Interdisciplinary Functions on Inpatient Psychiatric Units

By:
Dr. Loretta Birckhead
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This presentation reviews a research study in which eight nurses were observed over a period of 21 shifts. Their functions were observed using a pre-determined checklist. Nurses observed were considered the best staff working in the best hospitals in Southern California.

The highest number of functions were those involving direct patient contact. No mention of countertransference was observed. However, the second highest function involved collaboration with other staff which may mitigate the need for countertransference discussion.

A discussion with the patient of medical issues was also high in frequency. However, physicians did not discuss the patient's diagnosis with the patient. This was left for the nurse to manage in the context of high patient anxiety.

Interdisciplinary treatment planning occurred on all shifts. Half of the patients in an eight hour shift participated in an interpersonal dialogue with staff wherein the patient was given an open-ended opportunity to discuss their problems.


Keywords: Staff Functions, Inpatient Psychiatric Units, Staff/patient Interpersonal Dialogue, Interdisciplinary Communication
Stream: Natural, Environmental and Health Sciences
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Loretta Birckhead

In person attendance, Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
Director, Graduate Program in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing, California State University, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California, USA

Dr. Birckhead has taught in graduate programs in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing for over twenty years at Boston University, Russell Sage College (New York), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and California State University, Los Angeles. She is an author of textbooks and journal articles. Dr. Birckhead has had a psychotherapy practice for over twenty years and is certified as a group psychotherapist through the American Group Psychotherapy Association. She is a Board member of the Los Angeles Group Psychotherapy Society. Her current researcher is on the functions of staff on inpatient psychiatric units.

Ref: I06P0049