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Psychiatric nursing


Christian Erdmann, MBA
In the past forty years the image of psychiatric nursing has very much changed for the better. Psychiatric nursing used to face a lot of prejudice and was closely linked to the idea of preventive detention – where medicine was administered behind locked doors and patients were apparently dangerous. The prejudices that existed against psychiatric patients also affected the people who cared for them.

Improved quality of care

In 1975, the Psychiatry Inquiry Commission initiated comprehensive reforms that also led to remarkable developments in nursing. Psychiatric hospitals increasingly shed their asylum-like character and became therapeutic centres in which nursing gradually became an independent domain. Our psychiatric hospital has participated in further education for psychiatric nurses since 21 March 1978.

As social psychiatry became established, nurses became a more important part of the treatment team. When the Regulation on Staff in Psychiatry (PsychPV) took effect, the competence and scope of tasks of psychiatric nurses in Germany were legally defined for the first time. This significantly improved the hitherto difficult staffing situation. After implementation of the PsychPV, the quality of inpatient psychiatry improved enormously.

Today nurses strengthen and expand the resources of mentally ill people. They are considered to be experts in patients’ daily routines and they help patients overcome difficulties in their everyday lives. Together with patients, nurses develop and practice coping strategies – without judging, without analysing. This distinguishes the work of nurses from the different types of treatment provided by other professionals within the psychiatric institution.

However, the way in which the nursing team responds to the mental changes in our patients is also determined by their personal attitudes and the modern understanding of care. In our hospital this understanding has fundamentally improved in recent years.


We support our nurses

To allow our nurses to fulfil the wide range of tasks in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University Hospital Munich we offer them the following:

  • A range of further training opportunities
  • A good working atmosphere
  • Guidance and support in nursing practice through quality advice
  • For new employees, structured introduction and guidance from mentors

For more than 30 years further education for psychiatric nurses, which is offered in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry and the Psychiatric Hospital of the TU Munich, has guaranteed that our nurses provide state-of-the-art, high quality patient care. We take the training of young professionals from six external nursing schools just as seriously as the mentoring of further education participants during their assignments. A modern documentation system provides all hospital staff with a comprehensive insight into the nursing-therapeutic process.

Of course, the mission and reality of a university hospital also play a role in the work of our nurses. Thus, we offer nurses the opportunity to be actively involved in the latest diagnosis and treatment methods in the most complex clinical pictures and disease courses as well as in research projects and teaching at one of the largest psychiatric university hospitals in Germany.

If you have questions about further education in psychiatric nursing, please contact Michael Metzer, Tel. +49-89-4400-55158.
You can find further education opportunities here.

Quality consulting in nursing

The quality management representatives (QMB) are a group of nurses with a wide variety of additional qualifications. Their task is to forward the strategic objectives of the nursing directors to the nurses throughout the hospital or to implement these objectives and to support the nursing team in all quality-related concerns.

By advising and supporting nurses, the quality management representatives ensure that the quality of nursing care in the respective departments is continuously improved or maintained. The representatives perform periodical quality and risk controls to permanently maintain a high level of quality.