Main Article Content
This descriptive study aimed to determine the readiness of professional nurses in psychiatric and mental health practices and to identity problems and difficulties of professional nurses in these practices. The study sample was composed of 154 professional nurses working at Tambon Health Promoting Hospitals in Suratthani Province. The instruments for data collection consisted of three parts: (1) a demographic data form; (2) readiness of professional nurses in mental health and psychiatric practices questionnaire; and (3) problems/ difficulties of professional nurses questionnaire, which was developed by the researcher based on literature review. The tool was scored on a scale of 1-4. Content validity was verified by 3 experts. Internal consistency of parts 2 and 3 was tested using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, which gave a value of 0.90 for readiness, and 0.75 for problems and difficulties. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
The result showed that professional nurses in Tambon Health Promoting Hospitals in Suratthani Province had a moderate level of overall readiness (M = 2.67, SD = 0.40). Considering each subscale, it was found that all 6 subscales were at a moderate level; drug use and psychiatric care had the highest average score (M = 2.80, SD = 0.56), followed by the monitoring of patients (M = 2.80, SD = 0.55), diagnosis (M = 2.76, SD = 0.49), social and psychological care (M = 2.66, SD = 0.49), referral (M = 2.57, SD = 0.49), and promotion and prevention with the lowest average score (M = 2.48, SD = 0.47).
For problem and difficulties, all three subscales were at a moderate level (overall M = 2.19, SD = 0.53). The nurses subscale had the highest average score (M = 2.29, SD = 0.52) followed by organizational/ policy and management subscale (M = 2. 22, SD = 0.71) and the colleagues subscale (M = 2.03, SD = 0.66).
The results of this study could be used as information for preparing professional nurses at the district level in caring for psychiatric patients. In addition, the informations could be used in consideration of providing opportunity for nurse working at Tambon Health Promoting Hospitals to further their study.