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  • 21 June 2012
  • 2 min read

Find out more about mental health nursing

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We've found an interesting resource for those in mental nursing and thought we'd share it with you.

When you work in mental nurse jobs, advocacy becomes a stronger part of your role.

Like learning disability nurse jobs, you are working with particularly vulnerable people. As such, part of your role as health provider is to make sure they are supported to clearly state their desires and preferences in a way that has people take notice.

Of course, you know this. Patient preference and patient-centred planning is firmly part of practice now. But how sure are you that you are definitely only advocating your service user's values?

Can we be sure?

How do you assess your practice when it comes to advocating what is right and best for your patient?

Part of our internal biases in this area is down to the fact that doing 'what is right' is a strongly emotional and moral area. We do the things we do because we think we are right about them and they seem the most logical course – why else would we do them?

However, as we know, everyone's different and everyone has different social and cultural logic.

At times, this can get swept away by the desire to 'do the right thing'. As a student social worker reflected: " They teach us what values we should have ... but we never havespace to talk about our own values ... and so we don’t think aboutour clients’ values" - 'Whose Values?' (2004, p5), Woodbridge and Fulford

To reflect this need for consideration and self-assessment, the Salisbury Centre for Mental Health has produced a workbook for practitioners to assess where their own values and their patients' values intersect in order to make sure they are advocating the right ones.

It addresses the need for individuals to have the space where they can consider their values, look at just what values are and where they come from. It also outlines how to carry out values-based practice.

Chapters cover how to be aware, how to reason, knowledge contexts and communication skills with later chapters outlining how to take this understanding and put it into meaningful practice.

It's a great resource and is undoubtedly useful for both individuals and teams in all shades of nursing and health care to work through.

You can download it at the Centre For Mental Health's website.

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About the author

I believe people should be able to choose to enjoy work. That is, choose an employer who reflects their values and provides them with a sustainable career.

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