Frontiers in Psychiatry (2020-05-01)

A “Necessary Evil”: Staff Perspectives of Soft Restraint Kit Use in a High-Security Hospital

  • Helen Walker,
  • Lindsay Tulloch

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11


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IntroductionForensic mental health nurses working at the forefront of services can intermittently face enduring and somewhat harrowing or stressful situations. Enclosed is an example of the use of mechanical restraints (Soft Restraint Kit) for a two month period. Staff experience of working under such circumstances is an under reported area.MethodsThe experience of nursing a patient under extreme conditions was captured through use of a qualitative study, using semi structured interviews with a purposive sample of (n = 10) staff nurses and nursing assistants in a high-security hospital.ResultsThematic analysis was undertaken generating four themes: sense of responsibility, aptitude, enablers/inhibitors, and consequence. Conclusions suggest that Soft Restraint Kits provide a useful method of containment, although prolonged use presents considerable challenges for staff. The importance of preparation and training cannot be underestimated and continued support and supervision are absolutely essential.