Reply to disc. Pop

Reply to the bellow discussion

Working in the healthcare field, I found many questions uncomfortable to ask patients. For instance, teenage patients may feel uncomfortable answering questions regarding sexual activities during an assessment, especially in the presence of their parents. I have taken care of patients with a history of drug abuse and often avoid asking about their addiction, mainly because of the unknown reaction that the questions may trigger. I know that I should not think this way, as it is my responsibility to help my patients reach their optimal health. However, I often do not have to ask these questions because most of my patients are mainly transferred from a different unit where most of their assessment questionnaire has already been completed.

Nevertheless, one set of questions that I have to ask when performing my assessment is related to suicidal thoughts. I often feel uncomfortable asking these questions thinking that I will increase patients’ suicidal tendencies. However, a study conducted by Blades et al. (2018) showed that “exposure to suicide-related content during research studies is associated with reductions in suicidal ideation and a lower likelihood of attempting suicide after participation” (para. 16). I fear these questions due to a tragic incident at a skilled nursing facility (SNF) I previously worked years ago. At that facility, the nurse screened the patient for suicidal thoughts. This patient admitted to having suicidal ideas, but the nurse failed to report it. A few days later, the patient committed suicide using her bedding sheet. Although this experience was not one of my own, I could have been the one who interviewed the patient since I worked in that same facility.

A patient care in which I felt uncomfortable is that of a recent female patient who was in her mid-forties. The patient presented to the emergency department (ED) with symptoms of COVID-19. After performing some laboratory, diagnostic, and imaging testing at the ED, her testing results came back negative. Therefore, she was transferred to my unit for observation and further testing. As I was doing my assessment, I got to the part where I started asking about depression and suicidal questions. The patient responded that she has been vomiting, feeling nauseated, having a headache, fever, and chills. She had not been able to eat or drink anything for two weeks, and the doctors could not find anything wrong with her. She proceeded by saying that she felt miserable, maybe she would be better dead, and all her suffering would end. I was surprised to hear that answer as it was unexpected. At first, I thought she probably did not mean what she said, but that previous incident came to my mind, and I decided to report it. The patient was placed on a suicide watch. After all, I felt terrible because she acknowledged that she did not mean what she said. She mentioned that she loved her life and her children and would never take her life.

In preparing to complete a family assessment, I maintain a positive attitude; I remain non-judgmental and direct in my line of questioning. I consider these characteristics to be my strengths. According to Shajani and Snell (2019), “Nurses’ positive attitudes toward families encourage them to engage more frequently in therapeutic conversations with families” (p. 186, para. 7). Being non-judgmental will create trust between the patient and me resulting in increased family collaboration and contribution to the interview. Finally, asking direct questions will help me get the answers I am looking for.





Blades, C. A., Stritzke, W. G. K., Page, A. C., & Brown, J. D. (2018, July 5). The benefits and risks of asking research participants about suicide: A meta-analysis of the impact of exposure to suicide-related content. Clinical Psychology Review.

Shajani, Z., & Snell, D. (2019). How to