Careful observer, clear reporter or autonomous decision-maker? Mental Health Nurses and decision-making theory in the use of enhanced observation: A literature Review

Gearóid Brennan

University of Edinburgh

Gearóid Brennan [BA (Hons), BN, RMN] is a graduate of NUI Maynooth, having read for a double honours degree in English and German. He completed his pre-registration Mental Health nursing degree at Edinburgh Napier University. He was awarded the university medal on graduating for outstanding achievement. He is currently completing a Masters of Nursing in Clinical Research at the University of Edinburgh, funded by the Scottish Government's Chief Nursing Officer’s Directorate. He hopes to pursue a clinical academic career route. He has a keen interest in qualitative methods, the social sciences, self-harm and acute psychiatric care research. He works clinically as a staff nurse within NHS Lothian's Royal Edinburgh Hospital. When he is not researching or nursing or researching nursing, he enjoys a spot of baking, cooking, coffee and the gym.


Reading Florence Nightingale’s Notes on Nursing (1860), it is obvious that observation had a vital role to play in the life of the nurse. She considered it essential for a nurse to be a “careful observer” and a “clear... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Gearóid Brennan (University of Edinburgh)

Topic Area

Mental health or psychosocial interventions


OS-3E » OS-3 Mental Health (14:40 - Monday, 30th March, seminar room 6)

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