, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 481-496

What do Nurses do When they Taketo the Streets? An Analysis ofPsychiatric and Mental Health Nursing Interventions in theCommunity

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Little research can be found on nursing practice for populations needing non-traditional mental health care. A descriptive study was done with the nurses on the Community Link Service (CLS), an intensive psychiatric community follow-up program, to identify nursing interventions and the types of situations encountered. These nurses use the guiding principles of two current treatment modalities, Assertive Community Treatment and Clinical Case Management. The Nursing Interventions Classification System (NIC, McCloskey & Bulecheck, 2000) was used to code nursing interventions reported through interviews and critical incidents. The nursing interventions represented 93 interventions and included 400 different activities. The analysis showed that Case Management (79%) and Complex Relationship Building (71%) were their most common interventions followed by Medication Management (64%) and Surveillance (60%). Systems such as the NIC are useful tools, but they may not give a complete description of nursing practice in this setting.

The authors are grateful to Dr. Judith Ritchie, Dr. Raymond Tempier, and Dr. Warren Steiner for their helpful comments and suggestions.
This project was supported by the Fondation de recherche en Sciences infirmières du Québec.