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Importance of Psychology in Nursing

By HWA | Publish On: May 16, 2014 | Posted In:

Psychology is an applied science that is useful in studying mental functions, behavior, and understanding of individuals and groups. Psychology and social psychology are of great importance in nursing. While psychology is the study of individuals, their behavior and their mental processes, social psychology is the study about how individuals’ behavior or mental states can be affected by social situations. In other words, social psychology emphasizes more on how and why individuals behave under the presence of social situations or norms.

Things You Need to Know About The Importance of Psychology in Nursing

Psychology in nursing is important because as a health care professional, a nurse has to interact with sick and ill people on one side and on the other has also interacted with the relatives of the ill people. And most of the time, a nurse has to interact with people coming from all walks of life. Most of all, a nurse has to take care of individuals who are suffering from diseases and this requires a knowledge of psychology to understand the various attitudes and behavior of people. Psychology in nursing helps professional nurses to understand patients much better.

Why choose

One of the most important assumptions in health care is the psychology of an individual plays an important role either in the development of or recovery from diseases. For health care to be successful in controlling disease, it is absolutely necessary to identify not only the disease but also the psychology of the individual as well.

Apart from effective diagnostics, it is also necessary to note that every individual is unique in most respects. The way in which each individual responds to treatment procedure cannot be the same and hence, psychology can help in understanding a situation where an individual has an issue with the treatment as well.

Also, it is the responsibility of the nurses as well as the whole health care institution to develop a positive environment for the patient to heal soon, both physically and mentally. And, that requires an understanding of the patient’s psychology.

Knowing the psychology of a patient is important for several reasons.

  • It helps in understanding the patient better. This can usually take place with good communication with the patient.
  • Understanding a patient will help in knowing how each patient can react in several situations including pain, illness, and distress. Knowledge of the situation can help in giving the right therapy.
  • A patient’s psychology can also help in deciphering the lifestyle which includes eating habits, smoking, drinking, exercise, etc.

With all the above factors, psychology plays a vital role in today’s health care system, particularly in nursing.

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Areas of Psychology

  • Clinical psychology
  • Educational psychology
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Health psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Bio psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Industrial psychology

Common mental health disorders encountered in Nursing

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Bipolar mood disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality disorders
  • Substance Abuse
  • Post-traumatic stress disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Attention deficit disorders

Common signs of mental illness 

  • Anxiety, anger, feeling gloomy
  • Social withdrawal or social isolation
  • Lack of interest in self – care activities
  • Feeling unworthy, lack of hope

Scope  of psychology in nursing

Psychology studies the process of mental and behavioural process. This process refers to the internal and external activities of a person, which includes verbal, and facial expressions. Psychology can help nurses develop improved nurse-patient relationships. With the psychological approach, nurses can establish trust with the patient, develop open communication and interaction. For example, children in hospital settings may be more afraid. With the help of child development and psychology, nurses can comfort the child, gain their trust, open interaction, and provide improved care. While dealing with all abnormal mental and emotional behaviors, nurses can treat patients according to their psychological needs, and counsel patients. Understanding and managing the way others behave and act, help nurses provide the best quality care. Nurses. along with physicians not only work together to manage the physical pain, but also to change the thoughts of patients. Thus psychology is underpinned in every aspect of nursing care.

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