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Importance of Psychology

The Importance of Psychology and Psychological Thinking in Nursing and Psychiatric Nursing Largo Wittstadt Eastern University

Psychology in Nursing

Abstract Psychology plays a large role in all aspects of nursing. As a nurse is responsible for more than just the physical well being of their patient, they must work to understand aspects of psychology in order to provide the best care and protection possible for their patient. The emotional and sometimes even spiritual health becomes the nurses responsibility. Within Psychiatric Nursing, the role of psychology is more prominent, mainly because the patients are stricken with psychological disorders. Using the same psychological thinking and processes that all nurses use, but in a higher context, psychiatric nurses are able to provide more exemplary care and treatment, as well as diagnosis for their patients.

Psychology in Nursing

Every time someone has a thought, makes a decision, or carries through with an action, they add more data and information to psychology, and psychological processes. When Tolkien sat down to write the Hobbit, as Mozart composed his last sonata, as a mom starts to prepare dinner for her kids as they do homework, they were all employing skills that are studied and intertwined with the mental processes studied in psychology. Nursing employs the subject of psychology almost as much as psychologists do themselves, in order to provide the best care possible, diagnose the mental state of patients and family/friends, and in order to treat properly. Psychological thinking and psychological skills are essential in nursing, especially when it comes to treatment of patients. Psychology is so intertwined with nursing, that many nurses dedicate their lives to the treatment of its various disorders: psychiatric nurses. Psychiatric nurses use psychological studies more than any other nursing field; however every nurse should be versed in the basics of psychology that will be needed throughout the field. Using ideas and theories from psychology, a nurse is able use aspects these aspects to identify emotions, recognize behavioral habits, and treat patients accordingly. Because psychology is the study of the mind, it would only make sense that nurses use psychology to determine the mindset and personality of their patients. Knowing a patients personality; their fears, hopes, dreams, things that make them happy, things that will cause them to turn inward, a nurse can build a trust centered relationship with the patient, and use their knowledge in their interactions. Using this knowledge will make it easier for a nurse who has the trust of a patient to convince a patient to take their medication, or do exercises as instructed by a doctor.

Psychology in Nursing

Nurses use psychological thinking much more than many think, just going through the process of a normal day. Despite using aspects of psychology during an examination of a patient, do they look nervous, in pain, afraid, an assessment goes much deeper than the physical examination and analyzation of symptoms. Instead a nurse must use all of the senses, and then critically analyze the data intake to come up with a thorough diagnosis. This diagnosis should go beyond just the physical diagnosis; instead the nurse must also look at the mental status of the patient. In the case of psychological disorders the mental status is critical to any evaluation of the sensory-perceptual process (Berman, pg. 1003). Even if the patient displays no signs of a psychological disorder, mental status evaluation can also alert the nurse to the possible reactions of the patient based on the news they will receive, and allow them to broach the subject in a delicate manner. Every year it seems as though there are more and more people diagnosed with various psychological disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimers and many others. No psychological disorder should be taken lightly, and psychiatric nursing is an important part in the healing process for those afflicted. Psychiatric nursing as defined by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) says that Psychiatric mental health nursing is a specialty within nursing. Psychiatric mental health registered nurses work with individuals, families, groups, and communities, assessing their mental health needs. The PMHN develops a nursing diagnosis and plan of care, implements the nursing process, and evaluates it for effectiveness. Though all categories of nursing display aspects of psychology, psychiatric nursing is prominent in that the area uses the most processes and aspects of psychology, going beyond basic treatment methods. Most aspects of

Psychology in Nursing

psychology are essential for psychiatric nursing, because a PN will be working with all ranges of mental disorders, in all ages and types of people. Psychological knowledge is important for nurses working in this field, because while working with patients, nurses will often have to act as a psychotherapist, analyzing the mood for possible mood swings, medication results, and the level of comfort and care necessary for each patient that may be overlooked by a busy doctor and/or therapist. The nurse can become just as important and essential to the recovery process as a psychologist, and even more so because they are the ones who will interact on more frequent basis with the patient (Nurse Source). Nurses are just as necessary to running a hospital, doctors office, or psych ward, as the surgeons, doctors, and interns and psychiatric nurses are almost more important when it comes to the healing and recovery of their patients. Psychiatric nurses are the ones who monitor sleeping habits and deliver medication. They record the reactions to medications, and more advanced nurses may change the medication dose to find a more appropriate reaction. All of this involves the use of psychological processes. Sleep, and sleep habits are necessary for proper mental function, and fall under the category of psychological studies, as does the effects medication has on the brain. Psychiatric nurses are responsible for the mental status of their patients, and different people can respond on several extremes on the same medication. Knowing what may be happening on a chemical level within their patients, as well as on a mental and physical level helps a nurse, even ones outside of the psychiatric field, to administer aid in a proper fashion.

Psychology in Nursing

While nurses are responsible for much more than just the physical care of their patients, they also must be sure to remain responsible for their own personal well being ("Emotional health," 2011). All people should be working to take care of their mind and bodies but nurses need emotional stability to cope with human suffering, emergencies, and other stresses (Shives, 2008). If the nurse is not mentally stable, it is highly likely that he/she will be pulled under by the tremendous amount of illness, pain, and disorder that is found within every patient. Psychological balance is necessary, not just for the patient but also for the care-givers. If a nurse allows him/herself to become drawn in deeply to their patients pain, they can lose focus from their job and duty. This is not to say that an emotional connection to the patient is not important, but that the emotions must be kept from ruling the nurses life after the patient has finished treatment in whatever way they do. Conclusion In all areas of nursing, psychology plays a large and important role. Though Psychiatric Nursing uses, and displays the use of psychological thinking the most, it is prevalent in all parts of a nurses processes as they interact, treat, and care for their patients. Psychology plays a major aspect in all parts of life, but especially within all areas of nursing.

Psychology in Nursing

References Emotional health. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/topics/emotion/index.aspx Nurse Source. (n.d.). Psychiatric-mental health nurse. Retrieved from http://www.nursesource.org/psychiatric.html Shives, L. (2008). Basic Concepts of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing (7 ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=3gA4ncoe3gYC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=Psyc hiatricNursingInformatics&ots=E7RMps0e3U&sig=9k4qXW0bSbPjpUX9ARogSFb9lfk Wikipedia. (2011). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychiatric_and_mental_health_nursing

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