Year: 2023 Source: Journal of Emergency Nursing. (2023). 49(2), 266-274. SIEC No: 20231586
Introduction Emergency nurses are on the front line of patient care for suicidal persons, yet many nurses report feeling unprepared to effectively manage suicidal patients owing to a lack of suicide-specific training. The purpose of this study was to examine the suicide-specific training experiences of emergency nurses and evaluate how training relates to burnout, confidence, and comfort working with suicidal patients. Methods Emergency nurses at critical access and community hospitals completed an anonymous online survey during work hours. The survey included questions about training experiences, burnout, confidence, and comfort working with suicidal patients, perceptions of the quality and interactive nature of training, and desires for future suicide-specific intervention training. Results Group comparisons among the 117 emergency nurses revealed that those who received evidence-based/expert-delivered training reported greater confidence, comfort, and perceived ability to treat suicidal patients and lower burnout than those who received informal or no training. Those with informal training reported greater confidence and ability to treat suicidal patients, but similar levels of comfort and burnout as those with no training. Mediation analyses showed that training was associated with greater comfort working with suicidal patients through its effect on increased confidence. A majority desired additional suicide-specific training. Discussion Evidence-based/expert-delivered professional training in suicide intervention is associated with improved confidence, comfort, and perceived ability to care for suicidal patients and lower burnout. Providing evidence-based suicide intervention training may improve quality of care for suicidal patients by improving emergency nurse confidence and comfort for treating these high-risk patients.