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Nurses sitting in a room going through medical charts to learn how to evaluate and treat clients.
Figure 2.1 Psychiatric-mental health nurses are important members of an interdisciplinary team that collaborates to evaluate and treat clients. (credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Lillian Moreno, Public Domain)

Clinical professions are evidence-based and founded in theory. The professional specialty of psychiatric-mental health (PMH) nursing addresses brain-based behaviors. Therefore, it seeks theoretical foundations in biological and psychosocial theories. Psychiatric-mental health nursing follows established guidelines based upon the client’s state of health. Multiple theories have been developed to account for how the client comes to be in that state. Nurses must understand the different theoretical concepts and interventions to apply in care of the client experiencing mental health alterations. Comprehension of classic and established theories and therapies relevant to psychiatric-mental health nursing provide a foundation for professional nursing practice. Further, this understanding develops the nurse’s ability to plan client care that is person-centered. Nurses also benefit from self-awareness, which can come with understanding the impact of psychosocial factors on health, illness, and recovery.


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