Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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160 pages
8.5 x 11 inches
July 2018
Print ISBN: 9781773380704


Psychiatric mental status examinations are part of the job of nurses, physicians, and many others in the field of mental health and addictions. In this highly accessible guide, Cheryl Webster Pollard introduces students and emerging practitioners to the skills and knowledge necessary to conduct a comprehensive examination. Fundamentals of the Psychiatric Mental Status Examination is an interactive workbook containing case studies, activities, and study questions to guide students through the process of administering the examination and documenting the information.

Each chapter explores a distinct aspect of the assessment, allowing readers to focus on key areas of interest. Students will learn how to assess for potential psychopathology, psychosis, and suicidal or homicidal ideation, and will examine unique cultural and age considerations that may affect individual experiences. Well-suited to a wide range of disciplines, including health, nursing, social work, and occupational therapy, this workbook’s practical approach and rich pedagogical content make it an ideal resource for new and aspiring practitioners in these fields.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

Preface x

Chapter 1 — Psychiatric Mental Status Examination 1

What Is a Psychiatric Mental Status Examination? 2
Who Conducts a Psychiatric Mental Status Examination? 4
Chapter Glossary Terms 6
Activity: What Do I Say Next? 7
Study Questions 8

Chapter 2 — Preparing to Complete a Psychiatric Mental Status

Examination, by Linda Cavanaugh 9

What Are You Looking For? 10
Activity: My Images of Mentally Healthy and Mentally Ill 10
What Does It Mean When Someone Is Mentally “Healthy”? 11
Activity: Time to Ponder 14
Assessment for the “Expected” 14
Chapter Glossary Terms 21
Study Questions 22

Chapter 3 — General Description 24

General Description: How Is This Assessed? 25
Special Considerations 29
Chapter Glossary Terms 29
Activity: General Description Word Search 31
Study Questions 33
Case Study 33

Chapter 4 — Emotional State 35

How Is Emotional State Assessed? 36
Special Considerations 38
Chapter Glossary Terms 39
Activity: Writing a Focused Review 41
Study Questions 42
Case Study 42

Chapter 5 — Speech 44

How Is Speech Assessed? 45
Special Considerations 47
Chapter Glossary Terms 47
Activity: Speech Linkage with Other Areas of the Mental Status
Examination 48
Study Questions 49
Case Study 50

Chapter 6 — Thought Processes 52

How Are Thought Processes Assessed? 53
Special Considerations 55
Chapter Glossary Terms 55
Activity: Alphabet Soup Puzzle 56
Study Questions 57
Case Study 57

Chapter 7 — Thought Content 59

How Is Thought Content Assessed? 60
Special Considerations 62
Chapter Glossary Terms 63
Activity: Developmental Refresher 63
Study Questions 65
Case Study 65

Chapter 8 — Risk Assessment 68

What Is a Risk Assessment? 69
Special Considerations 73
Chapter Glossary Terms 74
Activity: Risk Assessment Word Search 74
Study Questions 76
Case Study 76

Chapter 9 — Perception 79

How Is Perception Assessed? 80
How Do You Document Perception? 83
Special Considerations 84
Chapter Glossary Terms 84
Activity: What Is Expected versus Unexpected? 85
Study Questions 87
Case Study 87

Chapter 10 — Cognitive State 89

How Is Cognitive State/Sensorium Assessed? 90
Special Considerations 96
Chapter Glossary Terms 96
Activity: What Is Expected versus Unexpected? 97
Study Questions 99
Case Study 99

Chapter 11 — Insight 103

How Is Insight Assessed? 104
Special Considerations 105
Chapter Glossary Terms 106
Activity: Insight Matching Exercise 106
Study Questions 107
Case Study 108

Chapter 12— Volition 110

How Do You Assess Volition? 111
Special Considerations 113
Chapter Glossary Terms 113
Activity: What Is Expected versus Unexpected? 113
Study Questions 114
Case Study 114

Chapter 13 — Physical Functioning 116

Physical Functioning: Does It Really Matter? 117
Special Considerations 118
Chapter Glossary Terms 118
Activity: What Body System Are You Asking About? 119
Study Questions 120
Case Study 121

Chapter 14 — Putting It All Together 123

Now What? 124
Activity: Collecting Information on Mental Status Examination Section
Categories 125
Case Study 128

Chapter 15— What Do You Do with a Completed Psychiatric Mental

Status Examination? 130

Next Steps 131
Example of a Psychiatric Mental Status Examination 131
Study Questions 133

Activity Answers 134

Glossary 139


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