Safety in Mental Health Nursing

by Brenda Marshall, EdD, MSN, RN

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    00:01 Environmental Safety in Psychiatric Nursing.

    00:05 Let's think for a minute about what environmental safety actually means and why it's so important in psychiatric nursing.

    00:16 We have to recall that people with mental illnesses, originally when we first started taking care of them were confined.

    00:26 And the reason why they were confined was because there were issues of safety, not just for the patient, for the public as well.

    00:35 Public and patient safety were of utmost concern.

    00:41 It's important also to remember that the public because of fear and perhaps mistrust of mental illness, they felt that they needed to have some level of protection from that person who had mental illness.

    00:59 But also the patient needed to have some protection because even today, we know that a person with mental illness is far more likely to be the victim of a violent act than to be the perpetrator of one.

    01:15 So we also want to think about that patient as being protected from themselves.

    01:22 Because they could have some self-directed violence, self-mutilation, or perhaps death by suicide.

    01:32 There are particular and specific nursing concepts that are in use when we're thinking about providing a safe environment, for the patient who has mental illness.

    01:45 We want to make sure that we're assuring their patients safety.

    01:50 We also want to make sure that we are taking care of quality assurance so that what they are receiving in care is of the best quality, and also that we are continually assessing to improve the quality of the care that we are giving.

    02:10 So what exactly do we mean when we talk about a safe environment? Well, let's think of this.

    02:19 Let's think of the S as meaning safe surroundings.

    02:23 Let's look at those surroundings and make sure environmentally those surroundings are not going to provide any danger to the patient or those who are in the surrounding with them.

    02:35 We also want to think about the A for assessment.

    02:40 Making sure that we're assessing for any signs of patient behaviors or emotional responses that might escalate into a crisis situation.

    02:53 The F stands for focus, focusing all of our attention on de escalating tensions and making sure that that patient feels reassured, as well as focusing on our own responses to that period of time and that environment.

    03:14 E, evaluate.

    03:16 Evaluate how is it going? Are we meeting the patient's needs? Is the patient being able to engage? We also want to make sure that we take a whole environment approach.

    03:29 That we are looking at every environment that we are providing care and to make sure that we are reducing any risk, risk of crisis, risk of violence, risk of harm.

    03:44 So first of all, we want to provide safe patients.

    03:48 We want to give them the safe environment to keep them safe in our care.

    03:54 We also want to make sure that the staff members are also safe.

    04:01 What about the visitors? We want to make sure that the visitors are safe as well.

    04:06 And that the space itself, that environment, that physical space is safe.

    04:13 But there's still another environment that we all will be providing care in.

    04:19 And that is the emotional space.

    04:21 We all have immediate emotional environments.

    04:25 And therefore when we're thinking of a safe environment, we're thinking of that holistic approach.

    04:32 The patient's, the staff members, the visitors, the physical environment, and the emotional environment.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Safety in Mental Health Nursing by Brenda Marshall, EdD, MSN, RN is from the course Accessing Acute Psychiatric Care (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Assessment
    2. Safe surroundings
    3. Focus
    4. Evaluation

    Author of lecture Safety in Mental Health Nursing

     Brenda Marshall, EdD, MSN, RN

    Brenda Marshall, EdD, MSN, RN

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