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Nurse- Client Relationship in Mental Health Nursing Discussion

Nurse-Client Relationship in Mental Health Nursing Discussion

Mental health seems to be that part of nursing many people push to the side and try to not talk about or pay attention to, nursing in a mental health area can make anyone, especially a student nurse quite uncomfortable at times, especially if the student has never experienced a client that has a mental illness. I do not have any current fears going into this class and clinical, I just know that as long as I am respectful and kind-hearted towards my patients that all should go well, if something does happen I at least know I was not the root cause. I do think mental health is very interesting. I do find mental health fascinating, especially learning about different disorders of the brain. I look forward to learning more about mental health illnesses.

The very first process between nurse and client is to establish an understanding in the client that the nurse is entering into a relationship with the client that essentially is safe, reliable, confidential, and consistent with appropriate and clear boundaries (Varcarolis & Halter, 2010). Building trust is important when establishing that nurse/client relationship. Receiving the client’s trust can allow you to provide treatment and allows the client to express their feelings and concerns. According to Hilderfard Peplau, there are four different phases which are, the orientation phase, identification phase, exploitation phase, and resolution phase. The orientation phase is when the nurse involves the client in treatment, providing explanations and information and answering questions (Wayne, 2014). In this phase, the nurse explains roles to the client and the nurse is a stranger to the client. Identification phase the client begins to have a feeling of belonging and the ability to deal with the problem which decreases the feeling of hopelessness (Wayne, 2014). The next phase is the exploitation phase which the client makes full use of the services offered and the client feels like an integral part of the helping environment (Wayne, 2014). In the very last phase, the resolution phase, the client no longer needs professional services and gives up dependent behavior, and the relationship ends (Wayne, 2014).

I work with a lot of elderly, and over time I have built good standing relationships with them. They trust me more than most staff there and they request me whenever they catch word that I am going to be working that night. Nonverbal techniques I built were just signals or taps to signify that pain was coming or they needed to take a break from an activity, sometimes ambulating would get a client so out of breath they had trouble verbally communicating so they would just give me a sign we agreed on and I knew it was time to break. Verbal communication we have is just based on mutual respect and trust, they can openly let me know what is going on, how they are feeling, and what they need going forward.


Varcarolis, E. M., & Halter, M. J. (2010). Foundations of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: A Clinical Approach (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.

Wayne, G. (2016, December 15). Hildegard Peplau – Interpersonal Relations Theory. from


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In this discussion, we’ll talk about the nurse-client relationship and the use of therapeutic communication as an important part of that relationship. Please answer the following questions:

What are your concerns or fears about mental health nursing in general? Are you interested in mental health nursing, or do you approach the topic with some anxiety?

Nurse- Client Relationship in Mental Health Nursing Discussion

Nurse- Client Relationship in Mental Health Nursing Discussion

What do you feel are essential aspects of a good nurse-client relationship?

Please include an example of how you established good rapport and a good professional relationship with a patient in the work or clinical setting. What nonverbal and verbal techniques did you use in this relationship?

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