Mental health nurse identity at the interface of psychological therapies: Commencing the journey toward emotionally intelligent nurse training

Hurley, John M. (2009) Mental health nurse identity at the interface of psychological therapies: Commencing the journey toward emotionally intelligent nurse training. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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[Abstract]: With the expectation that MHNs now embrace psychological therapies, as well as new roles in prescribing and mental health law, a strong need exists for a discipline specific response to the inherent challenges of assuming these new responsibilities effectively. However, whether MHNs now engaged in these roles are identifying themselves as nurses or aligning themselves with the medical, social and psychological professions who historically have delivered these interventions is unknown. This study sought to offer some constructive contributions to the discourses framing the challenges related to psychological therapies through representations of the voices of MHNs situated at the interface of this role expansion and possible identity diffusion.

The study was conceptually framed by social constructionism, a theory that places high value on the power of social discourses both to inform and to form current and future realities. A qualitative research orientation with a direct phenomenological method was adopted. Data were collected through in-depth interview, and then thematically analysed with the support of NVivo 7 software.

Key findings commenced with clarification of the lifeworld in which MHNs are engaging with talk based therapies. This lifeworld was themed with low perceived worth, obstacles to success and uncertainty. Despite these challenges distinctive MHN contributions to delivering talk based therapies emerged. Most distinctive was a generic expanse of capabilities, argued as being a specialist characteristic of MHNs. Other themes included MHNs utilising their personal selves, having a profound service user focus and displaying innovations in delivering talk based therapies. Additional themes were that MHNs spent elongated times periods with users, deployed everyday attitudes and had transferable skills to engage effectively with delivering talk based therapies.

A powerful resonance was identified between emotional intelligence and the participants’ constructions of MHN identity. This resonance was also evident in the literature and policies examined within this study. The emotionally intelligent aspect of MHN identity was shown to be at least partially performed before entering the profession, and powerfully influenced by work based learning and formal education.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Supervisors: Danaher, Patrick; Perrin, Cheryl
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2010 04:49
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2016 02:54
Uncontrolled Keywords: mental health nursing; mental health nurses; nursing; training; psychological therapies
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111005 Mental Health Nursing

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