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‘In the middle’: A qualitative study of talk about mental health nursing roles and work

Julia Terry Orcid Logo

International Journal of Mental Health Nursing

Swansea University Author: Julia Terry Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1111/inm.12676

Abstract

Professional identities are important in defining workers’ roles, and are concerned with attributes relating to those roles and how they are performed. Evidence shows mental health nurses undertake many different roles as part of their work. Yet the roles of mental health nurses are insufficiently u...

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Published in: International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
ISSN: 1445-8330 1447-0349
Published: Wiley
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa52905
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first_indexed 2019-11-29T13:14:03Z
last_indexed 2020-09-17T03:15:52Z
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spelling 2019-11-29T09:15:55.7214464 v2 52905 2019-11-29 ‘In the middle’: A qualitative study of talk about mental health nursing roles and work aeb9b7bc739735cab8b0d3c06ccf6712 0000-0002-6827-0029 Julia Terry Julia Terry true false 2019-11-29 HNU Professional identities are important in defining workers’ roles, and are concerned with attributes relating to those roles and how they are performed. Evidence shows mental health nurses undertake many different roles as part of their work. Yet the roles of mental health nurses are insufficiently understood by healthcare staff, service users and nurses themselves. Mental health nursing work has been deemed invisible and lacking in role clarity. Poor understandings about professional identity of mental health nurses result in difficulties recruiting to the profession, nurses lacking confidence articulating the value of their work, with misunderstandings apparent with service users about the specific role of mental health nursing in their care. The primary focus of this study, conducted in Wales, United Kingdom, was to examine how talk about mental health nursing was handled by participants from multiple perspectives. Data consisted of 17 individual interview transcripts with mental health nurses and 13 interview transcripts from mental health service users, and 3 focus groups with nursing students. Participants’ talk was analysed using thematic analysis. This paper reports how participants described mental health nursing work having significant role overlap with other multi-disciplinary team members. Participants highlighted that mental health nurses often have an ‘in the middle’ label because the complexity of their work can be hard to describe. The implications are pertinent for nurses because if they are considered to be in a liminal position, they risk being perceived as neither one role nor another, resulting in nurses struggling with professional identities and role confidence. Journal Article International Journal of Mental Health Nursing Wiley 1445-8330 1447-0349 mental health nursing, professional identities, roles, talk 0 0 0 0001-01-01 10.1111/inm.12676 COLLEGE NANME Nursing COLLEGE CODE HNU Swansea University 2019-11-29T09:15:55.7214464 2019-11-29T09:15:55.7214464 Julia Terry 0000-0002-6827-0029 1 52905__16169__b7175c26ac854585994124fc4ca0bdff.pdf 52905.pdf 2019-12-27T15:39:47.2445907 Output 895351 application/pdf Accepted Manuscript true 2020-12-04T00:00:00.0000000 true
title ‘In the middle’: A qualitative study of talk about mental health nursing roles and work
spellingShingle ‘In the middle’: A qualitative study of talk about mental health nursing roles and work
Julia Terry
title_short ‘In the middle’: A qualitative study of talk about mental health nursing roles and work
title_full ‘In the middle’: A qualitative study of talk about mental health nursing roles and work
title_fullStr ‘In the middle’: A qualitative study of talk about mental health nursing roles and work
title_full_unstemmed ‘In the middle’: A qualitative study of talk about mental health nursing roles and work
title_sort ‘In the middle’: A qualitative study of talk about mental health nursing roles and work
author_id_str_mv aeb9b7bc739735cab8b0d3c06ccf6712
author_id_fullname_str_mv aeb9b7bc739735cab8b0d3c06ccf6712_***_Julia Terry
author Julia Terry
author2 Julia Terry
format Journal article
container_title International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
institution Swansea University
issn 1445-8330
1447-0349
doi_str_mv 10.1111/inm.12676
publisher Wiley
document_store_str 1
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description Professional identities are important in defining workers’ roles, and are concerned with attributes relating to those roles and how they are performed. Evidence shows mental health nurses undertake many different roles as part of their work. Yet the roles of mental health nurses are insufficiently understood by healthcare staff, service users and nurses themselves. Mental health nursing work has been deemed invisible and lacking in role clarity. Poor understandings about professional identity of mental health nurses result in difficulties recruiting to the profession, nurses lacking confidence articulating the value of their work, with misunderstandings apparent with service users about the specific role of mental health nursing in their care. The primary focus of this study, conducted in Wales, United Kingdom, was to examine how talk about mental health nursing was handled by participants from multiple perspectives. Data consisted of 17 individual interview transcripts with mental health nurses and 13 interview transcripts from mental health service users, and 3 focus groups with nursing students. Participants’ talk was analysed using thematic analysis. This paper reports how participants described mental health nursing work having significant role overlap with other multi-disciplinary team members. Participants highlighted that mental health nurses often have an ‘in the middle’ label because the complexity of their work can be hard to describe. The implications are pertinent for nurses because if they are considered to be in a liminal position, they risk being perceived as neither one role nor another, resulting in nurses struggling with professional identities and role confidence.
published_date 0001-01-01T04:05:33Z
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