The aims and objectives of this assignment are to identify a nursing skill observed by myself whilst I was on my practice placement. The skill which I will be focussing on is the first phase of the nursing process in the form of the initial assessment interview. The client had been referred to the mental health services by his consultant and social worker, in order to continue his care in the community, after his discharge from a psychiatric ward. I was introduced to the client, and his permission was given for me to use my nursing skill of observation and also for me to use this assessment for the purpose of my study. The client in this assignment will be referred to as 'Davey'. This is a pseudonym, in order to protect his real identity and for the purpose of confidentiality, this is also a requirement of the Nursing and Midwifery Code of Professional Practice (2002).
A patient assessment according to Basford and Slevin (1995) is 'a carefully thought out methodical approach to gathering information and making an intellectual analysis of the data' in simple terms, it is building a picture of the patient.
There are a great deal of factors to be given consideration when assessing a client, the most important being that the client is the most valuable source of information. Crucial factors can be gleaned from the assessment, and there are several different techniques for doing so. Therefore, it is intrinsic to set the scene before beginning the therapeutic relationship by considering interpersonal skills (Sundeen, Stuart, Rankin & Cohen 1998). The type of assessment used here, was the semi-structured approach whereby information is gathered on a document which is designed for the specific purpose. The approach is called the Care Programme Approach.
The client Davey was...