This investigation is based on the fundamental belief that the interaction between the nurse and the violent and theatening psychiatric patient influences the possible later use of restraint. I approach the problem by investigating a critical act, i.e. the admission of involuntarily hospitalized psychiatric patients. I describe and investigate the interaction through the use of qualitative interviews and passive (non-participant) observation of the nurse and her working environment.

The study findings compile the strategies used by the nurse in her practical reality. These strategies include preparation, protection and introduction. The study findings indicate that the nurse, in the act of admission as a whole, does not provoke violent behaviour in the patient. The admission demands her undivided attention. She is vigilant in her preparation; the protection strategies contain problematic controlling action, but these are compensated by the patient’s introduction to the department.