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Learning Enhancement and Development

Tracy Lindsay - SHS - Education Enhancement Grant

Tracy Lindsay - School of Health Sciences

The grant was sought to develop videos to assist student nurses in the mental health field to develop their skills and knowledge in undertaking a mental health assessment.  Two videos have been produced, one to help the student nurse assess a service user who displays symptoms of moderate depression and one video to assist the student to assess a service user who displays symptoms of psychosis.  Service users who have a history of depression and psychosis where consulted on the development of the scripts for these videos and two acted as service users in each of the videos.

The videos have been used in the Post Graduate Programme in module HSM201 this term.  The students were asked to identify what impact it had on their learning, the named the session in the module evaluation as having a positive impact on their learning.   The videos will be used again in term 2 in module HSM301 to assist the students to develop their learning and skills in the assessment of risk in a mental health setting.

The videos will be used in term 2 on the BSc Programme in HS2002 to assist student to develop their skills in undertaking a mental health assessment.  In term 3 in HS3003 to help in the development of their learning to assess risk in a mental health setting.

Mental Health nursing is a specialty that emphasizes communication skills to develop therapeutic relationships.  There is often fear amongst students that their communication skills will be inadequate in providing professional help to those people with mental illnesses. Furthermore, nursing students are frequently concerned and anxious about their ability to develop skilled therapeutic relationships.  Excellent communication skills are required to complete accurate mental health assessments.  PG Dip Sep 16 students provided verbal feedback on the mental health assessment session, they reported that they found the videos really helpful and it provided them with role models to emulate in the role play with the session.

Currently mental health assessment and enhanced communication skills are examined as part of the nursing degree programme. In the past the results of the observed structured clinical exam (OSCE) have been poor.  In an attempt to improve these results and allay student anxieties, the mental health team developed videos to enhance the student’s learning experience.   This week the PG Dip Sep 16 student undertook their OSCEs.  The mental health assessment station had a 100 % pass rate, although the student will not have their results for a further 4 weeks.   It may be suggested that this is a result of the use of role models in the videos.

Students reported that the videos and use of role play helped to build their confidence in having difficult conversations and dispel student anxieties about communication in a mental health setting.