PMHNPs must balance their professional and legal responsibilities for assessment and diagnosis with such cultural considerations and interpretations
A licensed professional mental health nurse (PMHNP) is a registered nurse who has completed advanced training in psychiatric and mental health nursing diagnosis, advanced pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, community-based care, and evidence-based therapies. A PMHNP may prescribe medications, practice independently of a physician’s supervision, and refer patients for psychological testing if the PMHNP is also board certified or a specialty certified by the American Board of Nursing Specialties. This description is excerpted from Nursing2016: Scope and Standards of Practice .
All cultures, like individuals, are unique. They have their own attitudes, behaviors, and relationships with time, treatment of the mentally ill, and others. Advanced practice nurses need to assess all of these issues before beginning a plan for treatment.
Calling on our extended family of experts, plus the behavioral sciences at work in healthcare organizations, our Consulting Editor sifted through more than 300 essays to find this one. So you can trust advice that is based on a thorough and thoughtful review of published help materials by more than 50 credentialed psychological experts. Given that most Americans will experience some type of mental health issue in their lifetimes, and the growing prevalence of alcohol-related problems among teens, we believe it’s important for all healthcare professionals to understand the cultural factors that may impact both diagnosis and treatment.
The term culture is used to describe a collective of ideas and norms that an individual or group holds for appropriate behavior.
Kawachi, I., Kennedy, B., Lochner, K., Prothrow-Stith, D. (2005). Health inequalities among ethnic groups in the United States: social status and health. In Mindell, J.A., Lipson, S.F., Sambamoorthi, U., Hammerslough, J., and Christensen, H.B. (Eds.). Social Determinants of Health: The Solid Facts (pp 171–199). New York: Oxford University Press.
An important consideration when working with patients is their cultural background. Understanding an individual’s culture and personal experiences provides insight into who the person is and where he or she may progress in the future. Culture helps to establish a sense of identity, as well as to set values, behaviors, and purpose for individuals within a society. Culture may also contribute to a divide between specific interpretations of cultural behavior and societal norms. What one culture may deem as appropriate another culture may find inappropriate. As a result, it is important for advanced practice nurses to remain aware of cultural considerations and interpretations of behavior for diagnosis, especially with reference to substance-related disorders. At the same time, PMHNPs must balance their professional and legal responsibilities for assessment and diagnosis with such cultural considerations and interpretations.