Suicide: A Health Issue
Write an essay and include the following:
- Assess the past and present impact nurses, including advanced professional/advanced practice nurses, have made in addressing this health issue.
- Describe how nurses can become more broadly involved with influencing health policy related to this issue. Include resources available.
Prepare this assignment according to APA format. An abstract and an introduction are not required.
Suicide: A Health Issue
Suicide is widespread in the United States as well as across the world. Nurses practice on the frontline and have an opportunity to detect and intercede with suicidal patients. This literature will review the past and present impacts that nurses have made in dealing with suicide and describe how they are involved in influencing health policies in tackling suicidal patients.
To begin with, a nurse working in a psychiatric setting is likely to encounter cases of suicide among patients (Bohan & Doyle, 2008). Evidence suggests that inadequate know-how, religious beliefs, and recent experiences have been identified as the main factors that affect nurses’ attitudes towards suicide (Bolster, Holliday, Oneal, & Shaw, 2015). Nurses play a major role in a suicide scenario and therefore they are required to be trained on assessment of suicidal patient just like any other evaluation of a different type of illness (Bolster, Holliday, Oneal, & Shaw, 2015).In the past, nurses were not fully trained on how to handle suicidal patients. Therefore there were many suicidal deaths reported. At present, there are training programs put forth in dealing with issues of suicide. As an awe-inspiring issue in a healthcare setting, nurses are now able to receive basic training on how to address suicidal patients (Bolster, Holliday, Oneal, & Shaw, 2015). There have been notable successful training programs for nurses in dealing with suicide, for example, the Tennessee Lives Project has established suicide inhibition strategies that target adults who are in contact with highly suicidal youth.
Also, the nurse has become more broadly involved in influencing health policies that are related to suicide through targeting areas of concern such as education, research, and practice. Therefore, to implement such policies nurses are to play a greater role in ensuring the following guidelines put forth by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) that;
- as a nurse, one should be able to understand a suicidal phenomenon,
- manage reactions, beliefs and attitudes towards suicide,
- maintain a collaborative therapeutic relationship with the suicidal patient,
- collect the accurate assessment, formulate a risk assessment, and document suicidal risk,
- develop an ongoing nursing strategy for continuous evaluation that modifies the environment of the suicidal patient,
- must fully understand the legal issues associated with suicide (American Pyschiatric Nurses Association, 2016).
Conclusively, nurses in a psychiatric setting are major
players in the prevention of suicide.
Prevention is the only way to help reduce cases of suicide among patients.
There as an advanced nurse in practice we
must take full responsibility is ensuring that suicidal patient intervention is
successful and create an effective follow-up.
Health policies must be adhered to fully. With education and research on
suicide nurses have are now aware of how to handle suicidal patients. Also,
practicing nurses are obliged evidence-based clinical practices and standards
such as ENA’s suicide risk assessment (Brim et
American Pyschiatric Nurses Association. (2016, July 25). Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Essential Competencies for Assessment and Management of Individuals At Risk for Suicide. Retrieved from American Pyschiatric Nurses Association: http://www.apna.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageID=5684
Bohan, F., & Doyle, L. (2008). Nurses’ Experiences of Patient Suicide and Suicide Attempts in an Acute Unit. Mental Health Practice, 11(5), 12-16.
Bolster, C., Holliday, C., Oneal, G., & Shaw, M. (2015, January 31). Suicide Assessment and Nurses: What Does the Evidence Show? OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 20(1), 2.
Brim, C., CEN, C., Halpern, J., Storer, A. A., Barnason, F. S., APRN-CNS, C. E., & CEN, C. (2012). Clinical Practice Guideline: Suicide Risk Assessment. Emergency Nurses.