What to expect during my Mental Health rotation.

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    Hi all! I'm starting Mental Health this month and I wanted to ask if anyone can give me some info or heads up on all aspects of Mental Health Nursing. I want to make this a great experience but are there any concept that key to understanding Mental Health?
    Thanks in advance!

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  2. 4 Comments...

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    First off, don't take anything personally. The patients you are going to be dealing with are mentally ill, this does not mean character defect. Mental illness is just that--an illness. That unfortunetely manifests itself in behaviors as opposed to for instance blood sugars or blood pressures. Lots of re-direction and staying on task. A good theraputic tool "what does this have to do with right now? Lets talk about right now". Just because someone is mentally ill does not mean they are not intelligent, members of someone's family, or incapable of learning coping skills. Some of the kindest compassionate people I have encountered have been mentally ill people who don't feel judged or degraded. They did not choose this. Good luck, and you may fine this is your niche.
    302queen likes this.
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    Communication techniques are important. To keep a good conversation going use open ended non judgmental questioning. Try not to ask closed ended yes or no questions.
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    Communication techniques is key! Also, make clear your values/beliefs about mental illness now and reflect on your experiences and how it has changed later.

    On the more "technical" side:

    -Know your common illnesses and key nursing diagnoses/interventions for each (major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, etc.)
    -Study up your MSE, especially risk assessment
    -Study your psychotropic medications
    -Know the law! Make sure you understand some legal tidbits in regards to mental health nursing and understand your jurisdiction's Mental Health Act (or equivalent)
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    Sorry I'm later everyone but thanks for all your input! I do appreciate it!


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