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In this book we have attempted to identify skills which are needed by the psychiatric nurse, and in doing so to identify a body of knowledge unique to the professional psychiatric nurse. The book has been written to demonstrate the basis of a skills approach for both the experienced and the inexperienced nurse to build upon, for we believe that psychiatric nurses, due to both their training and their particular mixture of interests, are weil equipped to be in the forefront of psychiatry as a developing art and science. We hope that this book in some small way helps this development. Some of the more recent advances in psychiatric nursing have been rein­ forced by the publication of a training syllabus for mental nurses (English and Welsh National Boards, 1982). This document highlights the need for a change from a medical model to a social model and from a task-oriented leaming experience to a skills approach. We have attempted to reflect this change in emphasis by including such aspects as personal development and self-aware­ ness, human sexuality, the nursing process and counselling skills.

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