Assessment and care planning in mental health nursing by Nick Wrycraft

By Nick Wrycraft

This booklet is a realistic and up to date textual content on overview, a basic ability for psychological healthiness nurses.

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Answer 2 is mistaken, as the mental health nurse claims to know exactly how the service user feels, which is not possible, as while their life experiences may be similar or comparable they are not the same, and so this is a false claim. Answer 4 is also incorrect, as the mental health nurse is telling the service user what they ought to have done, which could represent judging the service user. Also, this answer does not really demonstrate a commitment to listening to the person, or valuing their experience.

Therefore, in order to engage the person it is necessary for the mental health nurse to demonstrate qualities that might be worthy of the person feeling able to trust them. Q: Think of a person that you trust in your life. Whether a relative, friend or colleague, what qualities do they have that make you feel you can trust them? A: It is likely that you identified a person that understands you, values you, believes in you or has your best interests at heart. Their qualities might include: • a caring attitude • discretion/confidentiality • courage • fairness • good advice • honesty • integrity.

This is because our communication and responses will be genuine and natural, as opposed to artificial and contrived. However, it is still necessary to continually reflect, because we all have blind spots or preconceptions, and to continuously assimilate new learning into the beliefs we already hold. Q: What practical actions might we carry out to facilitate a person’s engagement? A: The simple actions that we might take include: • actively involving the person in setting the agenda for the assessment • regularly asking whether they are okay to continue • checking back using the words that person has used to ensure that the meaning of what they have said can be understood • demonstrating positive feedback for the person’s achievements, positive capabilities and strengths (continued) Engaging with the service user in assessment 25 • telling the person what assessment documentation is being completed and why • at the end of the assessment summarizing what you understand are the issues that have been discussed along with the outcomes, and asking whether there is anything that you have missed • avoiding making any comments which might seem judgemental.

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