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Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, while efforts of direct patient care are at the forefront of nursing care around the globe, members of McLean’s Nursing Department had an impact on national and international psychiatric nursing, with several staff making poster presentations at this year’s American Psychiatric Nurses Association virtual conference and a presentation by Hayley Parét, MSN, PMHNP-BC, at England’s ECT Nursing Conference.
During this year’s American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) conference, four teams of McLean Hospital nurses presented posters describing their research and practice. The 34th annual conference, which was held on a virtual platform from September 30 through October 4, featured more than 175 poster presentations.
Here is a look at the McLean posters:
Presented by: Alissa Stewart, RN, BSN, and Kelly Carlson, PhD, PMHNP-BC
Individuals diagnosed with diabetes have higher rates of co-occurring psychiatric diagnoses and often do not receive adequate care or education. With this in mind, the team embarked on a “quality improvement” project that would lead to modifications to McLean’s diabetic protocol, including better integration of physical and mental health.
Presented by: Kelly Carlson, PhD, PMHNP-BC, Corey Potter, BSN, RN, and Karen Slifka, RN, MS, CS
This poster presented findings of a project to determine how well nurses and other health professionals understood misused and diverted medications. The effort was based on research showing that the nonmedical misuse of amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, gabapentinoids, hypnotics, opioids, second-generation antipsychotics, stimulants, and over-the-counter medications produces poor outcomes in individuals diagnosed with substance use disorders.
Presented by: Nadia Woghiren, BSN, RN, Jennifer Holiman, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC, Cassandra M. Godzik, PhD, NP-BC, and Kelly Carlson, PhD, PMHNP-BC
Studies have shown that about half of dementia patients exhibit agitation, which can reduce the quality of life and disrupt treatment. For this presentation, McLean staff looked at verbal and non-verbal de-escalation techniques to help older, agitated patients with dementia. Also, the team examined ways that staff training in de-escalation could enhance skills, boost morale, and decrease burnout and stress.
This poster presented four case studies involving patients with different psychiatric conditions who received ECT treatment. The conditions included treatment-resistant depression, agitated dementia, and catatonia. Each case study detailed the patient’s particular symptoms and psychiatric history, explained why ECT was the treatment of choice, and included a list of nursing considerations.
McLean’s Hayley Parét, MSN, PMHNP-BC, offered her insights into ECT patient care during England’s seventh annual ECT Nursing Conference. Held online on October 28, the event was presented by the National Association of Lead Nurses in ECT, a UK-based group that represents nurses and other professionals working in ECT clinics.
A psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner and ECT provider in the McLean’s Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Service, Parét said that her talk focused on “the expanding role of RNs and NPs in ECT” and addressed how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nurses working in ECT clinics. Her presentation built on a paper she is preparing for the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.
“During the pandemic, we were short on providers to administer the treatment and make sure our patients were okay, and nurse practitioners were able to step up,” Parét explained. However, NPs still face many barriers in taking on these responsibilities, Parét admitted, including “unclear documentation within our own scope of practice” and a lack of recognition as billable providers.
Parét credits Paula Bolton, MS, CNP, ANP-BC, program director of McLean’s Psychiatric Neurotherapeutics Program, for encouraging her to address these issues. “Paula has been a huge source of inspiration and guidance for me in my practice,” she said.
Both Parét and Bolton are part of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association’s Neuromodulation Task Force. The group, she said, is geared toward “tackling these issues head-on and advocating for the NP’s role in neurotherapeutics.”
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