Degree Type: 

Bachelor of Science

Department: 

Department of Mental Health

Programme Duration: 

2 years (Diploma Entry)

Modes of Study: 

Regular

About Programme: 

Objectives of the Programme

   The B.Sc. Community Mental Health Nursing programme is expected to achieve the following

  1. demonstrate understanding of current Mental Health knowledge, concepts and issues that influence the delivery of Community Mental Health Care
  2. assess Mental Health profiles of individuals, families, and communities
  3. manage Mental Health conditions in the community, and refer where necessary
  4. gather, analyse, present and maintain data and information that informs evidence based health care in the community
  5. apply the legal, ethical and human rights principles in operations of the Community Mental Health Nurse evaluate and report on community mental health programmes

Entry Requirements: 

Entry Requirements:

All professional certificate and tertiary level diploma holders must have either G.C.E. “O” Level credit passes in English Language and Mathematics or SSSCE/WASSCE credit passes in English Language and Core Mathematics.

 

Applicants must be Registered Mental Health Nurses (RMN), with a minimum work experience of not less than three years. They must have studied at a certificate or a diploma level at a recognised Nursing Training College (NTC). Applicants must have an active registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Applicants would be required to pass a written test followed by an interview.   Candidates who are offered admission must complete a health check and provide satisfactory references.

Career Opportunities: 

 Graduates of Community mental health work in all areas requiring mental health nursing expertise. These include Mental Health Authority, Ghana Health Service, the Teaching hospitals (Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, Tamale Teaching Hospital among others), private and mission health facilities and teaching in diploma and certificate awarding health training institutions. Other avenues for employment include industry-based health facilities, health research institutions, health related NGO’s and public and private universities

Programme Structure

Level 300

First Semester

MHN 301: Community Health Care
3 Credit(s)

This course will provide students with an in-depth exploration of community health nursing concepts and principles from a population health care perspective. The course will focus on the historical development of community health nursing. Course content will include historical perspective, various definitions of community and systems, stress vulnerability model, living in the community with mental health problems. The changing needs of an increasing multi-culturally diverse population within the socio-economic context of community systems are examined. Also, the concepts of Primary Health Care and Community-based Health Planning and Services will be discussed

MHN 303: Community Mental Health Nursing
2 Credit(s)

The course aims at enabling students to understand the various theoretical perspectives that underpin the work of the community mental health nurse. The content will include the ecological systems, interpersonal models and their application to community mental health nursing. The content will also include the role of the community mental health nurse and the principles of community care.

MHN 307: Communication in Mental Health Nursing
2 Credit(s)

The aim of this course is to equip students with communication skills including Information and Communication Technology (ICT) application to nursing practice in general and particularly to community mental health nursing. The content includes theories for analysing communications in nursing, developing effective modes of communication in mental health nursing, using effective communication in the care of the mentally ill, challenges to effective communication in mental health nursing and documentation including Mental Health Information System (MHIS).

MHN 309: Mental Health Care Assessment
2 Credit(s)

This course is designed to further develop students’ advanced knowledge and skills for obtaining and recording a systematic health history and advanced physical and mental state examination of individuals and families across the lifespan. The course involves the synthesis of nursing, biological, psychological, and socio-cultural knowledge and theories as applied to mental health nursing. The central objective is the development of cognitive and clinical skills necessary for obtaining a comprehensive health history of individuals on admission. The course will emphasise the use of nursing process to assess the complex factors that affect the health of the individual requiring admission to hospital. Students will also be trained in the use of various valid and reliable measures (e.g. the Kavannagh–Goldberg–Vaughan (KGV) scale; Krawiecka et al, 1977) and need (e.g. the Camberwell Assessment of Need; Phelan et al, 1995).

MHN 311: Essential Skills in Mental Health Nursing
3 Credit(s)

The purpose of this course is to enable students to acquire the specialised knowledge and skills required by the Mental Health Nurse. Content of the course will include self-awareness, developing therapeutic relationships, interpersonal communications, motivational interviewing, care planning, writing and keeping records of care, working in groups, case management, assertive skills, Six category intervention skills and De-escalation skills. The student will also be equipped with the necessary skills needed to effectively admit and discharge clients with mental health problems.

MHN 313: Psychopharmacology and Treatment Protocols
3 Credit(s)

This course is designed to introduce students to the pharmacological agents used to promote, maintain and restore mental health. Emphasis is on therapeutic and adverse effects of the psychotropic medication. The role and function of the professional nurse as related to the pharmacological agents will be reviewed. Treatment protocols will be discussed indicating the relevant medications to be prescribed and dispensed by the practitioner under the given circumstances

NUR 229: Microbiology and Infection Prevention
3 Credit(s)

This course is a basic Microbiology course designed to aid students in understanding the characteristics and activities of microorganisms and their relationship with health and disease. The principles of infection control are coupled with the science of microbial transmission and reproduction. Students will gain knowledge of the most important bacterial, fungal, parasitical and viral infections. The use of personal protective equipment and the ability to establish and maintain a sterile field are core skills of nurses. The role of the immune system in defense of the human body will be examined and emphasis placed on the recognition of inflammation. 

