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Understanding Human Behaviour




This chapter introduces the fundamental concepts that underlie human behavior. Most people are curious about how human beings express their needs, what motivates them, and how they respond to their surroundings. When people are healthy they tend to cope reasonably well, even if they have problems. In other circumstances, such as being admitted to hospital, people worry about their family responsibilities, their finances and security of employment, their diagnosis and its outcome. Such ruminations often leave clients in emotional turmoil. Clients who are diagnosed with physical illnesses will also have mental sets that influence how they respond to their illness and to the carers who deal with them either in a health agency or in their own homes. Clients who enter hospital for emergency care tend to have more difficulty than those with planned admissions, e.g. for elective surgery, because they have not had time to adjust to the dislocation that hospitalisation causes in their lives. Elderly people who are admitted to nursing homes have to give up many of their preferred routines and activities. As a result they experience varying degrees of grief and loss at separation from their previous lifestyle.


Contents include

  • knowledge of psychology
  • knowledge of human behaviour
  • personality
  • roles.
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Author / Editor Biographies

Bernadette Keane is a highly experienced nurse educator who lectured for nine years in the psychiatric nursing programs conducted at Royal Park Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to psychiatry, her clinical background and qualifications include medical, surgical, midwifery and infant welfare areas of care. In 1982, as a Kellogg Nursing Fellow, she studied at the University of California, San Francisco. Since then she has published journal articles and textbook chapters on health care and professional issues. In 1986 Bernadette launched her private practice, called Continuing Educati...
Carolyn Dixon was, from 1995 to early 1999, the psychiatric clinical nurse consultant in the Emergency Department of St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Her work there began as a project to study the effectiveness of this innovative role. Carolyn is a trained psychiatric and general nurse who has worked in hospital, education and community settings both in Australia and overseas. It was while she was working as a nurse teacher at Royal Park Hospital in Melbourne that she first worked with Bernadette Keane. Carolyn has presented a number of conference papers on aspects of psychiatric...

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