Becoming a mental health nurse can be a difficult yet rewarding career path. The main goal of a mental health nurse is to ensure the psychological as well as emotional health of an individual dealing with mental health issues.
If you are considering doing masters of mental health nursing, then you have found the right article. Here, we will discuss the benefits and challenges of becoming a mental health nurse, the roles they have to take, and everything in between. So without further ado, let’s get started.
What is a mental health nurse?
The need of the client or patient is what basically decides the whole role of the mental health nurse. It is very crucial that there is effective communication between mental health nurses and the clients they serve, along with the patient’s network of supporters.
They could begin the day by giving someone advice on how to properly take their prescription, then go on to suggest appropriate treatments to another client.
They collaborate closely with a diverse team that includes medical professionals, additional nurses, social workers, support staff, therapists, and psychiatrists. They perform their duties in a range of locations, including GP offices, hospitals, and people’s homes.
Mental health nurses must have a solid awareness of all major mental health problems as well as how to help those who are experiencing difficulties. They must maintain composure under pressure and be able to resolve any problems that may arise.
There is no doubt that working with a broad range of individuals with their own unique and complex problems can be a difficult role and job, but think of it from this perspective; you will be changing the lives of people for the better, essentially making the world a better place for others. Now that can be strongly fulfilling.
Role and Responsibilities of a Mental Health Nurse
A mental health nurse’s main responsibility is to help someone who is having mental health problems with their journey to recovery.
As a mental health nurse, you would collaborate with a group of experts to offer support and fundamental treatment that is usually mentioned in a client’s care plan.
The following is an example list of a mental health nurse’s routine tasks:
- Reviewing and preparing nursing care requirements.
- Organizing and managing the different tasks at hand.
- Paying a visit to the patients at their homes.
- Supporting patients and their families with understanding mental health and eliminating the stigma around it.
- Administering medication.
- Communicating with social workers, doctors, as well as other professionals.
- Doing an analysis of treatment success in a meeting with other health professionals or independently.
- Recording or updating clients’ records.
- Encouraging patients to take an interest in therapeutic activities such as listening to music, making art, or even role play.
Skills and personal qualities that make a good mental health nurse
As a mental health nurse, you do need to have a few certain skills and abilities, expertise, characteristics, and talents. These will aid you in successfully completing the goals, functions, and duties assigned to your job.
There are five abilities/ qualities that stand out as being particularly crucial for the effectiveness of personalized health assessments, diagnoses, and treatment plans for individual patients.
1. Skills in Interpersonal Communication
When a patient expresses mental health issues, the mental health nurse must actively listen to those concerns, address any misconceptions, have the patient repeat the information to make sure they understood it, and then go through the specifics of the plan with them.
This final phase might involve clarifying for the patient any aspects of the evaluation and diagnosis that they might not have comprehended. They will also go through how the patient’s mental health will be improved by the individualized treatment plan.
Empathy is the ability to identify when individuals are experiencing difficulty and to express sympathy to them. It is more of a character than a learned talent.
For psychiatric mental health nurses, whose daily work requires engaging with others who are suffering, this quality is crucial.
Nurses are able to connect to their patients and are driven to give the best care possible when they practice and show empathy.
3. Problem-Solving Skills
Being able to solve problems creatively is a requirement for a successful mental health nurse. Each patient will have a unique experience.
As a result, one of the most crucial abilities for any psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner is the ability to adapt to particular challenges and create a personalized strategy that works for each patient.
4. Analysis Skills
Strong analytical and logical thinking abilities are necessary for a mental health nurse practitioner to identify patterns in patients’ thoughts and actions and then relate them to different diagnoses.
Psychiatric nurses must develop unique healthcare treatment plans for every patient after diagnosis, including new coping mechanisms (positive self-talk, writing) to address various problems.
For the purpose of diagnosing patients and creating treatment programs, certain mental health nurses may collaborate with psychiatrists or other medical specialists.
5. Teamwork Skills
Psychiatric mental health nurses usually collaborate with other medical specialists. They must be capable of knowing when they can best assist a patient themselves, when one of their peers is more qualified to take care of the patient’s requirements, or when to seek the advice of doctors and other clinical professionals to identify the best course of action.
It will greatly help you if you are already interested in science, especially human science, to become a mental health nurse.
The basis for a great career in mental health nursing is made stronger when you have an understanding of how the brain functions.
You would need a degree in nursing. However, you can earn your bachelor of science in nursing (RN to BSN) degree and then enroll in mental health nursing training programs at several colleges.
You can opt to specialize with a one-year post-graduate master of mental health nursing or begin your career with a three-year degree.
More people will seek care for mental health issues as social understanding and acceptance of mental illness grows, helping to further reduce the stigma formerly attached to such issues.
Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners and other trained individuals will be required to meet the rising demand for mental health treatment.
This is why in today’s age, it’s worth considering pursuing a master’s in mental health nursing more than ever before.