Management of perceptions of fitness for purpose in the education of mental health nurses

Mitchell, Francis Edward (2004). Management of perceptions of fitness for purpose in the education of mental health nurses. PhD thesis The Open University.



This is a study into the present arrangements for the management of the education and training provision for mental health nurses prior to registration known as Project 2000. The primary aim of the research was to determine how the perceptions of the stakeholders could be managed in relation to delivery of appropriate educational preparation. This work utilised a case study research methodology. Thirty subjects were interviewed from a variety of stakeholders in mental health nurse education. The study used an innovative interview method involving techniques borrowed from the therapeutic interventions of Neuro Linguistic Programming, in particular, rapport skills and some specific focused questioning techniques. The data were analysed utilising a phenomenological approach to examine the lived experience of the subjects. The findings of the study showed that there exists a specific set of knowledge, skills and attributes which are regarded and agreed by all of the stakeholder groups as being vital to mental health nurses. The findings related to knowledge, skills and attributes matched fairly closely with the published literature on the topic, but were of a much more specific and very basic nature. It was also found that although all of the stakeholder groups were in broad agreement about the simple and basic nature of the knowledge, skills and attributes required, each of those groups was of the opinion that their views were not shared by other stakeholder groups. The study concludes by examining potentially useful ways of managing the perceptions of the stakeholders. The establishment of the role of mental health liaison officer is discussed which, it is argued, might enhance the ability of educational institutions to manage the delivery of educational programmes based upon a detailed knowledge of the perception of the stakeholders. It is further concluded that the interview skills described in the study would be potentially of value to other researchers using interviews as an investigative tool.

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