username3472184
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What do you do on the daily ?
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mel_l218
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I am not a mental health nurse but this link may help you find out more about mental health nurses and what their role involves: https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/exp...l-health-nurse
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username3472184
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(Original post by mel_l218)
I am not a mental health nurse but this link may help you find out more about mental health nurses and what their role involves: https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/exp...l-health-nurse
I want to talk to an actual mental health nurse though
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mel_l218
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I understand, hopefully another forum member can give more insight into mental health nursing for you.
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TurboTub
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I'm a final year MH nursing student about to graduate so may be able to help. There are different roles a MH nurse can do, with a big difference between working on a ward and working in the community. Services are also split between: Child and Adolescents (CAMHS), Working Age Adults (WAA) and Older Age Adults.

I'm currently just finishing my final placement with a WAA community mental health team (CMHT), nurses here usually have a caseload of about 30 service users who have a variety of disorders. The more ill clients we aim to see once a week, whereas some are only seen once a month. Normally the patient comes into our offices to be seen, but on occasion we go out to the client’s home. Usually we meet with them for 30 minutes to an hour and discuss any concerns they are having and offer advice/education and give emotional support. Depending on the clients illness and the training of the nurse we also do a bit of therapy or worksheets with the client, such as CBT for psychosis or structured clinical management.

The community nurses determine patient needs, and arrange referrals within the team – for example to see the psychiatrist for a med review or a psychologist for therapy. We’re responsible for managing the clients risk, which includes setting up a crisis and contingency plan and monitoring the clients mental state for deterioration – referring to crisis team or bed mangers if unsafe. We have to have a good knowledge about medication to offer advice and manage side effects. We also administer anti-psychotic depot IM injections to clients on a regular basis. Other tasks include triaging new referrals, new patient assessments, MDT meetings and feeding back in out-patient appointments.

The role of an inpatient nurse is rather different. Nurses are in charge of the running of the ward and dealing with any incidents – e.g. self harm (wound management), aggressive patients, patients demanding discharge etc. We have a handover meeting at the start/end of each shift giving information about patients and their risks, and report this back to their consultant during ward round. Obviously, another key role is medication rounds & depot administration. When time allows we also try to have some one-to-one time with patients however this is much less than community nursing. We aim to do a care plan for every patient, that is updated regularly. This lists what the patient hopes to get out of their stay and how we can help them. We also have to inform them of their rights (especially if they are MHA detained). We have to update any risks patients have, until their next ward round. There is some management of physical health issues, however if it’s anything serious a junior doctor is usually on call. Then we have to do some helping out with normal work around the ward as well, which includes checking physical health (BP, temp etc.), patients obs (we have different level of obs, either they are constantly with a staff member next to them, on 15 min checks or checked every hour), responding to alarms going off (which includes restraining aggressive patients), encouraging patients to eat/wash/go to groups, escorting patients out of ward, liaising with other agencies & emergency services, making beds etc.

Ward work is a lot more intense than community work - there is always something going on in mental health units and nurses are usually rushed off their feet. Hope this helps, happy to answer any more questions.
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(Original post by TurboTub)
I'm a final year MH nursing student about to graduate so may be able to help. There are different roles a MH nurse can do, with a big difference between working on a ward and working in the community. Services are also split between: Child and Adolescents (CAMHS), Working Age Adults (WAA) and Older Age Adults.

I'm currently just finishing my final placement with a WAA community mental health team (CMHT), nurses here usually have a caseload of about 30 service users who have a variety of disorders. The more ill clients we aim to see once a week, whereas some are only seen once a month. Normally the patient comes into our offices to be seen, but on occasion we go out to the client’s home. Usually we meet with them for 30 minutes to an hour and discuss any concerns they are having and offer advice/education and give emotional support. Depending on the clients illness and the training of the nurse we also do a bit of therapy or worksheets with the client, such as CBT for psychosis or structured clinical management.

The community nurses determine patient needs, and arrange referrals within the team – for example to see the psychiatrist for a med review or a psychologist for therapy. We’re responsible for managing the clients risk, which includes setting up a crisis and contingency plan and monitoring the clients mental state for deterioration – referring to crisis team or bed mangers if unsafe. We have to have a good knowledge about medication to offer advice and manage side effects. We also administer anti-psychotic depot IM injections to clients on a regular basis. Other tasks include triaging new referrals, new patient assessments, MDT meetings and feeding back in out-patient appointments.

The role of an inpatient nurse is rather different. Nurses are in charge of the running of the ward and dealing with any incidents – e.g. self harm (wound management), aggressive patients, patients demanding discharge etc. We have a handover meeting at the start/end of each shift giving information about patients and their risks, and report this back to their consultant during ward round. Obviously, another key role is medication rounds & depot administration. When time allows we also try to have some one-to-one time with patients however this is much less than community nursing. We aim to do a care plan for every patient, that is updated regularly. This lists what the patient hopes to get out of their stay and how we can help them. We also have to inform them of their rights (especially if they are MHA detained). We have to update any risks patients have, until their next ward round. There is some management of physical health issues, however if it’s anything serious a junior doctor is usually on call. Then we have to do some helping out with normal work around the ward as well, which includes checking physical health (BP, temp etc.), patients obs (we have different level of obs, either they are constantly with a staff member next to them, on 15 min checks or checked every hour), responding to alarms going off (which includes restraining aggressive patients), encouraging patients to eat/wash/go to groups, escorting patients out of ward, liaising with other agencies & emergency services, making beds etc.

Ward work is a lot more intense than community work - there is always something going on in mental health units and nurses are usually rushed off their feet. Hope this helps, happy to answer any more questions.
Hey, I found this really helpful. Could you tell me a little bit more about the role of a MH Nurse with respect to medication administration? This is the one aspect of the role that I think I would find most difficult since I believe in a holistic approach and medication as a last resort, since so much mental illness is a result of past trauma which needs to be addressed, ideally, through psychological therapy. At least, this is how I see it, having worked as a support worker in mental health settings. I know that mental health nursing, as a core profession, is a use basis for psychotherapy training later down the line. Do you know anything about this?

Many thanks in advance
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