Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Psychiatric Nurses: Feeling Involved But Wanting More Time for Patients

In a profession where the bottom line is the "therapeutic relationship", it is not surprising that a new study shows that psychiatric nurses are highly involved in the care of patients but feel that they would see better outcomes from more involvement and more time with patients.

The results of the survey, sponsored by Janssen®, and including a total of 255 nursing professionals, are due to be discussed this week at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY. They show that almost half of the professionals surveyed identify that they do not have enough time to be involved in the provision of care. Half the participants also desired more participation in the treatment teams and the vast majority of nurses (90%) felt they had a valuable role to play in facilitating communication between patients and physicians. This appears to imply that nurses feel somewhat excluded from some levels of decision making and involvement and have a much greater role to play and more to offer.

Nurses have a high level of contact with patients, traditionally being concerned with the coal-face of care delivery on a 24 hour basis. They will often have insights and a level of relationship and rapport with a patient that can significantly contribute to team decision making and the outcome of care. In America, over 90,000 psychiatric nurses in practice represent a flexible and dynamic work force with a basic skill set that includes working with a wide range of individuals from all backgrounds, assessing mental health needs, and implementing individualised plans of care.

According to this survey, it is the time that nurses actually spend with patients that is believed to be very important in a good overall level of patient satisfaction. Nurses clearly value their roles highly, believe they are making a significant contribution to patient experience and outcomes and would relish the opportunity to be more involved at every level of developing and delivering care for their patients.

Source: Janssen®, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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