On laying the foundations for an empirico–logical model of mental health nursing

Authors

  • Nicholas Holdsworth BA(Hons) MA RMN

    1. Stuff Nurse, Blyth Valley Rapid Assessment and Home Treatment Service, Harbour Day Unit, Blyth Community Hospital, Thoroton Street, Blyth, Northumberland NE24 7DX, England
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Abstract

This paper argues that nursing is an elemental activity, the first concern of which is a person's experience of illness, not the causes of that experience Any model of nursing should begin with an account of that experience and deduce from that what it is that nurses ought to do in order to explain what it is that they actually do The logical form of such a model is delineated An account of the experience of illness is offered and the nursing imperatives implied by such an account are stated in terms of securing client safety, obviating the client's experience by treatment and motivating the client to sustain or resume ordinary activities of life These dimensions of nursing care — safety, treatment and motivation — were tested against the actual activities of mental health nurses in three services and were found to have utility as categories of nursing activity A summary of that research is given and an outline of a model of mental health nursing suggested by the results is given

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