Richa Madaan

Richa Madaan

8 Ways a Nursing Degree Helps in Dealing with Patients’ Mental Health

  Mar 14, 2024
Reviewed by Ayushi Jain

Nursing Degree

The mental health crisis in the medical care sector has reached alarming levels in recent years, especially affecting young children and teens. 

With rising rates of anxiety, depression, and other serious brain-related illnesses, the demand for healthcare professionals who are well-equipped to handle these challenges has never been greater. 

This places a huge burden on nurses, who are often the first line of care and support for these patients. A nursing degree is equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to effectively care for people struggling with emotional health issues. Nursing schools in Columbus Ohio, play a crucial role in preparing healthcare professionals to address the growing demand for mental health support, ensuring that nurses possess the necessary expertise to navigate and provide compassionate care for individuals facing emotional health challenges.

Here are some of the ways nursing education empowers medical care workers to address the mental fitness requirements of their patients.

Understanding Mental Health Conditions

A core part of any medical curriculum covers major mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, and more. Nurses gain first-hand experience and learn in-depth about the symptoms, risk factors, and treatments for each condition. 

This enables them to recognize even subtle signs of brain illness and have a deeper understanding of what clients are experiencing mentally, emotionally, and physically. 

If you’re also planning to build a career in nursing and looking for the quickest way to become a nurse, look into accelerated programs. These programs prepare you for real-world challenges and caring for victims with psychiatric and brain-related disorders. 

You can also study in detail the medications used to treat psychological illness, including their mechanisms of action, intended effects, dosing guidelines, side effects, and potential interactions. 

Therapeutic Communication Techniques

Healthcare providers must master therapeutic communication skills to connect with patients in emotional distress. 

Techniques like active listening, open-ended questions, empathy, and validation are thoroughly taught to nursing students through lectures, role-playing, simulations, and clinical experiences. 

Applying these skills helps establish trust with clients so they feel comfortable opening up about their brain fitness struggles. This facilitates assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. 

Caregivers also learn how to be truly present and focused on the victim, avoiding distractions. Their body language and tone of voice are trained to convey care and concern, which allows sufferers to express themselves without hesitation. 

They understand that each person’s interaction is an opportunity to establish trust, gain insight, and provide support. Their education and practice strengthen their competency in therapeutic communication.

Suicide Risk Assessment and Prevention

Assessing patients for suicide risk is a necessary skill that nurses gain in their education. They are trained to identify verbal and behavioral warning signs and to directly ask them about suicidal thoughts. 

This includes exploring risk factors like prior attempts, family history, substance abuse, and access to weapons or lethal means. They learn how to conduct suicide screening while ensuring victims’ privacy and dignity.

If risk is present, healthcare workers know how to immediately collaborate with the care team to enact safety protocols to keep the client safe. 

This includes one-to-one observation, securing environments, and considering hospitalization or commitment. Thorough suicide prevention training prevents tragic outcomes. 

Caregivers are also trained on appropriate follow-up, such as safety planning for high-risk patients being discharged. 

Do You Know?
Some mental health nurses also specialize in other medical-related fields, such as in the management of the psychiatric disorder of a certain age or association which includes pediatrics, substance abuse, and eating disorders. 

De-escalation and Crisis Intervention

Agitation, anxiety, fear, and paranoia are common among psychiatric patients. Nurses learn de-escalation techniques to calmly engage a person and redirect their behavior before it escalates to a dangerous level. This starts with understanding triggers and maintaining a calm, non-threatening presence.

If a crisis occurs, they are adept at safe physical intervention, including holds and restraint methods as a last resort. 

Their training enables them to rapidly assess situations, intervene early, and defuse volatile situations to maintain the safety of everyone involved. They also know when to get emergency assistance from security or law enforcement.

Psychopharmacology Knowledge

Medications are frequently used to manage major psychological illnesses. A nursing degree provides in-depth knowledge of how these drugs work, their mechanisms of action in the brain, intended therapeutic effects, dosing guidelines, adverse side effects, and potential interactions. 

Medical professionals understand the complex dynamics of psychotropic medications. They should know the importance of monitoring for efficacy, changes in status, and medication adherence. Their expertise and training allow them to educate victims and family members on what to expect. 

Family Education and Support

Nurses serve as a valuable resource for teaching families about their loved one’s psychiatric disorder. They provide in-depth education on the illness itself, typical disease trajectory, treatment options, medication management, and expectations for the recovery process. Nurses with an MSW degree play a crucial role in enhancing the comprehensive support system by integrating their expertise in social work, further enriching the educational resources available to families dealing with a loved one’s psychiatric disorder.

Caregivers supply information on community resources, support groups, crisis lines, and guidance on how families can best support their loved ones. This includes improving home safety, reducing stress, ensuring medication compliance, and being alert to changes in condition. 

Caring for family members in this way empowers them to be active participants in the client’s care team. Nurse-led family training helps the support system stay strong and informed. 

The graph below indicates that more women suffer and acknowledge issues regarding mental wellness compared to men. Age does matter as well because an adult has more responsibilities and therefore most of the time they are multi-tasking. 

The need for a qualified and experienced mental health nurse is even more significant for people in every profession. 

Common Mental Disorders in Men and Women Compared by Age and Sex.

Multidisciplinary Collaboration

Within their education, nurses gain a broad understanding of the other disciplines involved in brain care, like psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors. 

For those eager to enter this significant field and collaborate across these disciplines, researching the quickest way to become a nurse can expedite their journey into this rewarding profession. 

This allows them to effectively collaborate with the treatment team through regular communication and information sharing.

Self-Care and Resiliency

Nursing training emphasizes the need for medical professionals to actively manage their own mental health as well. Managing a psychological crisis at work can be quite emotionally taxing. 

Healthy coping mechanisms are taught to caregivers in order to strengthen their resistance to burnout. This entails obtaining enough sleep, preserving a fit work-life balance, developing social networks, practicing self-care, and, if necessary, seeking counseling. 

It is urged for caregivers to lead a fit lifestyle and to practice what they teach to victims. Making self-care a priority safeguards nurses’ health, enabling them to maintain compassion and deliver top-notch care.


The expertise and adaptability that medical workers acquire via their schooling enable them to skillfully handle the psychological problems that afflict their patients. 

Nurses are uniquely prepared to provide comprehensive mental healthcare because of their competence in psychiatric diseases, therapeutic communication, crisis response, medication management, and family education. 

Their expertise allows them to make a significant and long-lasting impact on the lives of people who are struggling with mental illness.