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Issues and challenges encountered by mental health nurses,consumers and their families - Essay Example

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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…
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Issues and challenges encountered by mental health nurses,consumers and their families
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Download file to see previous pages 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. ...
aviors views mental illness not as illness but more as a manifestation of unjust social order as clearly illustrated in the correlation between social status and mental illness. For example, people who live below poverty threshold or the most deprived, who belong to the marginalized racial minority, and who belong to the most vulnerable group, specifically women and children are those who suffer most, thus under too much stress, making them more vulnerable to mental illness, because the crueler, unkinder, and ruthless environment greatly threatens mental health. Furthermore, the labeling of eccentric behavior as mental illness is differentiated by the individual’s social status. It is easier for society to label eccentric behaviors as mental illness when exhibited by poor, marginalized and discriminated people than when exhibited by the socio-economically affluent. Specifically, the functionalist theory view mental illness as society’s clever way of emphasizing the normative behavior that is congruent to the existing social order; the symbolic theory sees those labeled as mentally ill not necessarily sick but rather victims of being stigmatized by the labeling, because according to the labeling theory, labels have powerful social effects. (Andersen & Taylor, 2011) Furthermore, even among psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses themselves, the classification systems being used in identifying and treating mental illnesses, specifically DSM, is also being criticized for over labeling “minor mental difficulties or understandable reactions to stressful situations” (Kalat, 2011, p. 545) as mental illnesses. These undermine the need for psychiatry, consequently psychiatric nursing. Against this difficulty, it is time to turn to the definition of the American Nurses ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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