The effects of student nurse community mental health placements on sufferers of mental health problems in the community


  • Robin M Richards BA(Hons) RMN RGN CertEd CPNCert

    Corresponding author
    1. Nurse Teacher, Sheffield and North Trent College of Nursing and Midwifery, North Derbyshire School, Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Royal Hospital, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England
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Robin M Richards, North Derbyshire School, Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Royal Hospital Chesterfield Derbyshire S44 5BL, England


The effects which student nurses have on the care of clients with mental health problems in the community is an area which has seldom been studied With the closure of large psychiatric hospitals and the rise in community placements as part of Project 2000, an increasing number of students are being placed in the community The study gathers data from clients attending five self-help/support groups in the North Derbyshire area of England Analysis of the data challenges assumptions generally held by community psychiatric nurses (CPNs) that the presence of a third person, e g student/visitor, during a CPN home visit to the client is detrimental to the therapeutic interaction between the CPN and the client The findings are inconclusive but suggest that some client groups (possibly those with long-term mental health problems) may find the presence of a student during a CPN visit facilitative The study raises the issue of the student nurse/patient power relationship within a support group Findings suggest that membership of a support group is empowering to the client and illustrates that clients in the community have greater control over the involvement of student nurses in their care than patients in hospital Groups within the sample expressed a unanimous view that student nurse placements should be long enough to allow therapeutic nurse/client relationships to develop This is in direct contrast to the current Project 2000 Common Foundation Programme approach of short observational non-institutional placements