Evaluating mental health nurses’ confidence in recognising a physically deteriorating patient
evidence and practice    

Evaluating mental health nurses’ confidence in recognising a physically deteriorating patient

Marie King Student Allocations and Clinical Placement Coordinator, Nurse Education Centre, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Brian Keogh Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Gráinne Donohue Research Fellow, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Why you should read this article:
  • To familiarise yourself with the importance of recognising the signs and symptoms of a deteriorating patient in mental health settings

  • To learn how using an Early Warning Score can support nurses to recognise when patients are deteriorating

  • To understand how to improve the confidence of mental health nurses in recognising deteriorating patients

Background People who experience serious mental health issues are at an elevated risk of premature death. Research demonstrates that serious adverse events in mental health settings can be avoided through the recognition and appropriate response to early signs of physiological deterioration.

Aim To evaluate the self-reported confidence of mental health nurses in recognising physically deteriorating patients in a mental health setting.

Method This pilot study used a quantitative survey to capture 22 mental health nurses’ confidence in clinical decision-making before and after an educational workshop using the National Early Warning Score (NEWS). Participants were requested to make clinical decisions about the management of two case studies (patient A and patient B). The NEWS workshop was piloted in a ward for older people with mental health issues.

Results Mental health nurses’ levels of confidence in managing physically deteriorating patients improved after the NEWS workshop.

Conclusion Following the implementation of a NEWS workshop, mental health nurses demonstrated improved confidence in clinical decision-making about physically deteriorating patients, albeit in an educational setting.

Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2020.e1519

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

@DonohueGrainne

Correspondence

donohuga@tcd.ie

Conflict of interest

None declared

King M, Keogh B, Donohue G (2020) Evaluating mental health nurses’ confidence in recognising a physically deteriorating patient. Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2020.e1519

Published online: 24 November 2020

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