Principles of mental health nursing
Principles are based on the concept that individual has intrinsic worth and dignity and he has potential to grow. Principles provide sense of individuality, safety and comfort to the patient.
l. Accept the patient as human being or exactly as he is
· Non-judgmental and non-punitive.
· Show your interest in the patient as a person.
· Talk with purpose.
· Listening skills.
· Recognize and reflect on patients feelings.
· Permit the patient to express strong feelings.
2.Use self- understanding as a therapeutic tool
· Accept once own strength and weakness.
· Be assertive and realistic in life situations.
· Participate in group conferences.
· Act the way we do.
3.Use consistent behavior to increase the patient's emotional security.
· Exhibit consistency in the attitude.
· Perform consistency in the routine work.
· Define consistency in the limitation placed on the patient.
· Show consistency in our approach,
4.Reassurance should be given in subtle and acceptable manner.
· It enhances the confidence level.
· Demands, the analysis of the situations.
· Listen to patient problems without disapproval.
· Sit next to him, even he does not talk.
5.Change the patient's behavior through emotional experience not by rational interpretation.
· Focus on feelings than intelligence.
· Role play, socio-drama may evoke the Emotions and insight.
· Emotional experience brings desired changes in the behavior.
6.Avoid unnecessary increase in patient's anxiety.
· Not to show your own anxiety.
· Pointing out to patient's weakness.
· Contradicting his ideas. (Psychotic)
· No orientation to ward, co-patients etc.
7.Objective observation to understand the patient behavior
· Evaluate exactly what patient's feelings, opinion or judgment.
· Own emotional needs should not interfere with patient's needs.
· Improve the skill of predicting patients behaviors
8.Maintain realistic Nurse Patient relationship
· Focus on personal and emotional needs of patient.
· Develop realistic self- concept.
· Understand the meaning of behavior.
9.Avoid physical and verbal-force as much as possible.
· Any method of punishment must be avoided.
· Prevent onset of undesirable behavior.
· Once patient become controllable and approachable, never remind him about the incident.
10.Provide nursing care to the patient as a person and not merely to control ofsymptoms of the disease.
· Do analysis of symptoms to reveal the different meaning of behavior.
· Whole aspect of person considered for care.
11.Explain the routine and procedure at the patient’s level of understanding.
· Based on patients span of attention, Level of anxiety,
· Ability to decide etc explanation given to patient.
12.Many procedures are modified but basic principles remain unaltered.
Underlying scientific principles remains same.
Some of the principle such as safety, comfort, economy, energy, material etc intact.
Principles of psychiatric nursing are guidelines for nurses to observe in practice. Psychiatric nursing principles are based on the concept that individual has an intrinsic worth and dignity and he has potentiality to grow.
I . Stuart C W, Sundeen SJ. Principles and Practice of Psychiatric Nursing. Philadelphia; Mosby;1997.
2.Boyd MN. Psychiatry nursing contemporary practice. Philadelphia: Lippincott; 2002.
3.Sreevani R. A Guide to Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing.3rd ed. Jaypee brothers; New Delhi:2010.