Perceptions of ambulance nurses on their knowledge and competence when assessing psychiatric mental illness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Aims and objectives: To obtain the current perception of the knowledge and competence of pre-hospital emergency specialist nurses (ambulance) in attending patients with psychiatric symptoms. Background: Psychiatric illnesses have increased throughout the population. Consequently, pre-hospital emergency services frequently attend individuals with suspected or known mental illnesses. Design: We employed a set of quantitative and qualitative methods to gain a deeper understanding of ambulance nurses' self-evaluated knowledge. Methods: Seven ambulance nurses received and completed a survey questionnaire prior commencing employment in November 2019. Then, we conducted interviews to explore ambulance nurses' perceptions of their own knowledge and competence when attending individuals with mental disorders. The surveys were analysed with descriptive statistics, followed by content analysis. Results: Three topics emerged: the encounter of patients with mental illness; the awareness of lacking knowledge about mental illnesses; and the expectations for future Prehospital Emergency Psychiatric Response Teams. Although ambulance nurses already possessed basic knowledge regarding psychiatric illnesses, it was insufficient, based on their perception of appropriate care. Ambulance nurses considered that combining pre-hospital and psychiatric expertise in the pre-hospital emergency unit would increase their in-depth knowledge about various psychiatric illnesses, the treatment options and the alternatives regarding where to deliver patients for continued care.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Region Skåne
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nursing

Keywords

  • ambulance services, ambulance specialist nurse, communication, competence, inter-professional, medical skills, mental illness, mixed methods, psychiatric care, suicide
Original languageEnglish
JournalNursing Open
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020 Nov 27
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes