Importance Of Nursing In Nursing

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4. THE IMPORTANCE OF ADVOCACY IN OVERCOMING STIGMA Mental illness remains “invisible” in many ways, and carries with it a history of stigma and fear (Burris, S. 2008). Nurses are in a position to challenge some of the stereotypes surrounding mental illness, and to advocate for a real system of care (Burris, S. 2008). Changes in the mental health field have had profound effects for nurses working in the area (Weir, E. & Wallington, T. 2001). Nurses working in psychiatric hospitals and general hospitals have seen major changes in treatment regimes (Weir, E. & Wallington, T. 2001). Every nurse is, in principle, a mental health nurse, but it takes skills, training, and specialization to become a mental health nurse (Aranha A.L. et al, 2000). “Non-psychiatric specialty” nurses need to get rid of their fear of working with patients with psychiatric disorders, and one way is through education (Aranha A.L. et al, 2000). General nurses do tend to feel that working with patients with mental illness is out of their scope of understanding (Aranha A.L. et al, 2000). There has been a general trend, away from some of the more controversial treatments, such as electroconvulsive therapy, to more extensive use of pharmaceuticals and counseling and nurses in these settings are developing more advanced skills, particularly in assessment and counseling (Canadian Nurses Association, 1992). Nurses, particularly those working in emergency rooms, have to develop skills to deal with patients in
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