The course has a practical component to enable students view microorganisms.

NUR 310: Nursing Informatics
2 Credit(s)

The course will help students develop basic understanding of Health Informatics and its application in nursing and midwifery practice in Ghana. Within this course, topics related to how computer technology is used for clinical documentation, what defines systems and models and nursing information technology will be discussed. Issues related to protection of privacy, confidentiality, security and the ethical use of health information would be examined. This will include discussions of relevant legislation.

Second Semester

MHN 304: The Family, Health and Caring
2 Credit(s)

The aim of this course is to facilitate students’ development of self-awareness in the management of family-centred care. In addition, it aims at examining family roles and coping mechanisms used by individuals to function comfortably within groups. This course will consider the links between the family, health, illness and caring. It focuses on the individual’s health and family well-being. It explores patterns of communication within families as well as family dynamics. The fundamental importance of valuing and respecting diversity is highlighted and examined.

MHN 306: Mental health promotion
2 Credit(s)

This course will enable students to analyse theories, concepts, issues and trends from contemporary nursing science. The emphasis is on teaching and capacity building skills that the individual and community groups may use to maintain their health. Content of the course will include models of health promotion and education. Concepts such as stigma, discrimination, advocacy, empowerment, social capital and social inclusion will be explored. Using an evidence-based approach, students will develop strategies to effectively communicate health information to the public. Ethical issues related to the distribution of resources and health disparities together with appropriate health education strategies and access to care will be explored.

MHN 308: Legal, ethical, and human right issues
2 Credit(s)

The aim of this course is to provide students with a legal and ethical framework for practice. This includes developing an understanding of key legislation relevant to a variety of patient/client groups, and awareness of the ethical tension between the protective use of authority and the principle of empowering practice. Students will be introduced to the underlying principles of mental health law and policy issues related to practice.  They will also examine physical health care issues and safe drug administration. Ethical dilemmas arising out of clinical situations, decision making frameworks/models will also be studied. Students will also be exposed to international human rights issues particularly Conventions on the Right of Persons with Disabilities.

MHN 314: Psychopathology
3 Credit(s)

The aim of this course is to review in-depth knowledge of mental health disorders and their psychopathologies. The students will also be introduced to some rare mental conditions such as Capgras, Othello, Munchausen and other syndromes that have cultural colouration e.g. multiple personality. The medico-social implications of the conditions on the sufferer, his/her family and the community will be explored, focusing on the causes, diagnosis, nursing care and management and prevention

NUR 202: Pathology
3 Credit(s)

This course is designed to expose students to the pathological processes that occur in the human body. The emphasis is on physiological mechanisms in regards to disease, pharmacological actions, and providing a bridge between basic science and the clinic.

NUr 311: Biostatistics
3 Credit(s)

This course is to help students to develop skills with a range of procedures in analysing and interpreting research data in descriptive and inferential statistics. The focus is on selection of appropriate statistical test, understanding hypothesis testing, and computing statistics, interpreting output and presenting results of analysis. The primary goal of the course is to develop an understanding and appreciation for the concepts and methods of modern statistics in students in the health sciences.

NUR 399: Research Methods
3 Credit(s)

The student is introduced to the use of the scientific process in the identification, formulation, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of research. Issues related to research designs, including the formulation of research questions, objectives and hypotheses and the identification/development of theoretical contexts will be discussed. Students will be introduced to qualitative and quantitative nursing research approaches.  Students will be expected to develop their research proposals by the end of this course.

Level 400

First Semester

MHN 401: Recovery and Rehabilitation in mental health
3 Credit(s)

The aim of this course is to enable students to demonstrate awareness of the inherent problems of prolonged hospitalisation and benefits of early discharge. The course includes the concept of deinstitutionalisation and factors which prolong dependency in the individual. Concept of psychiatric rehabilitation and the wider implications relating to the process of normalisation of clients with enduring mental health needs will be explored. Emphasis will be laid on assessment methods, the social support systems and agencies that may be utilised in the process of rehabilitation and settlement.  The course also includes the use of appropriate health education techniques and effective teaching skills to improve client/service user care and promote mental health.

MHN 405: Developing counselling and helping skills
2 Credit(s)

This course is aimed at enabling students acquire the skills of counselling in order that they can provide support and guidance to patients, individuals and families in relation to mental health. Content will include definitions of counselling, counselling processes, types of counselling, skills of a counsellor, theoretical orientation, qualities of a counsellor and ethical considerations for practice. The role of the nurse in counselling will also be explored.

MHN 407: Adherence Management
2 Credit(s)

In this course students will be equipped with the knowledge of non-compliance/non-adherence/non-concordance. Cognitive–behavioural interventions that have specific focus on adherence management will be explored. The use of methods for educating patients and families regarding their drug treatments; acquiring skills in the use of various measures of medication side-effects (e.g. LUNSERS - Liverpool University Side Effects Rating Scale); the use of cognitive–behavioural methods, such as motivational interviewing to deal with non-adherence to medication will be examined.

