- •What is known on the subject?
- •Contemporary mental health care providers may be exposed to prejudice and stigma based on incomplete or erroneous understanding of mental illness and nursing role in the care of the mentally ill, especially in Saudi Arabia where psychiatric nursing is a newly recognized field of practice.
- •What does this paper add to existing knowledge?
- •It has illuminated the needs, obstacles, and stressors which these practitioners feel must be addressed in order to provide appropriate nursing care in this setting.
- •What are the implications for practice?
- •Efforts to address stressors may benefit patients, their families, and the nation to provide improved care for psychiatric patients and the nurses who care for them.
Nursing staff within the mental health sector are major actors in delivering healthcare. They face considerable obstacles that may hinder the provision of high-quality care to patients with mental health challenges.
The current study offers a description of mental health nurses' viewpoints, insights into obstacles encountered during their experiences, and recommendations for enhancing psychiatric inpatient nursing care and achieving progress toward the goals set out by Saudi Vision 2030.
The study employed a phenomenological qualitative design. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 currently practicing mental health nurses during two focus group sessions. The inductive data produced underwent member and peer checking. Emergent themes and subthemes were extracted.
Two main themes and related subthemes were identified. The first theme—obstacles faced by mental health nurses—was composed of the following subthemes: policy at institutions; clear job roles; low professional self-confidence and inadequate support; stressed, insecure, and unsafe; and stigmatization. The second theme—recommendations to improve the quality of mental health nursing—was composed of two subthemes: to enhance mental health awareness and improve professional skills and education.
The data suggest that maintaining high-quality nursing standards within an inpatient psychiatric facility requires a consistent and accountable organizational structure, which can lead to fostering the development and improvement of relevant nursing skills through continuing education, improved awareness of mental health disorders and care within the community, and initiatives to combat the stigma of mental disorders among patients, families, and communities.
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Published online: March 16, 2023
Accepted: March 11, 2023
Received in revised form: February 13, 2023
Received: June 9, 2022
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