History of Psychiatric Nursing:
In 1873, Linda Richards, developed better nursing care in psychiatric hospitals, and organized nursing services and educational programmes in state mental hospitals. For these activities, she is called the First American Psychiatric Nurse.
First School for Psychiatric Nursing In 1882, the first school to prepare nurses to care for mentally ill at Mclean Hospital in Weverly, Massachusetts; was started. The nurses were prepared in this school to attend to the physical needs, administer medications, meet the nutritional needs, hygienic needs, and monitor ward activities. They were also prepared to provide psychological care consisting of being kind and tolerant to the patients. In England, preparation of psychiatric nurses and their certification by the Medico-Psychological Association began in 1891 (Anton, 198 I), yet it was actually in-service training. 'Nationally recognized qualification' of general nurses in Britain came in 1925.
First Book in Psychiatric Nursing In 1920, Harriet Bailey published the first psychiatric nursing textbook, ''Nursing Mental Disease'. Nursing the disease rather than the person suffering with the disease prevailed. Psychiatric nurses performed the 'mother role' activities. They disciplined patients and provided custodial companionship care.
Benjamin Rush (1 745- 18 13), the founder of American Psychiatry, encouraged more humane treatment to the mentally ill, and was the first American to organize a course in psychiatry. His work was followed through by Dorothea Dix (1802-1887), a retired school teacher. Dix canied on an intensive compaign between 1841 and 1881, and brought out the awareness of the inhuman treatment given to the mentally ill. She reformed the asylum system. This led to establishment of nearly thirty-two modem mental hospitals. She organized the nursing courses of the Northern Armies, during the civil war.
Sigmud Freud (1856-1939) sought to describe what he called the "Anatomy of Personality". He isolated three categories of experiences - the Id, Ego and Super ego as a method of looking at the way an individual functions. From these details you will understand that before, 1880s psychiatric patients were given custodial care. They were looked after by attendants who were prepared to maintain control of the patient. They had very little training and the care given was poor.