issues and challenges encountered by mental health nurses,consumers and their families

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Psychiatric Nursing: Issues and Challenges Understanding psychiatric nursing practice requires various lenses because mental illness, the profession, and the professional interact within a given social context that is influenced by intermingling factors (socio-cultural, economic, and political) that constantly undergo changes and in turn effect changes.


How is it different from other nursing practices? Is it really needed? How should it operate – with autonomy or under the auspices of doctors? With those issues and challenges confronting psychiatric nursing practice, what then could be the future of psychiatric nursing? Defining the Profession Defining psychiatric nursing alone is proven difficult and controversial for two major reasons. First, nursing itself to which psychiatric nursing is part of the nursing practice continuum (Ballard, 2008) cannot also be defined without difficulty. What made defining nursing difficult, Brenner (1984) argues, is the lack of a well-defined theory that embodies the unique and rich knowledge of the nursing clinical practice, while nursing is being taught to include both theory (‘knowing that’) and practice (‘knowing how’); but until today, it is through practice – the least studied area – that nursing is being pursued. This theoretical deficiency in nursing, she furthers, is due to the failure of nurses themselves to chart their own practices and clinical observations, which should have been rich sources of theoretical knowledge. (As cited in Ellis & Hartley, 2004, p. 150) This holds true in psychiatric nursing. ...
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