mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNP) can experience two most significant
problems in their nursing practice: the lack of time to address the needs of
every patient, and the psychological tension from the constant interactions
with those receiving the treatment, which can later contribute to the
appearance of the burnout. The way to reduce the negative impact of those
factors is to create an advantageous work setting by using a team-based
approach to managing the distribution of responsibilities within the particular
The team-based approach to the distribution of power can
help both PMHNP representatives working as a prescriber and as a nurse
psychotherapist to reduce their workloads and get the access to the credible
sources of information by communicating with their peers. Townsend and Morgan
state that giving and receiving feedback when being a medical practitioner is
essential because it contributes to the quicker gaining of experience. They
state the following: “Feedback is a useful and a powerful tool. Behavioral group
norms are established through peer pressure” (Townsend and Morgan, 2017, p.
225). Authors also emphasize the importance of discussing the cases of
inappropriate behavior within the group as soon as they occur. A PMHNP
representative working as a prescriber can use this information to receive
adequate assistance from his or her peers, as, in this case, the workload is
associated with constant necessity to make medical decisions, which can
negatively affect the patients when they are not adequately made. Nursing
psychotherapists are more common with having to cope with constant interactions
with the patients, so communication with peers can reduce the psychological
tension. Additionally, having healthy relations within the group can prevent
the fatigue and burnout from taking care of those experiencing most severe
problems with mental health. Phoenix et al. report the positive outcome of the
team based work: “PMHNPs were widely reported to collaborate very well with
team members—this was one of the most frequent themes reported by a range of
informants” (Phoenix et al., 2016, p. 217). Additionally, regarding the fact
that the PMHNP representatives are experiencing time restraints in their
medical practice, the team-based approach to distributing power and the
creation of the atmosphere of support can help PMHNP coping with stress.
As the PMHNP community is mostly affected by the possibility
of having the variety of mental health-associated complexities, which can be
caused by fatigue and, consequently, repetitive burnouts. So, the team-based
approach to the distribution of responsibilities can cope with the complexities
such as time restraints and psychological tension.
Phoenix, B. J., Hurd, M., & Chapman, S. A. (2016). Experience
of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners in Public Mental Health.
Nursing Administration Quarterly, 40(3), 212-224.
Townsend, M. C., & Morgan, K. I. (2018). Psychiatric
mental health nursing: concepts of care in evidence-based practice.
Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.