Psychiatric Nurse (m/f)

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. We work in over 60 countries, offering assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. The Humanitarian HUB in Brussels of MSF Operational Centre Brussels is looking for a:

Psychiatric Nurse (m/f)



Since September 2017 a stable number of +/- 700 irregular migrants stay around in the Maximilian Park in Brussels. Most are waiting to cross to the UK. Although we are dealing with a moving population, the demographics of the people in Brussels stay more or less the same. Most of the people come from Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia.

These people are in need of shelter, food, medical and psychosocial care. They also need to have access to objective information about asylum procedures and their rights.

Several Belgian NGO's and civil society actors have put their efforts together and are providing a series of humanitarian services in a common project, the humanitarian hub (HUB), with the objective of responding in a comprehensive manner to the needs of these people. The hub offers medical care, mental health care, family tracing services, clothes distribution, social and legal assistance, phone charging and phone call possibilities. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is providing mental health care in this set-up and participates actively in the management of the project.

Political Environment

At national level, the Belgian government has put in place restrictive policies of deterrence with

a criminalizing discourse of the "transmigrants" to the Belgian public; regular police harassment towards the people sleeping in the park; regular detention of migrants.

Officially, the Belgian government wants to tackle the smuggling networks.The government creates a climate of fear and mistrust in order to justify repressive tactics and an anti-immigration discourse.

The region has allocated a budget to support the functioning of the HUB. However, most organizations are working with volunteers, which reduces heavily the costs related to human resources.

Project Presentation

MSF is one of the partners in the humanitarian HUB (building where services are grouped and coordinated) managed as a consortium between different organizations to respond to the needs of this specific migrant population.

Activities are provided by partners in the HUB as follow:

· Primary health care and midwives consultations: Médecins du Monde

· Mental health: MSF (1st line consultation)

· Non-Food distribution (clothes, hygiene products,...): Plateforme Citoyenne

· Family link maintenance/research: Red Cross

· Social services: Plateforme Citoyenne (SISA)

· MENA: SOS Jeunes

MSF also has a 2nd line structure (the MSF clinic) where specialized mental health care is provided. In this structure, MSF aims to provide patients' psychological follow up, psychiatric consultations, medication prescription and adherence support, social consultations and physiotherapy sessions.*

The MSF team consists of 1 Field Coordinator, 1 Mental Health Activity Manager, 1 resource manager, 3 psychologists, 4 psychiatrists (volunteer or detached), 4 Cultural mediators (or translators), 1 social worker and, in order to re-inforce the team, MSF is looking for a psychiatric nurse.

*Above mentioned services could be subject to change


· Provide psychiatric nursing care, mental health support and follow-up of patients, according to psychiatrist's prescriptions and the defined treatment plan, according to MSF protocols and MSF hygiene stand-ards/precautions, in order to ensure the quality and continuity of care for the targeted population.

· Be in charge of psychological and/or medical emergencies (Hospitalizations, crisis management, follow-ups after hospitalizations, references, contacts with hospital).


· Organize and carry out care and treatments according to medical prescriptions, and assisting during consultations, and other medical procedures.

· Participate in health education, evaluate, follow-up and reinforce the medication adherence.

· Ensure patients receive appropriate care and that those with lack of autonomy and/or medical needs received the support needed.

· Carry out admission, surveillance and follow-up of patients (i.e. assessment of the evolution of their state of health and the identification of any emergencies or deterioration of the patient).

· Carry out and supervise administrative procedures and documents (fill in patient's files, forms, consumptions, statistics, registers, health files, etc.), ensuring an appropriate written/oral handover, and reporting any problematic situations and cases that may arise.

· Participate in data collection and keep doctors/supervisors informed.

· Participate in the pharmacy management and medical equipment control and maintenance (quality and its functioning, storage conditions, follow-up of expired drugs inventories, stock takes of medicines and material at every team changeover ensuring no material is taken out of nursing area/wards without prior authorization, etc.)

· Identify Sexual Violence victims and refer them to receive the necessary treatment.

Specific context accountabilities

· Collaborate in the evaluation and the carrying out, diagnosis and treatment plan of patients in close collaboration with psychologists and psychiatrists.

· Refer patients to other mental health professionals whenever necessary, in order to provide the most appropriate treatment and improve the patient's condition.

· Collaborate closely with medical, social and legal services in HUB and/or in MSF clinic, promoting a multidisciplinary approach.

· Provide psychological support to patients according MSF protocols in order to improve their mental health conditions.

· Assist and train staff members and resourceful people whenever necessary in order to enhance the scope of Mental Health activities.

· Work in close collaboration with the cultural mediators in order to use appropriate terminology and behavior during sessions.

· Collect, encode and monitor statistical data about mental health activities.

· Inform the Mental Health manager and the medical team about any issues or problems that may arise related to patients.

· Be the focal point between hospital, mental health services and MSF team for patients who need to be hospitalized and keep the Mental Health Activity Manager informed.

· Ensure that all patient information is kept confidential.

· Ensure that medication prescribed by psychiatrists matches the restrictions related to MSF standards ("No benzo" policy) and be the focal point for communication with the pharmacy.

· Communicate with medical services of Fedasil or Red-cross centers and the social worker of the project for re-orientation of patients referred by these centers regarding prescription and follow-up.

· Ensure the role of "back-up" at the Hub, taking care of urgent situations during open hours consultation.

· To complete, file and archive patient's files in an appropriate manner.

· To identify facilities for referral and to be the person of contact with psychiatrists, nurses and social workers in referral facilities (psychiatric wards and hospitals)



· Essential: recognized psychiatric nurse degree/diploma

· Essential: Bachelor in Science of Nursing


· Desirable: 2 years of previous experience in a psychiatric ward

· Demonstrated experience working in multidisciplinary team

· Training in counseling or psychotherapy is an asset


· Essential: English and French

· Arabic and/or Dutch are an asset

The candidate adheres to the MSF principles and to our managerial values: Respect, Transparency, Integrity, Accountability, Trust and Empowerment


· 12 months contract, extendable – part-time (80%)

· Starting date: ASAP

· Location: Brussels, Belgium (Hub)

Deadline for applications: December 15th, 2019

CV and motivation letter with "Psychiatric Nurse" in the subject line to be send to: before 15/12/2019.

Please name your application documents with your LAST NAME.

We thank all those who apply. Note that due to the volume of applications, only candidates selected for the interviews will be contacted further.

The protection of your personal data is important to MSF. By submitting your application, you consent to MSF using your personal data. For more information, consult our privacy notice to job applicants.


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