Nurses’ experiences of suicide attempts in palliative care
Hultsjo, S., Persdotter, A., Jakobsson, M., Lofgren, F., Annerhult, S., & Wardig, R.
Objectives: To describe nurses’ experiences of caring for individuals who have attempted suicide in specialized palliative care and to describe if the care of these individuals changed after the suicide attempt. Methods: A qualitative, descriptive study was conducted. Nine nurses working in specialized palliative care units were interviewed following a semi-structured interview guide. Conventional content analysis was used in the analysis process. Results: The results are presented in 3 categories: “A suicide attempt evokes strong emotions,” “Health-care efforts changed after the suicide attempt,” and “Experiences for the rest of working life.” Suicide attempts aroused emotions in nurses such as frustration, compassion, and feelings of being manipulated. The relationship between the nurse and the individual was strengthened after the suicide attempt, and their conversations became deeper and changed in nature. Health-care efforts relating to the individual increased after the suicide attempt. Significance of results: HThe results of the study can create an awareness that the palliative process also includes the risk of suicide and can be used to create conditions for nurses to be able to handle questions about suicide without fear. The results of the study can be used as an “eye opener” to the fact that suicidality occurs in palliative care. In summary, there is a critical need for nursing education in suicide risk assessment and continued follow-up care for patients at risk of suicide within palliative care.