August 2006, Volume 36 Number 8 , p 43 - 47
CAPTAIN, CONSTANCE RN, PHD
Constance Captain is a clinical nurse specialist for behavioral health in the North Broward Hospital District Service in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
YOUR PATIENT was transferred to the medical/surgical unit from the intensive care unit (ICU) after a near-fatal drug overdose 2 days ago—a failed suicide attempt. Steve Mills, a single, 62-year-old teacher, came to the emergency department (ED) by ambulance after his neighbor called 911. According to the ICU nurse, when Mr. Mills regained consciousness, he was angry about being rescued. His response was, Nearly 500,000 ED admissions for suicide-related injuries are reported annually, so sooner or later you're likely to care for a patient like Mr. Mills. Once a patient has attempted suicide, hospital policy defines the nursing interventions needed. More difficult, however, is identifying a patient at risk for suicide if he was admitted for an illness or injury unrelated to a suicide attempt.
In this article, I'll provide ...