Suicide Risk Assessment in Nursing Practice, comment


Suicide is not the only data that nurses are "afraid" of collecting. Nurses are also afraid to ask the "sex’ question when appropriate. When triage nurses ask these types of questions, maintaining a level of professionalism by the interviewer and allowing the interviewee a level of comfort with appropriate questions is profoundly necessary. We as nurses cannot pick and choose what questions we are required to ask, but we can pick and choose how we ask them and when. When interviewing the suicidal patient, take the focus away from the real issue if the situation is becoming uncomfortable, then after establishing a relationship with the patient, reintroduce the issue in a nonconfrontational manner. Look for clues while observing the patient. Look for clues to answers to other questions. Make the patient comfortable. Allow time for the patient to respond. Do not rush the patient; it will only shut them down. Remain calm and focused, for the patient, and elicit as much as you can.

Original Post;
May 26, 2009
Title; Suicide Risk Assessment in Nursing Practice
I wanted to briefly address the need to emphasize suicide risk assessment in the acute care setting. I see in this inpatient setting a hesitancy by many nurses to assess patients for suicide risk. As acute care nurses, we often overlook the psychiatric components to our patients health and as a result, do not give the care often needed by our patient population. As psychiatirc illness can play the role of contributing factor in some physical illness, I do see it as necessary to not forget this aspect of our nursing assessment, espcially on patient admission. We are often afriad of offending or creating an awkward introduction to our patient/ nurse relationship, however I do see this as an obstacle that we, as nurses need to overcome to provide adequate care to our patients. The more open we are in addressing psychiatric needs, such as suicide risk or other chronic psych illnesses, the better trust we will build with our patients.

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