Specific Core Nursing Content # 2: Neurological Basis of Psychiatric Mental Health Practice
Clinical Learning Outcomes
- Apply knowledge about the structure and function of the brain in PMH practice.
- Describe neuroimaging techniques use in PMH.
- Identify the neurotransmitters, their location and function in the brain.
- Recognize the genetic component of each mental illness.
- Incorporate knowledge of circadian rhythms and sleep when conducting a psychosocial assessment.
- Demonstrate competent generalist assessment skills with emphasis on mental status and neurological functioning.
- Apply neurobiological knowledge to care practices and patient teaching.
- Identify the purpose of genetic testing for psychiatric disorders.
Classroom Teaching Strategies
- Review neuroanatomy of the brain using graphic illustrations of the brain. List the neurotransmitters and their function.
- Provide an illustration of the brain and a list of key anatomy (frontal lobe, limbic system, amygdala, etc.).
- Identify key brain structures affected and relationship to symptomology of anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia.
- Good YouTube overview of mental illness and the brain retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLUoG9Se77w
- Discuss genetic testing related to psychiatric mental health. Have class read current research and debate pros/cons.
- Woodruff, J. and Hyman, S. (2014). Pinpointing genetic links to schizophrenia may open doors to better treatment. PBS News Hour. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/pinpointing-genetic-links-schizophrenia-may-open-doors-better-treatment/
- James, S. D. (2015). New psychiatric DNA testing is unproven ground. NBC News. Retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/health/mental-health/new-psychiatric-dna-testing-unproven-ground-n437781
- Unknown. (2013). Five major mental disorders share genetic roots. National Institute of Mental Health: Science Update. Retrieved from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2013/five-major-mental-disorders-share-genetic-roots.shtml
- Journal articles to supplement text:
- Davies, S., Esler, M., & Nutt, D. (2010). Anxiety-Bridging the heart mind divide. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 24(5), 33-638.
- Phelps, J. (2015). The Neural basis of bipolar illness. Psychiatric Times. Retrieved from http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/special-reports/neural-basis-bipolar-disorder
- Siever, L.J. (2008). Neurobiology of aggression and violence. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 165(4), 429-442.
Clinical Teaching Strategies
- Discuss the origin of the patients’ symptoms in terms of brain structure and function. While administering psychotropics, discuss the effects of the medication on areas of the brain.
- Post conference discussion: “If a patient asked you whether they should have genetic testing done or not, what information would you give them to help them decide?”
- Discuss a patient who is being treated on a psychiatric unit who was stabilized on a medical unit after a gunshot wound to the head including the Broca’s area and the amygdala. Discuss what possible symptoms would be associated with these affected areas of the brain
Boyd, M. A. (2012). Psychiatric Nursing: Contemporary practice (5th ed.), pp. 80-104. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.
Which of the following areas of the brain are associated with emotion and addiction?
A) limbic system, B) cerebellum, C) brain stem, D) dopamine
Assignments with Rubrics
- Compare/contrast medication, neurotransmitter effects, adverse reactions, side effects and their neurobiological origin.
Clinical Skills Checklist
- As the student is administering meds, given a diagram of the brain, identify the area the medication is affecting/targeting (Standard 5. Implementation)
- Apply neurobiological knowledge to care practices and patient teaching. Student will teach the patient about the anatomy of the brain and the area of the brain that the medication is affecting (Standard 3. Outcomes Identification, Standard 5B. Health Teaching)
- Demonstrate competent generalist assessment skills with emphasis on mental status and neurological functioning (Standard 1. Assessment, Standard 2. Diagnosis)
- Apply neurobiological knowledge to care practices and patient teaching (Standard 4. Planning)