The role of the community mental health nurse in the administration of depot neuroleptic medication: ‘Not just the needle nurse!’

Authors

  • Eimear Caitlin Muir-Cochrane BSc (Hons), RN, RPN, Grad Dip Adult Education, MN

    1. Faculty of Nursing, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
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Abstract

The role of the community mental health nurse in the administration of depot neuroleptic medication: ‘Not just the needle nurse!’

An ethnographic study explored the nature of community mental health nurses’ involvement with clients during appointments for the administration of depot neuroleptic medication. Little has been written about this aspect of community mental health nursing practice. Findings illustrate how community mental health nurses attempt to engage clients in meaningful interactions when they attend appointments for their injections. Promoting an atmosphere of normalcy and minimising the distress of having neuroleptic medication by injection were key elements in approaches employed by nurses in this study. Results support current discussions in nursing literature concerned with the need for community mental health nurses to have well-developed interpersonal skills to enable them to capitalise therapeutically from the depot injection encounter.

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