Mental health nurses' views on therapeutic optimism

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 2012, 21 (6), pp. 497 - 503
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Registered nurses (RN) coordinate acute mental health units on a 24-hour basis and it behoves researchers to actually ask these nurses what they think contributes to their ability to work with patients in optimistic ways. In this study, 40 RN working in acute mental health settings were asked a series of questions to explore positive aspects of nursing work, which includes therapeutic optimism. Three themes were identified: (i) different ways nurses foster therapeutic optimism; (ii) perceptions of how an optimistic environment is fostered, and (iii) improvement of ward culture. Findings show the pivotal role mental health nurses have in improving teamwork, good communication, sharing, and collaboration, in addition to preceptoring and supervision. Furthermore, effective clinical management is essential to therapeutic optimism and, in this research, is considered to be the aspect of acute mental health nursing most relevant to improving the ward culture. © 2012 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.
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