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Are mental health nurses equipped with the knowledge to effectively manage the physical health of their service users?

Dr Hussain Al-Zubaidi & Dr Shahnaz HassanDr Hussain Al-Zubaidi & Dr Shahnaz Hassan

Speaking at todays conference, Dr Hussain Al-Zubaidi and Dr Shahnaz Hassan asked are mental health nurses equipped with the knowledge to effectively manage the physical health of their service users?

The aim was to explore the level of physical observation knowledge in mental health nurses (MHNs) and   compare this with physical health nurses (PHNs). 

A 10 question test was formulated and agreed upon by a team of doctors and nurses according to curriculum items set out by the best practice competencies and capabilities for pre-registration mental health nurses.
All the volunteers completed the test anonymously under exam conditions with 10 mental health nurses and 12 physical health nurses taking part.
Department of health, NICE and best practice pre- registration competences stress the importance of adequate physical observation training.

Life Expectancy is reduced by 12.9 years for men and 11.8 years for women with any serious mental illness compared to the general UK population

A simple training program for qualified mental health nurses resulted in vastly increased results

A review of training programs for mental health nurses should be reviewed to ensure all physical health competencies are meet prior to completion of the course

All qualified mental health nurses should have access to a locally based physical health teaching program to ensure competencies are maintained during clinical practice similar to teaching programs offered to other allied health professionals.

They concluded their presentation by saying that PHNs achieved significantly higher marks than MHNs. Out of the three domains delineated in their pre-registration competencies interpretation and response to physical observations were identified as being the weakest areas and a simple training program for qualified mental health nurses resulted in vastly increased results.

"All qualified mental health nurses should have access to a locally based physical health teaching program to ensure competencies are maintained during clinical practice similar to teaching programs offered to other allied health professionals."

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Presentation Skills & Public Speaking for Nurses Masterclass
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Masterclass: Nurse Led Discharge
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Download: Dr Hussain Al-Zubaidi & Dr Shahnaz Hassan Presentation

17 November 2014

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