Improving Group Skills For Nurses Within A Participatory Action Research Project

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Authors: Daniel Nicholls, Mervyn Love, VIC

Year: 2003

Event: 2003 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Essential Skills for Treatment, nursing

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

ISBN: 1876939184

Abstract: The running of group activities, once an almost universal psychiatric nursing practice, has been on a steady decline within the mental health system over recent years. In Bunjil House, a secure extended regional service of Austin Health, Melbourne, this trend was also apparent. Increased workloads and increased acuity of consumers are some of the reasons that have been cited as contributing to this general decline. Nursing skills in this area suffered as a consequence, and nurses lacked confidence in taking responsibility for running groups. Group skills, however, are considered to be a core competency of psychiatric nursing, and an important means of promoting positive self-esteem in consumers. In an attempt to reinvigorate this activity, a participatory action research mentorship project was undertaken between September 02 and March 03 to enhance the nurses' group work skills and to increase the range of activities offered for consumers on the unit. The aim of this presentation was to both outline the project and to show how it significantly contributed to outcomes and a positive change in the broader culture of the Unit for both consumers and staff.

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