Nursing students often encounter patients with mental health issues; thus, prerequisite knowledge about mental health and illness is essential. Background in mental health deprives the fear and uncertainties nurses might encounter in hospitals. I do not fear anything about mental health nursing because it is inseparable from nursing practice. I am determined to learn mental health nursing because all nurses should be conscious of what they say and act, making this a fundamental skill for all health practitioners. The slightest intonation and vocal inflection could trigger undesirable effects among the patients. As a result, nurse-patient relationships are a form of “therapeutic” because body language and verbal and non-verbal communication are critical for cordial working relationships.
The nurse-patient relationship is built on desirable interpersonal communication that bolsters rapport between nurses and clients. According to Hartley, Raphael, Lovell, and Berry (2020), a person must possess various personal attributes in a nurse-patient interaction that will play a critical role in an individual growth as a nurse. For example, I show patients compassion, respect, empathy, trust, honesty, friendliness, and exceptional communication abilities in my workplace.
A nurse can connect emotionally with patients because of their personal experiences. For instance, it is much easier to empathize with someone if someone has gone through something similar. In addition, considering the patient’s ethnic and cultural values promotes my rapport with the patients. Before administering any treatment, it is a norm that I have to ask the patients a few questions about their cultural background. Though inquisitive, I maintain politeness, observe the best technique and body language to use in communication, and assure patients of their information confidentiality.
Mental health knowledge is critical to all nursing practitioners because it boosts and appreciates the importance of the nurse-patient relationship. Observing interpersonal communication and intonation while communicating with patients benefits the nurses and patients. It is commonplace to encounter patients with mental health conditions, and nurses should know how to communicate and deal with unique cases. Failure to accept the facts related to mental health will stifle other nurses from progressing with their careers.
Hartley, S., Raphael, J., Lovell, K., & Berry, K. (2020). Effective nurse–patient relationships in Mental Health Care: A systematic review of interventions to improve the therapeutic alliance. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 102, 103490. Web.