Exploring the resilience of nurses providing mental health care to involuntary mental health care users
Ramalisa, Rudo Juliet
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Providing mental health care to involuntary mental health care users (MHCUs) is challenging and an ethical adversity nurses often have to deal with. The literature, in general, indicates that nurses might possess coping and resiliency in the work environment where they are often faced with adversities. However there is a paucity of information regarding the resilience of nurses providing mental health care (MHC) to involuntary MHCUs. Therefore the research objectives explored the resilience of nurses using the Connor-Davidson scale (CD-RISC), to explore and describe how nurses cope and strengthen their resilience in providing MHC to involuntary MHCUs and to formulate guidelines to strengthen the resilience of these nurses to provide quality nursing care in the work environment where MHCUs are often involuntarily admitted. To achieve these objectives, the research followed both a qualitative and quantitative approach and an exploratory and descriptive design which was contextual in nature. A convenience sampling method was used to achieve a sample size of 28 participants, who were handed questionnaires to complete, containing demographical information, the CD-RISC and a narrative. A response rate of 85.7% was reached. Quantitative data was analysed by using the SPSS programme while data from narratives, for the qualitative data, were grouped and themed. The results in the first phase indicated that resiliency was high amongst participants, as the mean score of the CD-RISC was 79.9 out of a total score of 100; whilst only one participant scored below 50. The mean for the highest scores was on item 25 (pride in your achievements) (3.8) and item 10 (best effort no matter what) (3.6) and two critical aspects which scored low were item 18 (make unpopular or difficult decisions) and item 19 (can handle unpopular feelings) (2.3) amongst participants. Interestingly, the majority of participants (66.7%) do not have training in psychiatric nursing. In the second phase, two themes were identified from the questions. The first theme “Coping mechanisms” identified four methods to cope with involuntary MHCUs. These subthemes are “support system”, "knowledge, skills and experience”, “nurse-patient relationship” and “spirituality and selfcare”. The second theme “Resilience strategies” brought forth five subthemes as follows: “support”, “trained staff”, “security measures and safety”, “teamwork” and “in-service training and education”. Conclusions suggest that nurses are resilient to provide MHC for involuntary MHCUs. Furthermore, they take pride in their achievements and have passion for their work. On the contrary, they find it difficult to make unpopular decisions which affect others and to handle unpleasant feelings. This is indicative of internal conflict and difficulty in being assertive. Nurses take pride in their achievements and want to give nursing care that’s in the best interest of the MHCUs whilst they feel that they might not always be able to do so due to the involuntary nature of the MHCUs admission and treatment. Recommendations for nursing practice, namely guidelines to strengthen the resilience of nurses providing mental health care to involuntary MHCUs could be developed from the research findings. Facilitating assertiveness and a supportive environment might strengthen resilience and should be addressed by management and supervisors. Recommendations for nursing education and further research were also formulated.
- Health Sciences