Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

Fall 12-15-1962

Abstract

The problem of this study was to identify the functions of the clinical specialist in psychiatric nursing, operating as a nurse therapist, in caring for the recently discharged mentally ill patient in the home. In order to identify the functions of the clinical specialist it was necessary to analyze what she actually did in a therapeutic nurse-patient relationship. Following the establishment of rapport, with a hospitalized mentally ill patient, the relationship was continued subsequent to the patient's discharge from the hospital. Interpersonal process recordings were written following each of the six home visits which transpired over a period of eight weeks. The process recordings were then analyzed according to a tool developed by Baxter, in her Master's thesis, at the University of Colorado in 1956. It was possible to identify the existing nursing operations, for the general learning areas trust, tolerance for frustration, independence, and interdependence, in the interpersonal process recordings. To date, the role of the clinical specialist in psychiatric nursing was vague and relatively undefined. This study was significant in identifying some of the functions of the clinical specialist and has contributed to one aspect of role definition by demonstrating her effectiveness in caring for the discharged mentally ill patient in the home.

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