Psychiatric Nursing and Betty Neuman’s Systems Model

Discusses the role of the psychiatric nurse according to Betty Neuman’s Systems Model.

This paper examines the paradigm of psychiatric nursing through the lens of Betty Neuman’s Systems Model. Neuman believes that the demands and opportunities of nursing are unique because the nurse is the only medical professional who truly does care for the whole person, helping to alleviate all of the stresses that affect each individual. The paper shows that because nurses see their patients as whole people, by extension Neuman sees the profession of nursing as a set of actions that collectively assists individuals as well as their families to achieve and maintain a state of wellness. It examines how nursing, especially for the psychiatric nurse, requires that attention be given to all of those stressors that affect the patient as well as all of those stressors that affect the caregiver, i.e. the nurse.
Of all medical professionals, nurses as a group come closest to the ideal of treating the whole patient, addressing physical, emotional, psychological and even social concerns. This is especially true of psychiatric nurses who work to help patients address both the physical and cognitive symptoms of their conditions as well as to come to terms with the stigma attached to having a mental illness – a stigma that often is applied as much by the patients to themselves as by others.