients don't like to talk about but just let them know if they ever do have any problems like anorgasmia or inability to ejaculate, to let their docs know they are having problems and doses can be changed or new meds given. They also need to know how to take meds.
That depression is temporary. Dysthymia is more long lasting. Most patients won't be the first to realize that they are improving. This is where family helps.
Light therapy. Encourage your depressed patients to get early, first morning light. Whether that means going for an early morning walk or standing in front of the window for at least 10 minutes. Whatever it takes to get full spectrum light.
Exercise really does matter. Encourage your patients to walk or do something, even if they are on the inpt unit. They will increase seritonin levels and deal with new stress in more productive ways.
Assess for suicidal behaviors. Make sure all guns are out of the house. Family members can help here. Ask how they would do it if they were going to and try to make it more difficult to kill themselves. If they would overdose, take all the pills out of the house. Yes, they could go to the store and buy more but if they are really depressed, it would take a lot of energy OR they were bent on killing themselves and no one could stop them. Most often if they are in treatment, they want help. Help them write out plan for when and if they do feel suicidal who to call and what to do.
Just sitting down and listening to a depressed person really does make a difference. Most times they can't even tell you but it really does matter to them. By making time for them you are showing them that they are important and that they do matter. Tell them they also have to force themselves to do things. They need to shower daily and they have to eat and they have to get out of bed. Forcing is hard but it does help in the recovery process.
I hope that is what you were asking for, otherwise, I feel sort of silly.
Nov 16, '01
Maybe I have to make my question more clear. Not every (psychiatric) nurse have enough competences to take care for depressed people. I want to know which competences (knowledge, skills, aptitudes) are necessary for helping depressed people on a professional level. (e.g have enough patience, knowing te working of medicine, to have empathy, etc..)