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Role of mental health professional in clinical risk assessment Essay Sample 

The following essay sample shall focus upon the various clinical risk assessments, principles followed and roles played by mental health care professionals to assess the clinical threat.

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Mental health professionals and Health Service Executive has an important role to be played in the risk assessment of patients. The duty of the Health Service Executive is to identify, evaluate, manage, and assess the risk.

Evaluation of risk and assessment is required for devising an appropriate and suitable method of treatment for patients. The needs of mental health service users must be catered to while treatment.

Such risks include social and psychological factors of mental health patients who can harm themselves and others. Safety and welfare of patients must be the primary concern in any health care unit.

Policies in relation to mental health patients and risk management was introduced by the Government of Ireland.

A vision for change (2006) policy was introduced to recover patients and creating a strong bond with health professionals. Mental Health Commission in 2007 introduced the Quality Framework Mental Health Services in Ireland which provides quality services of high standards. Integrated Quality, Safety, and Risk Management Framework (2009) were implemented in HSE services.

Areas that require clinical risk assessment by health professionals 

There are few areas that have been discussed for risk assessment for mental health patients and others working in his close proximity.

These are the following areas:-

The vulnerability of mental health patients 

These mental health patients are vulnerable by nature as they are most prone to external threats or danger. Social and other factors can easily target this group as they are weak and cannot protect themselves.

Mental instability in patients 

Such mental health issues in patients can make their behavior and conduct with others unpredictable. They can pose to be a direct threat to others as their mood is fluctuating and have psychotic behavior.

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Self-harm and causing injury to others

Such patients can inflict injury and pain upon themselves and also to others as they do not understand the nature of activities they commit. They usually self neglect themselves and can also fall into the category of substance abuse by involving in risky behavior. They face social and financial problems, difficulty in getting a new accommodation, loss of emotional support from family, loss of reputation in society, and also custody of children.

Mental patients face risk from others

They face direct sexual, psychological, and physical abuse from outsiders. Financial abuse and exploitation are yet another risk for them. Society may treat them unjustly and discriminate against them in social and public spaces. They may be also harassed and victimized.

The risk to others from mental health patients 

Such patients may turn out to be violent, aggressive, attacking, and may even assault others. They can cause serious harm and abuse to children. They can even sexually harass and stalk as a predator.

Duty of care provided by the mental health professionals 

  • Risk assessment and management must help in the formulation of safety plans. Professional care must be provided to patients to cater to their needs and ensuring their safety in public spaces and in person.
  • Professional and public accountability is to be made by healthcare providers.
  • Risk elimination is not the only way of risk management but rather an increase in the benefits of mental health services to be provided to the patients.
  • Health professionals must also comply with government rules, health policy, health, and safety legislative regulations to ensure the welfare of patients and others.
  • Care can also include taking advice and support from the family of the patient by health professionals. Family can be told to directly get involved in the patient’s life to comfort them.

Principles followed by mental health care professionals for clinical risk assessment 

Certain health and safety principles can be followed by professionals to devise safety plans for healthcare staff and patients.

Some of the healthcare principles to be followed for risk assessment are:-

Building a trustworthy relationship of the patient with the health care provider

Strong bonding and interpersonal relationship must be created by healthcare professionals with the patients.

When a trusted relationship is built between the mental health service user and healthcare staff it ensures speedy recovery from illness and injuries.

No panic attacks, anxiety, and fear will be instilled in the minds of the patients when they will be treated. This will make the process of treatment and assessment of health risks smooth and certain.

Risk assessment is important for the overall recovery of the mental health service user

Assessment of clinical risk not only helps the patients to recover from their illness but also improves their overall health. Health care providers must not only treat the mental health of the user but also try to focus on their overall health progress. Physical, social, emotional, and spiritual health should also be healed and promoted.

Nonjudgemental, positive approach and attitude towards the mental patient 

Health care workers and the nursing staff must be extra careful when dealing with mental health patients. They must have a positively interactive attitude towards them when asked about something. Unresponsive and rude behavior may put such patients into depression and anxiety.

Impersonal questions must be asked to them without giving them a feeling that they are being judged and controlled. Nurses must have a genuine, sensitive, and emotional approach to help them.

Risk assessment is a continuous and unfixed process 

Risk assessment is a continuous and dynamic process that involves regular intervention and reviews. It is a regular process in the healthcare sector and not an event that is completed after a few steps. The continuous process of evaluation, assessment, and review must be maintained to analyze the risk involved in the healthcare industry.

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Clinical judgment is the best risk assessment 

There are three types of assessment process under the clinical judgment and they are –

unstructured clinical judgment based on personal intuition of risk assessment, an actuarial method to use validated tools instruments for risk measurement. Structured clinical judgment includes clinical judgment and the actuarial method. It is the most appropriate method of risk assessment as it includes all safety and risk factors.

Effective communication to meet the safety needs of patients 

Effective communication skills must be demonstrated for effective healthcare teamwork. The patient’s health record, history, treatment, progress, needs, etc must be recorded and communicated to the doctor and health staff.

Documentation of safety plan, review, assessment technique, medical intervention, risk involvement, health information must be communicated so that healthcare decisions can be made.

Involvement of family for emotional support of patient

If there is any friend or family of mental health disorder patient then they must be personally involved in his life. They can guide and be the emotional support of such a person. It helps them to feel emotionally secured and safe and can eliminate risk.

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A detailed essay sample is written on the role of mental health professionals in clinical risk assessment.

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