Suicide in the Hospitalized Patient

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and has been on the rise, nationally, since 1999. Sixteen out of 100,000 Americans will take their own life and suicide rates are increasing among all sexes, ages, races, and ethnic groups. Many suicides occur every year in healthcare facilities including psychiatric inpatient units and general hospitals. In addressing the National Patient Safety Goal, Reduce the Risk for Suicide, the Joint Commission developed seven new and revised elements of performance, or EP, that will be applicable to all Joint Commission-accredited hospitals and behavioral health care organizations, effective July 1, 2019. These recommendations address the issues related to environmental hazards impacting suicide and emphasize a safe environment, adequate screening and monitoring of patients and adequate education of staff in assessing, monitoring and caring for the patient at risk for suicide.

Nurses must be educated not only in assessing, monitoring and caring for patients at risk for suicide but also in the provision of counseling and follow-up care, as well as, the support of staff caring for patients who have attempted or completed suicide. 

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Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:

  1. Define the risk of suicide in hospitalized patients and the requirements to improve the quality and safety of care.
  2. Identify risk factors for suicide and vulnerable populations.
  3. List methods to identify hospitalized patients at risk for suicide.
  4. Recall techniques to manage hospitalized patients at risk for suicide.
  5. Apply methods used to prevent suicide in the hospitalized patient.
  6. State the role of nursing in preventing suicide in the hospitalized patient.
  7. Describe the impact of suicide on nurses.


Chapter 1: Introduction - Suicide in the U.S.

  • Introduction
  • Incidence of Suicide in the United States
  • Incidence of Suicide in the Hospitalized Patient

Chapter 2: Elements of Performance

  • Joint Commission
  • Summary of Elements of Performance

Chapter 3: Risk Factors for Suicide

Chapter 4: Identification of Patients at Risk

  • Suicide Risk Screening in the Hospital Setting
  • Assessment of the Hospitalized Patient for Increased Risk of Suicide

Chapter 5: Prevention of Suicide in the Hospitalized Patient

  • Management Practices for Suicidal Patients
  • The Role of Nursing in Preventing Suicide
  • The Impact of Suicide on Nursing

Chapter 6: Case Scenarios

  • Case Study #1
  • Case Study #2

Chapter 7: Conclusion and References 

  • Conclusion
  • References
  • California Bill 241
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • What is Implicit Bias?
  • Implications of Implicit Bias in Healthcare
  • How to Reduce Implicit Bias

Price: $10.00

Contact Hour: 1

Course Author

HTRSD is a provider of continuing education training focused on human trafficking and other social disparities for health care providers, as well as courses that address nurses' health and well-being and under-served topics in advanced critical care.

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