Year: 1999 Source: Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, v.6, no.6, (December 1999), p.461-467 SIEC No: 20010586

In this exploratory study, the role of the registered nurse when caring for patients on special observation was investigated. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 randomly selected registered nurses from 4 acute psychiatric wards. The 9 themes that emerged were: safety, therapeutic relationships, supporting patients & carers, consequences of special observation for nurses, continuity of care concerns, peer support, suicide indicators, responsibilities & rights of patients & nurses, & nurses, doctors & the hospital hierarchy. Recommendations for the allevation of concerns about the practice of special observation are outlined & discussed. (19 refs.)