Responsibilities of a Mental Health Nurse
As with other types of nurses in the medical profession, mental health nurses are responsible for the assessment and monitoring of patients. Their relationship with those suffering from mental illness often goes beyond basic personal care, though. They have full access to patient files, and have to make sure that each patient receives their medication as prescribed.
As mentioned previously, a mental health nurse is the one medical professional who spends the most amount of time with any patient. For this reason, the nurse is accountable for recording patient behavior in their charts. This is necessary for specialist doctors to make informed decisions regarding the ongoing treatment. Different types of institutions might require additional functions from their mental health nurses depending on the level of their qualification. In a private psychiatric clinic, for instance, a mental health nurse might supervise recreational activities and therapy groups.
They can also lead groups that help patients come to terms with their diagnosis, teach them how best to manage the symptoms of their condition, as well as support groups for family and friends of the patients. Education forms a significant part of the role a mental health nurse plays – whether it be regarding the patient and managing their illness, or families and how they can support their loved one.