Have you got what it takes? Nursing in a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit

Gwinner, Karleen & Ward, Louise (2015) Have you got what it takes? Nursing in a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit. The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, 10(2), pp. 101-116.

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Abstract

Purpose

A Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and or High Dependency Unit (HDU) is a locked, intensive treatment facility available to people experiencing acute psychiatric distress. For many people who access public mental health services in Australia, the PICU/HDU is the primary point of admission, and should represent and facilitate timely assessment and an optimum treatment plan under a recovery framework. Nurses are the largest health discipline working in this specialty area of care. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study aimed to investigate the skills, experience, and practice, of nurses working in the PICU/HDU in relation to a recovery model of care. Identifying how nurses provide care in the PICU/HDU will inform a clinical practice guideline to further support this specialty area of care. Four focus groups were facilitated with 52 registered nurses attending.

Findings

The nurse participants identified specific skills under four distinct themes; Storytelling, Treatment and recovery, Taking responsibility, and Safeguarding. The skills highlight the expertise and clinical standard required to support a recovery model of care in the PICU. Research limitations/implications – The research findings highlight urgency for a National PICU/HDU clinical practice guideline.

Practical implications

A PICU/HDU practice guideline will promote the standard of nursing care required in the PICU/HDU. The PICU/HDU needs to be recognised as a patient centred, therapeutic opportunity as opposed to a restrictive and custodial clinical area.

Social implications

Providing transparency of practice in the PICU/HDU and educating nurses to this specialty area of care will improve client outcome and recovery.

Originality/value

Very few studies have explored the skills, experience, and practice, of nurses working in the PICU/HDU in relation to a recovery model of care. A dearth of research exists on what is required to work in this specialty area of care.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 85009
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Mental health nursing, Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit, Recovery framework
DOI: 10.1108/JMHTEP-08-2014-0021
ISSN: 1755-6228
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Mental Health Nursing (111005)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Mental Health (111714)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Deposited On: 28 Jun 2015 23:16
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2015 00:27

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