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Title: Community Mental Health Nurses in Ireland : an exposition of their lived experiences and current issues
Author: Mc Kenna, Jarlath F.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3622 3116
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2007
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The aims of this study were (A) to explore the lived experience of the Community Mental Health Nurse (CMHN) in Ireland using phenomenological methods and (B) to engage Directors of Mental Health Nursing (DMHN) and CMHNs nationaIly in refining and validating these experiences using a modified Delphi technique. The study was planned in two phases. In the first phase, the phenomenological study explored the lived experiences of CMHNs working in one regional Health Service. Data coIlection and analysis enabled identification of 41 themes using interpretive/hermeneutic methods. Findings from phase one generated six clustered themes: administrative overload, clinical role, clinical role challenges, the place where mental illness exists, the new culture of Irish society and the requirement for a new structure of health service delivery. In phase two, national expert panels (A) DMHN and (B) CMHNs were surveyed using a modified Delphi technique. Delphi instruments were developed based upon the findings of phase one. This method enabled the refinement and validation of the phase one clustered themes, establishing consensus and synthesis of future contributions of CMHNs to mental health services. Findings indicate consensus in respect of six clustered and refined themes identifying: administrative overload; limited ICT support; excessive caseloads; requirement for a clear career structure; challenges of managing mental illness in diverse changing cultures; the requirement for a more flexible work model; occupational stress and professional isolation; and, a fragmentation of community, with increased signs of cries for help, substance misuse, deliberate self harm and stigma. There was diversity of opinion within the seventh clustered theme, 'clinical role challenges' in terms of mental health promotion, workloads, clinical supervision, professional development activities, quality of service and caring for CMHNs. Further research is required to address these issues. It is suggested that the findings will inform future dialogue on policy and practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available