Mental nursing assessment is required to know about the emotional feelings of the patient. It also measures the cognitive functioning of the patient. The nurse will ask questions and do the examination for finding the mental health of the patient. The nurse will evaluate the patient by assessing the mood, memory, behavior, reasoning, ability and thinking of the patient so that he/she will know how far the patient can express him/herself. Sometimes, the mental assessment also requires lab tests like urine tests or blood tests. Mental nursing assessment should be performed by a registered nurse, psychiatrist, social worker, doctor or psychologist.
Mental nursing assessment is done by checking the mental related problems like depression, anxiety, Alzheimer's disease, anorexia nervosa, schizophrenia and depression. For performing nursing assessment, the nurses should have good experience in the field of pharmacology and mental illness. During mental assessment, the nurses will try to understand how well the patients can respond or adjust with the difficulties. The nurse should interview the patient which may consist of physical examination as well as verbal or written tests. During the interview with the patient, the nurse should pay attention to the details on how the patient behaves while asking questions.
The mood changes of the patient will be measured and noted by the nurse in the nursing assessment. Mental nursing assessment may consist of a physical examination and the doctor will go through the past medical history of the patient and the prescription medicines taken by the patient. The nurse will test the balance, reflexes and senses like touch, smell, sight, taste and hearing of the patient to know whether there is any kind of abnormalities in the behavior and mental health of the patient. The mental assessment tests also include lab tests of urine or blood sample also. Computed tomography, electroencephalogram and MRI are done in case of any suspected problem in the nervous system. Toxicology screening, thyroid function tests and electrolyte levels are performed to find out other problems.
Mental nursing assessment also include written or verbal test in which the patient should answer questions loudly or by writing the answers on the paper. The answers of the patient is scored and rated by the nurse. Most of the questionnaires consists of about 20-30 questions which are in Yes or No format. Most of the questions are addressing specific problems such as the cognitive function of the individual. The assessment also measure how well the patient can carry out day-to-day activities like eating, drinking, shopping, banking or dressing. More extensive tests are performed in case of extreme cases. It also measures the ability to act on crisis situations. The types of depressions also are evaluated to know the extent of the illness so that accurate treatment can be provided.