Community Mental Health Nurse

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Job Summary

A Community Mental Health Nurse provides initial assessments and ongoing nursing care to patients with mental health illness, disorder and dysfunction, and those experiencing emotional difficulties, distress and crisis. Community Mental Health Nurses work closely with other health professions to gain the best outcomes for these vulnerable groups and liaise with the patient's family. Work settings are varied and include health, welfare and aged care facilities, correctional services, as well as other areas within the community. Typical duties include:

  • Assessing and planning care arrangements, administering medication, monitoring progress and reviewing care plans.
  • Building relationships and supporting patients and their families to deal with health issues and the stigma associated with mental illness
  • Liaising with doctors, social workers, psychologists and other professionals, including attending case conferences
  • Maintaining patient records

 

Personal Qualities

The ability to establish relationships of trust with people with mental health and their families is critical to success as a Community Mental Health Nurse. This requires the ability to empathise with clients and excellent interpersonal and communication skills, patience and tolerance to explain issues and answer questions from patients and their families. Community Mental Health Nurses must be able to remain calm and handle crisis situations.

Entrance Requirements

Community Mental Health Nurses require a degree in Nursing and registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. They usually require postgraduate qualification in Mental Health Nursing and may be required to be a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse with the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses(ACMHN).

Principal Employment Sectors and Industry

Employers are varied and include health, welfare and aged care facilities, correctional services, as well as other community service providers.