Using Restraint with Restraints in Psychiatric Nursing Essay

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Psychiatric nursing has long been plagued by the issue of restraint.   Much research has been conducted and compiled spanning decades. The debate rages on about the ethics, effectiveness, and dangers of restraining practices.   This paper aims to identify perspectives on restraint from the views of nurses and patients, as well as investigate the current recommendations for best practice with regard to psychiatric restraint.   Mental health nursing is a unique field, under constant scrutiny, perhaps because of the misunderstanding of its science or the misconception about the community it serves.   This scrutiny has provided mental health nursing with the opportunity to examine its practice of restraint use and through its history constantly improve its practices.
Ethics in nursing is a constantly studied area. The American Nurses Association code of ethics requires that the nurse provide care that is respectful of the dignity and individuality of each patient. Underlining this concept are the nursing ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, and nonmaleficence (Taxis, 2002, p.158).   It is not difficult to understand how these principles may cause a dilemma for nurses who attempt to balance the risks and benefits of restraint use.   A review of literature has shown that nurses want to protect their patients from harm but also maintain the patient’s rights and dignity (Janelli, 2006).
With the inherent risk of violence that is common to all psychiatric settings it is important to understand the nurses perspective and reasoning in the use of restraints.   In studies addressing the views of nurses on restraint use, important findings have been brought to light.   One study found that nursing staff reported feeling of guilt and embarrassment when using physical restraints, as they realized that restraint devices can contribute to a loss of patient dignity (as cited in Janelli, 2006, p.164).   In another study which questioned 338 nurses from psychiatric units about...

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