MHN 409: Interventions in dual diagnosis.
2 Credit(s)

This course will provide students with the knowledge of interventions needed to care for populations who have comorbid substance misuse with mental illness (dual diagnosis). Given that this condition is very prevalent in mental health institutions and community services, it is important to offer mental health nurses training in this area. Content will include definition of dual diagnosis, common forms of dual diagnosis, assessment, treatment models and application of the nursing process.

MHN 411: Psychotherapies
3 Credit(s)

This course is set out to train students to attain a level of skill using psychological interventions. Content of training in psychological interventions will include the use of functional analysis in assessment, simple behavioural strategies, such as activity scheduling and reinforcement, cognitive methods for dealing with hallucinations and delusions, principles of evaluation using simple and reliable measures. The course will place much emphasis on Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CBT).

NUR 412: Nursing Service Administration
3 Credit(s)

This course is designed to introduce students to the management principles, strategies and theories used in professional nursing practice. The focus is on understanding health care delivery systems at the local and national levels and the development of the skills needed within the context of health services delivery in institutional or community settings.

NUR 420: Health care policy
2 Credit(s)

This course examines the professional nurse’s role and responsibilities in shaping health care policy at the regional, national and international levels. It also focuses on developing skills in strategic planning, political processes and organizational development as applied to health care policy. The course will help students develop analytical skills related to formulation and critical evaluation of health policies.

Second Semester

MHN 402: Risk assessment and management in mental health
3 Credit(s)

The purpose of this course will enable students develop skills in assessing and managing the risk of harm to self and others from people with Mental Health problems and vice versa. Content will include the definitions of risk and risk assessment, identification of potential for harm, methods of risk assessment, the risk management cycle, implementation of management measures, monitoring measures, risk factors, use of rating scales and psychometric tests, observation, history of violence, recording reviews, recording assessment and decision-making process.

MHN 404: Mentorship process
2 Credit(s)

The aim of this course is to prepare students for their future role as practice mentors for junior students. As registered practitioners, they will have a responsibility for monitoring and assessing students’ progress within the practice area. Content of this course will include; role of mentor in student learning and support, process of continuous assessment of practice, range and level of competence expected at each stage of learning, identification of learning needs for students and resources, staff support, skills of formative and summative assessments.

MHN 406: Reflective practice and Critical Incident Analysis
2 Credit(s)

This course is designed to enable students to use reflection as a tool to identify and facilitate their learning needs, recognise reflective practice as a key component of continuing professional development. It provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate how they have changed and grown personally and professionally as a result of their learning during the degree programme. The course is practice-based and competency focused. It is premised on the assumption that students have the ability to study independently and to use a range of resources, including academic and practice placement staff, to meet their specified objectives. The content will include; critical incident analysis to inform professional development

MHN 408: Crises Theory and Interventions
2 Credit(s)

This course will equip students with the knowledge and skills on the nature of crisis and the various methods of intervention. Students will learn to recognize and deal with the psychological and emotional stresses encountered by people in crisis. Course content will include definition of crisis and crisis intervention, description of selected theoretical models of crisis intervention, types of crisis, characteristics of crisis state, phases of crisis state, techniques of crisis intervention and the application of the nursing process in crisis situations. The management of mental health emergencies and the legal implications and immunity for the crisis worker will also be examined.

MHN 410: Family Interventions
3 Credit(s)

This course provides students with a working knowledge of family interventions. Students will acquire core skills in family interventions which will provide them with the required competencies. Students will be trained to engage with families within the context of a collaborative relationship and integrate educative methods with appropriate listening and interviewing skills. Core skills in family intervention course include family assessment methods, providing education to the family, working collaboratively with families and patients, identifying strengths and deficits of families, providing interventions to reduce family stress.

MHN 410: Family Interventions
3 Credit(s)

This course provides students with a working knowledge of family interventions. Students will acquire core skills in family interventions which will provide them with the required competencies. Students will be trained to engage with families within the context of a collaborative relationship and integrate educative methods with appropriate listening and interviewing skills. Core skills in family intervention course include family assessment methods, providing education to the family, working collaboratively with families and patients, identifying strengths and deficits of families, providing interventions to reduce family stress.

MHN 412: Practice experience
3 Credit(s)

This course will equip the students to gain practical experience in a variety of mental health settings. These will include acute and chronic wards, rehabilitation centres, occupational therapy, clinical psychology department, social work department, community care and other resource centres. Most of the skills training will involve the use of role-play exercises, using videotapes of simulated patient interviews to acquire skills in identification of symptoms and signs, and practising the use of valid and reliable assessment methods.

NUR 499: Research project
3 Credit(s)

Under the guidance of an appointed supervisor, the approved research project will be completed providing the opportunity for the student to demonstrate application of critical thinking and problem-solving skills in a real-world situation.