Quote from a-rose
How to do mental health nursing?
When your patient has some mental problems, how do you nurse one?
After reading all of the above, I believe Cyberkat gave you most of your answer. Listening and being nonjudgemental are two key skills for a nurse who is attempting to assist a patient with mental health concerns, regardless if the patient has been diagnosed or meets the criteria of a psychiatric diagnosis. The same skills apply with the patient attempting to cope with a physical illness or medical procedure. Most patients, if given the opportunity without judgement on the nurse's part, will be forthcoming as to what they need or with the concerns they have. In speaking of mental and emotional disorders, depending on the level of severity and cluster of symptoms present, communication of those needs or concerns may require further assistance from the care provider in assisting the patient, such as restatements, clarifying, or use of examples, in order to help the patient get his/her meaning understood. If your interested in learning more about the actual diagnoses themselves, there is much literature on and off the internet. There is also the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental and Emotional Disorders), the psychiatric diagnostic bible, per se, which breaks down each disorder. There are many approaches used in the field of psychiatry, nursing, counseling, and social work in assisting individuals with psychiatric or mental health concerns. If you haven't gathered by this thread yet, there are even turf issues between these professions. There is often great overlap of these professions in the field. I will be the first to agree that a nurse is Not "a nurse is a nurse", their skills being the same. This is really an individual thing, what the nurse brings to the table himself/herself...the skills and training as well as the baggage. The most effective nurse stays aware of the baggage and leaves it on the stoop...away from the patient. Some nurses are more skilled at that, some are not. It goes the same for the other professions just mentioned. What makes a good nurse a good nurse? What makes a good social worker a good social worker? What makes a good doctor a good doctor? Unfortunately, many who seek this "mental health" profession as their chosen profession have or have had mental health issues of their own at one time or know those who do. How many psychiatric nurses can honestly say they have not had the pleasure in working with a mental health care provider (nurse, social worker, doctor, counselor) who suffers from an eating disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, substance addiction, or a personality disorder? This occurs also in the non-psychiatic category of care providers, but the psychiatic/mental health field seems to draw more folks with unresolved issues or mental health concerns. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It does allow more understanding and empathy for a patient who is struggling with his/her own mental health difficulties. The problem is when the care provider stops being a therapeutic tool for the patient and uses the patient for their own needs. There are alot of codependent nurses out there, as well as social workers, etc....not helpful. Again, what makes a good care provider with a patient with emotional or mental health needs?...to listen TO the patient in a non judgemental way and without your own personal agenda. A psychiatric patient is Much More than his/her diagnosis. In this respect, a (W)Holistic approach is often very helpful. We attempt to do this by bringing together a multidisciplinary team to discuss a patient's case from different perspectives. People do not become ill for no reason. There are usually reasons, usually several. You have to listen. You pack on enough stress even to the most healthiest person, that person will eventually reach his/her threshold and develop an illness...physical and/or psychiatric. In the future a-rose, ask a more specific question to get an answer you seek. It is easy for folks to go off track when you pose a very broad, general question such as this.