Nurses should use their competencies and philosophies to provide evidence-based and timely medical services to their patients. Those working in the field of the mental field should be aware of the problem of suicide and address it effectively. The purpose statement for this discussion is that many practitioners have ignored the reality of suicide as a major medical problem many people in the world face.
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This gap has created a situation whereby all health professionals fail to implement appropriate strategies, procedures, and models to guide those who are at risk of suicide. The presented paper identifies suicide as a major mental health challenge that all professionals in the field of nursing should begin to take seriously. The discussion also outlines the significance of the concept of suicide to nursing practice in organizational settings.
Definition of Suicide
Suicide remains one of the concepts or issues that have continued to attract the attention of many philosophers, medical professionals, and psychologists for many centuries. Numerous studies have also emerged that try to give a detailed analysis of this social problem. Keaton et al. (2019) define “suicide” as any form of death that arises from self-inflicted injuries. The motive behind this malpractice is to end or terminate one’s life.
In most of the studied cases, victims tend to have different mental illnesses, including depression and trauma. Suicidal thoughts also occur when individuals contemplate, consider, or plan to end their lives. Some analysts have gone further to explain why there is a need for practitioners and mental physicians to propose a better definition for suicide (Irigoyen et al., 2019). Such a move is appropriate since it can empower health professionals and agencies to present evidence-based policies and clinical guidelines that can support those who at risk of committing suicide.
Criteria of the Concept
Untimely death remains one of the most troubling events facing human beings. From the 18th century, the concept of suicide became common in different parts of Europe and across the world. The first users of the word applied it to analyze and address any form of self-inflicted death. This application led to the introduction of the concept in several English dictionaries. From the 19th century, many scholars and researchers began to derive new terms from it. For example, “suicidal thoughts” is a concept that refers to actions and responses individuals who are likely to kill themselves portray (Irigoyen et al., 2019). More expressions have emerged that try to link the act of self-inflicted injuries or death to various mental problems.
Psychologists and psychiatrists who want to monitor a person’s risk of committing suicide can consider various attributes. Such an evidence-based practice is critical since there are diverse characteristics associated with the idea of taking one’s life. The first attribute is that of psychological expectation or need. Gearing and Alonzo (2018) acknowledge that suicidal thoughts take shape when complex demands arise. A person whose needs remain unaddressed will be at a higher risk of committing suicide.
The psychological pain of an immeasurable proportion is the second attribute individuals who engage in this malpractice exhibit. This is possible since they tend to encounter unacceptable anguish or negative emotions. Many analysts argue that competent practitioners should identify the most appropriate strategies to reduce such kinds of suffering (Irigoyen et al., 2019). This move will encourage the beneficiary to embrace life.
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The third one is that many people who contemplate suicide tend to be helpless and hopeless. Since such feelings take time to disappear, the affected persons will eventually decide to end their lives. Aekwarangkoon, Noonil, and Petsirasan (2019) indicate that the act of suicide is what appeals to such individuals the most. They believe that terminating their lives is the most appropriate or viable option. Another important thing is that some people select suicide as an interpersonal act of communicating their secret intentions to the entire world (Keaton et al., 2019). This kind of approach is not aimed at getting help or attention, but an intended act of heroism.
Antecedents and Consequences
Suicide has become a major social problem affecting many societies, countries, and communities across the world. Past studies have tried to analyze and examine some of the potential factors that expose many people to suicidal thoughts. Several risk factors encourage young individuals to develop similar feelings, thereby exposing them to self-inflicted injuries. Some of them included untreated mental health conditions, prolonged depression, biological factors or forces, bullying, peer victimization, and family history (Irigoyen et al., 2019). Such aspects reveal that specific families tend to record increased cases of suicide.
This means that people’s genetic makeup can expose them to desperate feelings and eventually increase their chances of committing suicide. Individuals who experience different forms of abuse at school, workplace, or home tend to have higher chances of becoming suicidal.
This concept remains a major challenge that disorients the experiences and outcomes of communities, families, and individuals. Its consequences are usually far-reaching and can make it impossible for many people to achieve their goals. Those who attempt suicide might be forced to live with broken bones, failed organs, and damaged brains (Gearing & Alonzo, 2018). These injuries will make it impossible for the affected people to record positive physical or mental health outcomes. When the malpractice results in death, families, and communities lose key members who could have supported economic growth.
