Risk Assessment In Forensic Nursing

Forensic nurses work with mental ill patients, many with a criminal background. As nurses work with patients who have a high probability of displaying violent behavior, the need for a risk assessment increases. Risk assessment is the process of assessing the individual patient against his or her specific risk factors as well as against other general risk factors, such as substance abuse. The Royal College of Nursing (1998) suggests that the aims of risk assessment are to: identify the hazards, identify who is at risk, evaluate the risks, make a record of the findings, and review and revise the assessment. A thorough mental health and mental status assessment is also key. As a nurse we need to be aware of the many factors that influence mental health, which can aid in our risk assessment skills. Individuals have different stress management abilities, spiritual and belief systems, genetic factors and interpersonal relationships. Assessment and management of risk are necessary in mental health nursing; they protect the welfare of consumers of mental health services and the community, and also play a role in protecting nurses against potential litigation. – Health Assessment for Nursing Practice, 3rd edition, Wilson-Giddens -Violence Risk.com

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