Nursing: Recognizing Mental Health Issues Co-occurring with Medical Conditions

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About the Course

Patients with medical conditions may display psychiatric symptoms or responses and sometimes long-term mental health issues. In addition to psychiatric nurses, nurses practicing in general healthcare settings and non-psychiatric nursing specialty areas must be prepared to assist patients with maintaining optimal mental health. This course discusses common mental health issues related to chronic medical conditions including issues observed in patients with sleep-wake disorders, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes.  Nursing care and prevention interventions for patients with chronic mental illness are presented. The course also addresses mental health issues among patients who have suffered a stroke, lost a body part, or have experienced sensory loss.
Learning Outcomes: 
Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:
  • Discuss the components of the communication process and interpersonal skills used to enhance the quality of nursing care for patients with mental health issues.
  • Discuss strategies used to identify and assess patients with psychiatric and mental health issues.
  • Describe the various types of sleep-wake disorders and their management.
  • Discuss common psychosocial and behavioral processes observed in patients with cardiovascular disease.
  • Describe common mental health issues in patients with chronic kidney disease.
  • Describe the common psychological responses of patients to a diagnosis of diabetes.
  • Recognize patients’ common psychological responses to a stroke, its treatment, and the rehabilitation process.
  • Describe common psychological responses to the loss of a body part.
  • Recognize common psychological responses to a sensory loss.

This course is an extract of, and should not be taken with the course Caring for Patients with Mental Health Issues, 2nd Edition.

About the Authors:

Karen S. Ward, PhD, MSN, RN, COI, received BSN and MSN degrees in psychiatric-mental health nursing from Vanderbilt University and a PhD in developmental psychology from Cornell University. She is a professor at the Middle Tennessee State University School of Nursing, where she teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Dr. Ward’s work has been published in journals including: Nurse Educator, Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Journal of Emotional Abuse, and Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America. She also presents her work at local, regional, and international conferences. 

Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, received an MSN in holistic nursing from Tennessee State University School of Nursing and a PhD in health psychology, with a focus in psychoneuroimmunology from Walden University. She has expertise in public health, psychiatric nursing, wellness, and disease prevention. In addition to being a researcher, Dr. Wilson has been the editor of the International Journal of Childbirth Education since 2011 and has more than 100 publications with specialties in holistic nursing, psychoneuroimmunology, and grief counseling. Dr. Wilson has a private practice as a holistic nurse and is an internationally known speaker on stress and self-care. She was named the 2017-2018 American Holistic Nurse of the Year and is on the faculty at both Austin Peay State University School of Nursing and at Walden University.

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