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Mental Health Essay: Nursing Students Prioritising Mental Illness Analysis to Render Care


Task: Develop a mental health essay critically analysing the case scenario of two nursing students who are prioritising mental health examination of patients to render care?


It is evident in the mental health essaythat nursing students while transitioning to practice need to have an accurate understanding of mental as well as physical health for rendering care to patients. Especially when a patient experiences comorbidity then there is a tremendous impact of one aspect of physical health on the other and vice versa. This assists students in undertaking an appropriate recovery model of care for enhancing their services of practice to the patient. Examination of a “mental state” by undertaking a “comprehensive assessment” of a person assists in prioritization delivery of care. In the current case scenario of mental health essay, the examination of two persons Janice and Samprit (nursing students) have been undertaken to reflect of steps to engage in and supporting person with mental health needs within a hospital environment such as the “Emergency Department” or any other busy wards for ensuring their needs are met.

Nursing student Janice is keen for working in the “Intensive Care Unit” post her graduation. Also, Samprit, a nursing student wishes to work in the “Emergency Department”post his graduation where he can make use of quick thinking coupled with fast action for saving lives (Ohrnberger et al, 207). However, both the students are unaware of the relevance to learning regarding caring for a patient with “lived experience of mental illness”, “mental health recovery”, “consumer and carer centered approaches”, or regarding the “most common mental health disorders”. These fresh graduates think that it is a waste of time on occasional drunk or madman, who might cross their path, totally disregarding aspects of mental health, pointing out that they do not desire career in “mental health nursing”.

There has been a clear differencemade between the mind and the body, however, when rendering nursing care, “mental health and physical health” should not be considered as being separate entities (Naylor et al, 2016).“Poor physical health” can increase risks of developing “mental health problems”, on the other hand, “poor mental health” can impact in a negative manner leading to increased risks from certain conditions and comorbidities. Nursing professionals need to consider psychological wellbeing while rendering treatment to physical symptoms and vice versa. In case nursing health professionals do not have knowledge of treating physical or mental health conditions then it might not be possible to render a complete patient-centric care plan.

Poor mental health is not only associated with being a drunkard or madman, there are various other clinical manifestations of poor mental health as well. As discussed in the mental health essay, there have been numerous ways in which “poor mental health” has a detrimental “impact on the physical health” of individuals. Studies reveal that people experiencing“highest levels of distress” were at 32% increased risks to have died from cancer. Depreciation is seen to have increased risks of coronary heart diseases as well. Schizophrenia has been seen to increase risks of “death from heart disease” and three times the risks from respiratory diseases. There is a high correlation that indicates that individuals with “mental health conditions” have been seen less likely to receive physical healthcare treatment. Mental health patients are less likely to receive any kind of routine checks such as pressure checks, weight, cholesterol which might reveal their underlying health conditions (Biddle et al, 2019). Hence, they might also not receive healthcare interventions as opposed to people who are seen not associated with mental health conditions. Lifestyle factors can bring about tremendous impacts on both metals as well as physical health. In turn promotion of positive mental health cannot be overlooked while treating physical conditions. Thus, understanding the high persisting levels of people with comorbid conditions of physical and mental health issues can have high impacts on one another. Nursing professionals need to evaluate the impact of one aspect of health on the other while evaluating a patient's health condition in order to plan and provide appropriate nursing interventions.

Nurses transitioning to practice such as Janice and Samprit especially need to understand the recovery model of care utilized by mental health for enhancing their practice.The recovery model provides a holistic and “person-centered approach” to “mental health care” (Newman et al, 2015). This model of healthcare has gained quick momentum in the last decade and has emerged a “standard model of mental health care”. Through the application of the recovery model, it will be possible to make patients recover from a “mental health condition” and has emerged the most effective process that is patient-directed. This model explored in this segment of mental health essayforms the basis that individuals can recover from their mental illnesses and live a full and satisfying life. Though until the mid-seventies, multiple practitioners believed that people with “mental health conditions” were doomed with their illnesses and will not be able to make many contributions to society. However long-term studies of people with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorders, proved to be false, establishing that people with mental illnesses can recover and lead a normal life (Kilbourne et al, 2018). Knowledge of this model for transitioning nurses into practice can help them assist their patient to recover or overcome their mental health condition and deal with their physical conditions only or other comorbidities. The model allows a nurse to assume a holistic view of a person's life, which in turn improves the health and wellness of the individual through a “self-directed life” and to reach their full potential. Dimensions as per this model that supports recovery from mental illness include health, home, purpose, and community. The utilization of a recovery-based model can emerge to be effective for practicing nurses to render patient-centric care post undertaking a comprehensive assessment of patient condition (Le Boutillier et al, 2015). Also, the principles of treatment of this model emerge from hope hence nurses will need to provide person-driven holistic pathways that are culturally influenced and which involves the individual, family as well as the community.

