AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC NURSES ASSOCIATION’S EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM: TRAINING ACUTE CARE NURSES IN PREVENTING SUICIDE RISK AMONG PATIENTS
Research shows, that suicide is ranked 10th as the leading cause of death in the United States, and it’s now deemed a major health problem.
Suicide incidents can happen everywhere, even in hospitals.
That’s why, nurses working in Medical/Surgical units, emergency departments, and other non-psychiatric settings should practice skills concerning suicide assessment and prevention, because you may not know the patient you’re handling with has higher risk of suicide attempts. These professionals have serious responsibility in saving the lives of their patients.
A recent survey of 15,000 health and behavioral health care staff revealed that, among those who interact with patients, only half had received training in suicide screening or risk assessment, and only one-third felt strongly that they had the knowledge, skill, confidence, and comfort in providing care for individuals at risk for suicide.
To address this looming issue, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) has released an educational program aiming to train nurses in acute care settings to keep their patients at risk of suicide safe. The program targets to leverage the power of nurses.
“Through this training, more nurses will be empowered to take an important step in preventing suicide and offering hope to those in need,” says American Psychiatric Nurses Association President Linda Beeber, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN. “Nurses who work in acute care settings play a vital role in identifying those at risk for suicide and prevention. We also know, however, that nurses who work in acute care settings are already filling extremely demanding roles. That is why this training has been created with simple and quick steps that nurses can take during an initial patient assessment in order to address this vital concern.”
The APNA Competency-Based Training for Suicide Prevention – Acute Care Settings, developed by a panel of psychiatric-mental health nurse experts in the field of suicide prevention and a representative from the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, centers upon the most current available evidence providing best practices and functional steps that nurses working in acute care settings can take as they provide care to patients who may be at risk for suicide. This 1.5 hour training is available to institutions across the US to lease in order to enable their nursing staff to:
- Understand the phenomenon of suicide.
- Complete a suicide risk assessment using a newly-developed APNA algorithm.
- Communicate the risk assessment and warning signs in written and verbal form to the healthcare team members.
- Assess the environment for hazards (e.g. ligature risks) based on unit and personal levels.
- Develop an initial shared safety plan.
- Earn 1.5 continuing nursing education contact hours.
Erudite Nursing Institute™ salutes the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) in developing a training program for acute care nurses keeping their patients at risk of suicide safe.
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