Qualities of a psychiatric nurse

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Qualities of a psychiatric nurse
Related Content-  Click the Picture Exercise, to Remember the Qualities of a psychiatric Nurse
Certain attitudes are necessary for a psychiatric nurse to deal with psychiatric patients. These include:
Self- awareness: a psychiatric nurse should have a realistic self -concept and should be able to recognize her own feelings, fantasies and fears. She should analyze her own professional strengths and limitations. Her ability to be aware and to accept her own strengths and limitations should help her see the strengths and limitations in other people.
Self-acceptance: the nurse should not only be aware, but also accept her strengths as well as her limitations. Self - understanding helps her to be assenive in life situations without being aggressive and feeling guilty.
Accepting the patient: accepting means, being non- judgmental. Acceptance conveys the feeling of being loved and cared. The nurse should accept the patient as he is, as a sick person, regardless of caste, color, race or behavior.
Being sincerely interested in patient care: Being sincerely interested in patient care means considering the patients interest. This can be demonstrated by  Studying the patient's behavior pattern
·         Allowing him to make his own choice and decisions as far as possible  
·         Being aware of his likes and dislikes
·         Being honest with him
·         Active listening
Being available: means the nurse should always be approachable to the patient. She should convey to the patient that she is available not only to meet his physical care requirements, but also to assist him in dealing with his psychological needs.
Empathizing with the patient: empathy is an important tool in understanding other's feelings. It is process where a person gets into another person's situation and experiences what the other person feels and then is able to step back and analyze the situation.
Reliability: The nurse must demonstrate honestly, truthfulness, resourcefulness and competence in her dealings with the patients and their families. She must prove herself to be trustworthy and as a person who can be relied upon in any situation.
Professionalism: developing the professional skills of a psychiatric nurse is dependent upon learning as much as possible about the patient, his illness and the helping role of the nurse as it specifically applies to the patient.
Accountability: according to Peplau (1980), the need for personal accountability and professional integrity as greater in psychiatric practice than in any other typed of health care. Mental health nurses are accountable for the nature of the effort they make on behalf of patients and answerable to patients for the quality of their efforts.
The ability to think critically: It is crucial for mental health nurse, a critical thinker analyzes information before drawing conclusions about it. It is purposeful, reasonable. reflective thinking that drives problem solving and decis making and aims to make judgements based on evidence.
Genuineness: means that the nurse is an open, honest, sincere person who is actively involved in the relationship. Genuineness means that the nurse's response is sincere, that the nurse is not thinking and feeling one thing and saying something different.
Respect: also called nonposessive warmth or unconditional positive regard The patient is regarded as a person of worth and is respected as such.
Concreteness: involves using specific terminology rather than abstractions when discussing the patient's feelings, experiences, and behavior. It avoids vagueness and ambiguity and is the opposite of generalizing, labeling and making assumptions about the patient's experiences.

References
l . Stuart CW, Sundeen SJ. Principles and Practice of Psychiatric Nursing. Philadelphia; Mosby;1997.
2. Boyd MN. Psychiatry nursing contemporary practice. Philadelphia: Lippincott; 2002.
3. Kaplan HI, Sadock BJ. Synopsis of Psychiatry. New Delhi: Blwaverly Pvt Ltd; 1998.
4. Sreevani R. A Guide to Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing.3 rd ed. Jaypee brothers; New Delhi: 2010.




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Qualities of a psychiatric nurse
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