An American nurse can perform such duties as participating in the diagnosis, prescribing medications, patient care, and treatment, and advising patients on self-treatment after hospitalization. The diagnosis determines the patient’s different management strategies, treatment, prognosis, and prospects. Such a comprehensive study of the patient requires the doctor to be very attentive and sensitive to the patient’s statements, unhurriedly in his conclusions, a deep analysis of the personality of the subject, and the correct interpretation of his behavior.
The variety of clinical manifestations of various mental illnesses often creates exceptional difficulties in determining the nosological affiliation of a particular psychopathological symptom. In this case, the doctor uses the most important method of diagnosing mental illnesses — the way of clinical observation. The doctor should see the patient, listen to him, and examine him. Unfortunately, in psychiatry, unlike other medical fields, there are fewer opportunities for instrumental techniques that allow direct study of the organ affected by the pathological process – the brain. Therefore, in psychiatry, the main method of research is the clinical-psychopathological method.
It allowed substantiating the nosological specificity of schizophrenia, borderline neuropsychiatric disorders, a group of exogenous and gross-organic psychoses, as well as creating a modern classification of mental diseases. Diagnosis is the final stage of psychiatric diagnosis, which is carried out based on a comprehensive analysis of psychopathological symptoms, individual personality characteristics, objective and subjective anamnesis data, the dynamics of the disease, and the results of paraclinical studies. However, it is not enough just to state pathological changes for an accurate diagnosis of mental illness.
A special group consists of methods based on X-ray examination of the brain: radiography – X-ray examination of the skull and brain (usually without the use of contrast agents); pneumoencephalography – analysis of cerebrospinal spaces by radiography of the brain with the introduction of air into them (this method is currently rarely used due to the advent of computerized X-ray tomography techniques); angiography – radiography with the introduction of contrast agents (the latter method allows you to diagnose not only vascular diseases but also local organic lesions, for example, tumors, etc.)- In modern psychiatry, various CT methods (X-ray, magnetic resonance, etc.) are becoming increasingly important (Masuda et al., 2017).
They allow you to register the corresponding changes on serial brain slices conducted in different planes. However, despite the huge achievements in the field of instrumental methods of lifetime brain research and their undoubted advantages, they have no independent diagnostic value in psychiatry (except for the identification of locally delineated pathological processes). They should be used in conjunction with all other diagnostic techniques and, above all, along with a thorough psychopathological analysis of the clinical picture of the disease and its course.
All methods of diagnosing mental conditions are of great importance for advanced practice nurses. Firstly, the nurse is directly involved in the diagnosis of patients. Secondly, she is conducting treatment and should be aware of the disease and its symptoms (Woo et al., 2017). Usually, a nurse knows everything about her patient, starting with the diagnosis, clinical indicators, all necessary laboratory tests, medications, procedures, treatment plan, appetite, and other specialized types of treatment.
In conclusion, a comprehensive study of mental status includes laboratory, instrumental, psychometric, and clinical methods. Discoursing the features of the examination of a mentally ill person, we emphasized the importance of recognizing individual characteristics of the disease. Moreover, knowledge of a comprehensive examination of the mental health of patients is important for advanced practice nurses. They should know the anamnesis of patients, starting with the family situation and living conditions at home.
Masuda, S., Omori, H., Onoue, A., Lu, X., Kubota, K., Higashi, N.,… & Katoh, T. (2017). Comorbidities according to airflow limitation severity: data from comprehensive health examination in Japan. Environmental health and preventive medicine, 22(1), 1-10. Web.
Woo, B. F. Y., Lee, J. X. Y., & San Tam, W. W. (2017). The impact of the advanced practice nursing role on quality of care, clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, and cost in the emergency and critical care settings: a systematic review. Human resources for health, 15(1), 1-22. Web.