A Message from the President
Patricia D. Cunningham, DNSc, APRN, BC
Partnering with individuals in ways that respect autonomy and integrate trauma-informed principles is critical to psychiatric-mental health nursing care. We understand well the importance of ensuring person-centered, trauma informed, and recovery-focused care. That’s why I want to draw your attention to the newly updated APNA Position on the Use of Seclusion and Restraint and the corresponding APNA Seclusion and Restraint Standards of Practice. For the first time, these two resources are now publicly available on our website!
The past fifteen years have seen a tremendous movement towards decreasing the use of seclusion and restraint to manage potentially violent or self-destructive behavior. Since they were originally published in 2000, the APNA position statement and standards of practice have guided psychiatric-mental health nurses in their efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of seclusion and restraint across settings at a variety of levels, from setting institutional policies to legislation. The 2000 version emphasized prevention and reduction of the use of seclusion and restraint. In 2007, the documents were updated to include best practices and clinical developments that supported successful seclusion and restraint reduction and, in some cases, elimination. The revised standards lay out important characteristics of a culture that supports the reduction and ultimate elimination of the use of these restrictive methods. The new 2014 version reinforces the importance of recovery principles, consumer engagement, and the need to provide trauma informed care.
I’d like to especially recognize the APNA workgroup from the Institute for Safe Environments, who updated the documents. Their revisions, which were approved by the APNA Board of Directors on April 8, 2014, were based on an extensive review of the literature and their collective extensive experience in psychiatric-mental health nursing. You can view the updated versions on the APNA website .
The APNA 12th Annual Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute was last week, June 19th-22nd, in Reston, VA. The institute once again provided timely and relevant information related to pharmacotherapy in caring for clients to almost 500 attendees. One presentation of note for me was Dr. Amador's keynote on how we can change our communication approaches to improve outcomes and on using the listen, empathize, agree and partner (LEAP) approach to care for those with compromised insight. It is the relationships we build with consumers, our degree of connecting and engagement, that make the difference in outcomes of care. Like the APNA Institute for Safe Environments, we are all learning, and relearning, the most effective ways to connect with those we serve.
It was great to connect with many of you last week at CPI!