Reflective Account of Increasing a Persons Observations on an Acute Mental Health Ward

2567 Words Nov 13th, 2012 11 Pages
Reflective Account of Increasing a Persons Observations on an Acute Mental Health Ward

This essay will discus a decision that was made on a local male acute ward. Using this example, an analysis of the decision making process has been made and a reflective model has been used in order to generate personal knowledge that will inform further practice (Rolfe, 2011a). A pseudonym of Tim has been used for the discussed patient to maintain confidentiality in accordance with the NMC code of conduct (2010a).

Observation is one way in which mental health nurses can protect acutely mentally ill inpatients from harm and is commonly implemented for patients who impose a risk of harming themselves, others and for those who are vulnerable (Bowers et
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Tim has a long history of mental illness and was admitted to the ward following a deterioration in his mental illness after he lost contact with his son. His mood was elevated and he felt very restless and agitated. Prior to admission, he was found police in a very distressed state. Tim was placed on a section 2 of the mental health act (DH, 2007) and was originally observed generally where a member of staff would have to see him face to face on a hourly basis (NICE, 2005). Under section 2 of the mental health act Tim has lost the right to leave hospital at will and his responsible clinician has not granted him section 17 leave. A person can be detained for up to 28 days and treat against their will (DH, 2007). As Tim was detained it was important for staff to keep him on the ward.

Increasing attempts by Tim to leave led to a change in observation level to within eyesight to make sure he did not leave the ward by any means. Staff levels were low, and for that reason it was felt that there was not enough staff to informally observe Tim. In addition there was a general feeling of fear that if Tim left the ward there would be inevitable consequences for the staff. The literature shows that the decision to increase a persons observations is common when faced with the above situation. Buchanan-Barker & Barker (2005) are critical at the increase of observations on acute mental health
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