‘I AM A STAR’: a mnemonic for undertaking a mental state examination
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‘I AM A STAR’: a mnemonic for undertaking a mental state examination

Beryl Mansel Mental health nurse lecturer, Swansea University, Swansea, Wales
Keith Bradley-Adams Senior lecturer, Swansea University, Swansea, Wales

Nurse lecturers should aim to create learning experiences that link theory and practice. The Nursing and Midwifery Council suggests that educational programmes designed to prepare nurses for practice should offer a flexible, blended approach to learning, and should draw on the full range of modern learning methods and modes of delivery. Simulation is recommended as a useful teaching and learning method to help facilitate the link between theory and practice.

This article's lead author developed an easy-to-recall mnemonic ‘I AM A STAR’ to help undergraduate mental health nursing students remember the components of a fundamental observational assessment in mental health nursing, the mental state examination (MSE). This article describes an MSE teaching workshop that used the I AM A STAR mnemonic and observational simulation. The teaching workshop was innovative, creative and engaging for students, and well evaluated. The authors propose that the I AM A STAR mnemonic is a useful assessment tool for nursing students and qualified practitioners.

Mental Health Practice. 21, 1, 21-26. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2017.e1214



Peer review

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

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 19 June 2016

Accepted: 16 November 2016

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