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Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing
Dr Harry Horgan
Mental disorder can affect any of us in one way or another, either directly or indirectly through a loved one. It’s a mystifying form of illness that mostly dodges rationality. The affected individuals and families may feel hopeless, but they can seek comfort in the fact that there are several healthcare professionals to help them overcome the challenges associated with mental health disorders.
In the past decade, the treatment of mental health conditions has significantly improved. Now more than ever, psychological or psychiatric assistance is more accessible. Traditionally, if a patient required treatment for mental health disorders, they would have to seek help from a psychiatrist or psychologist. Today, it’s possible to get the same treatment from mental health or psychiatric nurses. Mental health or psychiatric nursing is a specialized field of nursing that involves the care of patients with mental health disorders.
How do psychiatric or mental health nurses help patients
Psychiatric nurses are specialists in mental health assessment, crisis intervention, medication, and therapy, as well as patient assistance. Generally, these specialists work closely with individuals to manage mental disorders to ensure they live active and satisfying lives.
Typically, psychiatric nurses work with patients suffering from the following disorders:
- Anxiety disorders such as phobias and panic attacks
- Mood disorders like bipolar disorder and depression
- Substance abuse disorders
- Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia
On the other hand, mental health nurses are experts in assessing, diagnosing, and treating psychiatric problems. Typically, they perform the following tasks to ensure they devise the right treatment for individual patients.
- Evaluate the mental health needs of the patient
- Develop treatment plans
- Provide psychotherapy services
- Provide personal care
- Coordinate with family members, doctors and other healthcare providers of the person affected
Benefits of mental health and psychiatric nursing
The integral elements of mental healthcare revolve around the relationship established between the healthcare provider and the patient. The neurologists understand that providing care to people with mental health disorders demands intensified availability and support. Luckily, mental health and psychiatric nurses can do just that and more to help patients on their road to recovery.
Offer understanding and empathy
Understanding and empathy reinforce a positive psychological balance, which provides patients with a sense of importance. Thus, patients will feel safe to freely express their feelings and thoughts without the fear of being belittled, judged or blamed. It’s common for society to stigmatize people with mental illnesses due to their condition. Thus, mental health and psychiatric nurses can empower these individuals with feelings of importance, which assures them that they matter and draws them closer to normalcy.
Provide individual care and support
In some treatment cases, getting to know a patient is essential. Thus, individualized care plays a significant role in helping nurses to view their patients as individuals beyond their mental disorder. Seeing patients as people with lives beyond their conditions ensures they feel valued and respected which ensures the needs of the individual are met.
Moreover, successful therapeutic relationships demand a positive support system. A psychiatric nurse, along with loved ones, can provide the necessary support through simple activities. For instance, having lunch or dinner with the patient, playing games or even embracing them may work wonders, especially for those suffering from depression.
More available and accessible
Mental health and psychiatric nurses are more accessible, thus readily open to several levels of personal connection with their patients. This availability from the health care provider encourages patients to open up. This enables doctors and caregivers to understand the background of the individual’s illness and devise an even better treatment plan.
Mental health and psychiatric nursing are uniquely poised to expand access to mental health care. Unlike before, patients are not restricted from seeking treatment from psychologists, psychiatrists or mental health counselors alone but nurses as well.
About Dr. Harry Horgan
Dr. Harry works at the best neuro center in Dubai, the German Neuroscience Center. He is a UK-trained Clinical Psychologist, originally from Ireland. He completed his master’s degree in Health Psychology with the University of Ulster and completed his doctoral training in Clinical Psychology at the University of East London. He has almost a decade of experience working across a diverse range of mental health and other specialist psychology services in Ireland and the U.K.