Theoretical Perspectives of Suicide
Nurses and health professionals are expected to respond effectively to patients and individuals who have suicidal thoughts. Various theories have emerged that guide and encourage practitioners to recognize their professional values and standards of practice to deliver exemplary services. They can also work as teams to address the medical or mental challenges all patients face. A good example of such models is Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring. This theory is essential since it empowers practitioners and caregivers to focus on the needs of human beings and provide high-quality care to them (Aekwarangkoon et al., 2019). This model empowers professionals in different fields of health to support people who might be experiencing suicidal ideas.
The second theory applicable to patients with suicidal thoughts is Nola Pender’s Health Promotion Model. This model provides assumptions that practitioners can consider to transform their patients’ experiences. The ideas can also be applied in different scenarios and cases to ensure that depressed patients receive high-quality support. The Quality Caring Model by Joanne Duffy is another powerful model that practitioners and professionals in the field of health can consult to support individuals who might be at risk of suicide. This model presents some of the best approaches for fostering caring relationships (Keaton et al., 2019). According to this theory, individuals who feel supported and empowered will have increased chances of engaging in personal health-promoting initiatives.
From the above analysis, it is evident that suicide is a concept that has become meaningful in the field of nursing. Most of the current theories are capable of guiding healthcare professionals to offer evidence-based support to persons who might be having suicidal thoughts (Aekwarangkoon et al., 2019). The use of theory can empower nurses to develop and maintain evidence-based therapeutic relationships with their respective patients who are at risk of committing suicide.
Significance of Suicide to Nursing Practice
Many patients suffering from chronic conditions tend to develop complex emotions or feelings that might put them at risk of committing suicide. In an organizational setting, there is a need for nurses to be aware of the challenges and problems their patients might face and implement evidence-based initiatives to support them. This means that there are numerous examples whereby the concept of suicide might become significant throughout the care delivery process (Irigoyen et al., 2019). The outstanding one is when nurses and clinicians appreciate the fact that patients might experience numerous challenges that can encourage them to contemplate suicide, such as depression, chronic conditions, and medical negligence.
With this kind of understanding, it will become necessary for nurse practitioners to monitor patients who might be experiencing suicidal thoughts. While focusing on issues of patients’ confidentiality and autonomy, practitioners should focus on evidence-based practices that can result in independent decisions and offer adequate support to the individual. They can also embrace the power of a multidisciplinary team to address most of the health challenges affecting the targeted patient and offer high-quality support.
This group should include different professionals, such as physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, clinicians, social workers, and family therapists (Gearing & Alonzo, 2018). The practitioners focusing on the problem of suicide will pursue attributes that will deliver positive results, such as altruism, empathy, nonmaleficence, and integrity.
The above discussion has identified suicide as a person’s act or desire to end his or her life. This concept has become a major social problem affecting many people across the world. Different theories and frameworks have emerged to empower and guide medical professionals to support individuals who might be at risk of committing suicide. The ultimate objective of nursing practice is, therefore, to address suicidal thoughts and eventually support the delivery of high-quality medical services.
Aekwarangkoon, S., Noonil, N., & Petsirasan, R. (2019). Psychosocial support provided by health volunteer for older adult with depression and suicide attempt: A case study. Walailak Journal of Science & Technology, 16(4), 275-282.
Gearing, R. E., & Alonzo, D. (2018). Religion and suicide: New findings. Journal of Religion & Health, 57(6), 2478-2499. Web.
Irigoyen, M., Segovia, A. P., Galván, L., Puigdevall, M., Giner, L., De Leon, S., & Baca-García, E. (2019). Predictors of re-attempt in a cohort of suicide attempters: A survival analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 247, 20-28. Web.
Keaton, S. A., Madaj, Z. B., Heilman, P., Smart, L., Grit, J., Gibbons, R., … Brundin, L. (2019). An inflammatory profile linked to increased suicide risk. Journal of Affective Disorders, 247, 57-65. Web.
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