APNA and ENA Collaborate to Provide Better Care for Psychiatric Patients in the ED
By Amy Carpenter Aquino, ENA Connection

APNA Participants

Marlene Nadler-Moodie, originial concept committee member and editor

Suzane Wilbur, original concept committee member

Amy Rushton, author

Margo Astroth, author

Jolie Gordon-Browar, author

Larry Plant and Rita Mack, co-authors

Barbara Olesko, author

Catherine Osborn O'Reilly, author

Christine Tebaldi, author

“The emergency departments are impacted with psychiatric patients,” said Marlene Nadler-Moodie, MSN, APRN, PMHCNS-BC, immediate past president of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. A clinical nurse specialist and educator, Nadler-Moodie often begins her presentations to emergency nurses by saying, “I know you don’t want to hear this, but you are a psych nurse. Twenty-five to 50 percent of your patients are psychiatric patients.”

A 2010 ENA position statement states that “Education in crisis prevention, intervention, de-escalation, and management of the patient in seclusion or restraints is critical for emergency nurses to provide optimum care.”

With a common goal of providing the best possible care to psychiatric patients in the ED, and to help alleviate the concerns emergency nurses often have when treating this population, ENA and APNA began collaboration on an educational product in 2006. The final product, ENA: Handling Psychiatric Emergencies, was released by Elsevier as an interactive online course earlier this year.

Nadler-Moodie explained that ENA reached out to APNA and its members for expertise in the initial stages of the product’s development.

“It stemmed from a survey that went out to the ENA membership, asking what they wanted from education,” she said. “Overwhelmingly, they wanted something on pysch. They didn’t feel like they were handling things well, and I get that. I am a psychiatric nurse in a general hospital, and I teach about psych patients in EDs and med-surg units, so I get those problems.”

Throughout the product’s development phases, APNA members maintained an integral role, serving as content experts, authors and editors for various course chapters. Nadler-Moodie recalled meeting ENA members and staff at ENA’s national office in Des Plaines, Ill. on two occasions, as well as attending a special meeting of product writers and editors hosted by Elsevier in Atlanta. She is pleased with the final result, which is endorsed by APNA.

“We’re really excited about it,” she said.

Her hope is that an emergency nurse who takes the course “feels a little more comfortable when she has a psychiatric patient that she has to care for,” she said. “My experience now with the emergency room nurses I work with is that they feel unprepared, and they kind of divorce themselves, almost. In facilities that have a psychiatric team, I think many ED nurses simply say, ‘Get the psych team.’ It’s not their comfort zone.”

Ten APNA members and more than two dozen ENA members worked on the program. There are too many to name individually, but their efforts are much appreciated.

ENA Handling Psychiatric Emergencies is an evidence-based course with material that includes live-action videos and 16 modules enabling the learner to earn 10.58 continuing education credits.

For more information on ENA Handling Psychiatric Emergencies, see the February issue of ENA Connection. For information on purchasing the course, call Elsevier at 866-416-6697.


ENA Position Statement: Medical Evaluation of Psychiatric Patients, 2010 (revised).

This article was originally published in the April 2013 edition of ENA Connection: http://issuu.com/enaconnection/docs/aprilconn-final?mode=window

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The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.