Clinical placements

Monitoring fluid intake in mental health patients

A new system for monitoring fluid intake helped nursing student Daniel Taylor address the physical health of mental health patients. 
Daniel Taylor, who created a fluid chart for mental health patients

A new system for monitoring fluid intake helped nursing student Daniel Taylor address the physical health of mental health patients

During my second year of nurse training, I had a clinical placement on an acute male psychiatric ward.

Daniel Taylor, who created a fluid chart for mental health patients

There were around 20 patients on the ward with a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, bipolar affective disorder and schizophrenia.

Quite a few patients were restricting their fluid intake and therefore not drinking enough to maintain their physical health. There were various reasons for this, not all of which were tied to the patients’ mental health disorders, but some of the patients had delusional beliefs around drinking, others had command hallucinations – such as voices telling them not to drink – and some had body image issues.

Although the ward had a

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