Understanding the importance of the effect of physical health on mental and vice versa, it cannot be over-emphasized that mental state examination needs to be undertaken for a “comprehensive assessment” of a person while prioritizing the delivery of care (McGrath et al, 2014).“Mental state examination (MSE)” is a crucial part of all “clinical assessment” procedures. It provides a “structured way of observing and describing a patient's psychological functioning” at a given point in time. By way of judging regarding appearance, behaviors, attitude, mood, speech, affect, and though process determined by way of perception, cognition thought content, judgment, and insight (Lees et al, 2014). Thus, with appropriate assessment of MSE, a comprehensive cross-sectional description of the mental state of the patient taken together with historical as well as biographical information of psychiatric history, a nurse will be able to undertake accurate diagnosis and formulation for the purpose of coherent treatment planning (Jokinen et al, 2015). Such examination will also allow nurses to understand the underlying impact of a mental health condition on physical health and other comorbidities.

Nurses graduating such as Janice orSamprit need o to undertake appropriate steps to engage with and support persons with mental health needs in a hospital environment. Firstly, people admitted in the “Emergency Department” or any other ward with the physical ailment might appear to be going through a tough time but it is not easy to determine if the patient is facing a mental health problem or not. Nurses hence need to respond in a sensitive manner while carrying out diagnosis/ comprehensive assessment of a person with mental illness. Once diagnosed that the patient has mental illness then the nurse needs to undertake steps to engage the patient and provide adequate interventions to the patient. The nurse needs to talk with the patient regarding the mental health issue facing them with a non-judgemental approach such that patient-centric care can be rendered (Kates et al, 2018). Nurses need to allow the patient to share as much as possible such that the patient feels they are being heard. It is crucial to engage patients in their treatment planning through open-ended questions and to talk regarding their wellbeing. Also, nurses need to listen carefully to what the patient is saying prior to undertaking any treatment planning and then offering professional support to the patient (Reisner et al, 2015). Finally, when rendering such care planning it is essential that nurses know their limits and undertake appropriate precautions to prevent any harm from occurring to the patient or to themselves.

By concluding the above discussion on mental health essay, it can be stated that it is extremely crucial and vital for transitioning nurses to realize the importance and effect of “mental health on physical health” and vice versa. Nurses need to adopt an appropriate recovery-oriented model for supporting people with mental health needs in the hospital environment. Prior to extending support to patients with “mental health needs”, nurses through MSE need to undertake assessment and understand the impending health needs. Undertaking comprehensive assessment will enable nurses to render a person-oriented recovery model for mental health support which in turn will enable dealing with physical health conditions and comorbidities as well appropriately. Through appropriate engagement and support provided to the patient, it will be possible to meet the needs of the patient requiring mental health treatment and support.

Biddle, S. J., Ciaccioni, S., Thomas, G., &Vergeer, I. (2019). Physical activity and mental health in children and adolescents: An updated review of reviews and an analysis of causality. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 42, 146-155.

Jokinen, H., Melkas, S., Ylikoski, R., Pohjasvaara, T., Kaste, M., Erkinjuntti, T., &Hietanen, M. (2015). Post?stroke cognitive impairment is common even after successful clinical recovery. Mental health essayEuropean Journal of Neurology, 22(9), 1288-1294.

Kates, N., Arroll, B., Currie, E., Hanlon, C., Gask, L., Klasen, H., ...& Williams, M. (2018). Improving collaboration between primary care and mental health services. The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry.

Kilbourne, A. M., Beck, K., Spaeth?Rublee, B., Ramanuj, P., O'Brien, R. W., Tomoyasu, N., &Pincus, H. A. (2018). Measuring and improving the quality of mental health care: a global perspective. World psychiatry, 17(1), 30-38.

Le Boutillier, C., Chevalier, A., Lawrence, V., Leamy, M., Bird, V. J., Macpherson, R., ...& Slade, M. (2015). Staff understanding of recovery-orientated mental health practice: a systematic review and narrative synthesis. Implementation Science, 10(1), 87. Lees, R., Selvarajah, J., Fenton, C., Pendlebury, S. T., Langhorne, P., Stott, D. J., & Quinn, T. J. (2014).

Test accuracy of cognitive screening tests for diagnosis of dementia and multidomain cognitive impairment in stroke. Stroke, 45(10), 3008-3018.

McGrath, J. J., Petersen, L., Agerbo, E., Mors, O., Mortensen, P. B., & Pedersen, C. B. (2014).A comprehensive assessment of parental age and psychiatric disorders. JAMA psychiatry, 71(3), 301-309.doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.4081

Naylor, C., Das, P., Ross, S., Honeyman, M., Thompson, J., &Gilburt, H. (2016).Bringing together physical and mental health. King's Fund.

Newman, D., O'Reilly, P., Lee, S. H., & Kennedy, C. (2015). Mental health service users' experiences of mental health care: an integrative literature review.Mental health essay Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing, 22(3), 171-182.

Ohrnberger, J., Fichera, E., & Sutton, M. (2017). The relationship between physical and mental health: A mediation analysis. Social Science & Medicine, 195, 42-49.

Reisner, S. L., Vetters, R., Leclerc, M., Zaslow, S., Wolfrum, S., Shumer, D., &Mimiaga, M. J. (2015). Mental health of transgender youth in care at an adolescent urban community health center: a matched retrospective cohort study. Journal of Adolescent Health, 56(3), 274-279.


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