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Competence in providing mental health care : a grounded theory analysis of nurses' experiences
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by J Sharrock, Brenda Happell
Objective: In view of the evidence that general nurses have difficulty in caring for patients experiencing mental health problems, the aim of this study was to explore and describe the subjective experience of nurses in providing care for this client group. Design: A grounded theory approach was used. The data were collected via semi-structured individual interviews and analysed using the constant comparative method. Setting: The study was conducted with nurses from general health care settings that provide medical and surgical care and treatment. Subjects: Four nurses who were completing their second year post graduation participated in the study. Main outcome measure: The experiences of providing care for people experiencing a mental illness as described by participants. Results: The findings indicated the nurses were striving for competence in the provision of mental health care. They acknowledged the mental health needs o fpatients and their right to quality care. Conclusions: This study supports the notion that general nurses lack confidence when caring for patients with mental health problems in medical and surgical settings. It also highlights a discrepancy between the holistic framework encouraged at undergraduate level and what is experienced in practice.