‘There is no evidence that nurses’ mental health issues effect their ability to do their job’
Do you have a cite for this?
To me it depends entirely on the character and intensity of the mental health issues as to whether or not one’s ability to do his job is affected (and that everyone has mental health issues at one time or another).
I’ll dig up the url where I came across it tomorrow. The statement was made by a CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) during a court case against a nurse with Bipolar disorder, when they were challenged as to why they continued to let her work despite her state of mind being obvious to those working with her.
Given that the definition of a mental illness is any mental issue that negatively affects your ability to operate functionally in the world, I would suggest that any research paper that made a blanket statement that mental health is a non-issue at the workplace is failing to understand the definition of the term.
According to the OP, it seems more like a judgment in an individual case that a nurse’s bipolar disorder, though sometimes apparent, did not materially affect her performance, which might be an incorrect decision, but it’s not a ridiculous one, as bipolar disorder does not necessarily disqualify a person from any occupation or activity.
The UK university I work at offers NHS-accredited Nursing degrees, applicants to which are all subject to Occupational Health checks (carried out by, er, NHS nurses) as well as an interview before they can start the degree. This doesn’t of course cover nurses who develop mental health problems once they’ve started practicing though.
Without context, it’s nigh meaningless to discuss this. Yes, on its face, on its own, devoid of context, cited attribution, or anything meaningful, that doesn’t sound like a reasonable statement.
Bipolar disorder is often successfully treated by mood-stabilizing drugs.
The question is about whether work performance is impaired. That’s different from having a diagnosis.
There is “no evidence” to suggest that a nurse with a mental health problem would not be good at their profession, according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
This is from 2009 … so this way of thinking has been around for a while.
Here’s the full quote: “There is no evidence to suggest that anyone with a mental health problem – bearing in mind how broad the term is – would be incapable of being a good nurse or midwife.”
That sounds like a reasonable position to me. For me, it would certainly depend on what that “mental health problem” is, as there is, like the quote says, quite a broad spectrum, just like with physical illnesses.
Yes, this. Can People who have Diabetes (which can be managed) become Nurses? And while “Nurse” is a Profession, they can be placed in many different positions, some very stressful, others less, to accomodate individual Problems.
But “functioning in the world” is a larger issue than “functioning at work”. People can seek therapy / Treatment (which usually means a diagnosis first) because they have Problems in their personal relationship, or getting one, or with their spouse of 20 years, or with their child (Family counseling together) - which doesn’t automatically disqualify from work.
Yes, somebody who has Problems at home might be distracted at work - but which human doesn’t have a crappy day at work, or Problems at home sometime?
Even the first truncated version I just read as “Mental health problems to not a priori make someone unable to do their job as a nurse.” Judge them by their actual performance, not some diagnosis. The latter is no better than assuming a black or gay person can’t do the job.
It’d make more sense if the quote read “There is no evidence to suggest that everyone with a mental health problem is incapable of being a good nurse”.
The concrete example being cited in the article was a nurse with bipolar disorder and psychotic features, accused of mistreating two dementia patients. How well-controlled she/he was on medication obviously goes to the heart of the issue, though such a diagnosis raises more red flags than, say, mild depression.
Sounds reasonable to me as well.
Of course. But it would be very strange for the entirety of any large body of people with mental illnesses to have their illness only affect them outside the workplace. You’d basically be looking at magic or alien interference.
Or rather, that giving an accurate diagnosis is very difficult. There have been tests (I don’t know when the last one was) where students of psychology checked anonymously into mental hospitals (US) and admitted to one-time occurrence of auditory hallucinations, no other occurences, and that they had stopped.
They were given different diagnoses, different outcomes/ expectations, and, when they wanted to be released because the “hallucinations” had stopped, they were not declared cured, but temprorarily without symptoms.
Although the experts say that People considered mentally healthy still can easily have episodes (because of stress, sleep deprivation etc.) of hallucinations, without being “crazy”. No sane Person is sane 100% of the time (and no “crazy” Person is insane 100% of the time: recognizing the “normal/ healthy” times and re-inforcing that behaviour is part of good therapy).
But for the most part, in order to give therapy, a diagnosis is needed, and because there’s still so much unknown or changing, the diagnois is not lifted, so 10 or 20 years later after one Episode, a Person may still carry the diagnosis around.
So somebody Needs help with a problem
Another aspect why it makes sense to judge on an individual basis instead of automatically: if people know that having any mental problem at all makes them unqualified for their job, it will not lead to people being safe from mentally ill nurses - it will rather lead to people who notice they have problems not seeking help in how to manage the problem, because they don’t want to lose their job, with the potential of the problem worsening without help until a big blowout.
Similar to how gays were banned from intelligence and military (in the 50s and 60s) because they could be blackmailed and thus were a security risk. What could they be blackmailed about? Being gay, which would lead to firing for being a security risk because of blackmail because it was illegal … In other words, the stigma created the problem.
Likewise, the stigma about mental health prevents people from seeking help. Several years ago a national goalie killed himself because of depression (not even his own family had known) - and many pro athletes said how in the shark atmosphere of professional sports, no weakness can be admitted, because otherwise, you’re kicked from the team = loose your job and income. (The family started a foundation to try and educate people better away from the stigma of mental health and to seek help).