The Art and Science of Mental Health Nursing: A Textbook of Principles and Practice

The Art and Science of Mental Health Nursing: A Textbook of Principles and Practice

The Art and Science of Mental Health Nursing: A Textbook of Principles and Practice

The Art and Science of Mental Health Nursing: A Textbook of Principles and Practice

Synopsis

What are the foundations of mental health nursing as a practice discipline and how do nurses approach their work?â· What interventions are available for mental health nurses to draw upon and how can these be applied to help people with a range of mental problems?â· What practical steps can mental health nurses take to engage clients in treatment and work with them to promote their recovery? This new textbook prepares qualified mental health nurses and those in training with the information and grounding necessary to question practice, contribute to decision making in multi-disciplinary care teams, and draw upon research-based knowledge in the delivery of care and development of mental health services. The book avoids a tendency to present a restrictive account of mental health nursing as either an â¬?artâ¬", concerned primarily with nursesâ¬" therapeutic relationships with â¬?people in distressâ¬" or a â¬?scienceâ¬", concerned with the delivery of evidence-based interventions to â¬?patients with a defined mental illnessâ¬". In reality practising nurses must be artists and scientists simultaneously and they need to find ways of integrating these elements whilst meeting service usersâ¬" demands and policy directives for mental health services. This major new work provides a resource to practising nurses to help them to meet this remit.This textbook will be essential reading for pre-registration mental health nursing students, post-qualifying mental health nurses and other health care professionals working in mental health services.

Excerpt

The 2003 annual NHS workforce census shows that there are currently 39,383 qualified whole time equivalent mental health nurses working in the NHS (DH 2004). This is the largest single professional group working in mental health services and their training and subsequent contribution to the care of people who experience mental illness is, therefore, of paramount importance. In view of this I am delighted to be associated with this exciting new textbook for mental health nurses, which is dedicated to the development of a profession that is fit for modern practice.

Drawing on the knowledge and experience of some 36 contributors – all experts within their respective fields – this major work reflects three central themes of the current change agenda facing mental health services; specifically the importance of incorporating users' preferences in the development and delivery of services, redesign of services to deliver specialist functions, and integrating health and social need into holistic packages of care that support service users to live meaningful lives in their local communities.

The editors are careful not to sideline user preferences into a single chapter or section. A few chapters have been written in partnership with service users and all chapters incorporate a user perspective regarding the interventions that are being discussed. Consequently, there is a strong sense throughout this textbook of nurses working in partnership with the people who use mental health services.

The myriad specialist functions that nurses can perform are evident throughout and are brought together in Steve Onyett's chapter that deals with functional teams and whole systems service delivery. It is increasingly clear that the specialist skills nurses bring to one service setting may no longer be easily transferable to other specialist settings. There is evidence in the authorship of chapters and their content that nurses increasingly identify with teams and functions, and the professionals they work alongside in those teams, rather than with their own professional group alone. I believe this is a necessary step to realizing the potential locked into our health and social care professions and this textbook admirably demonstrates nursing's contribution to the continued development of specialist services.

The third theme I have highlighted is the integration of health and social need into holistic packages of care that support service users to live meaningful lives in their local communities. This is perhaps our greatest challenge and requires new ways of thinking that go beyond traditional health and social care practices. We need, for example, to find ways of working with communities to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, and to develop socially inclusive practices for people that have experienced mental health difficulties. The chapter by Rachel Perkins and Julie Repper is dedicated to this task and deals specifically with the concept of recovery as a . . .

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