Background: Emergency Departments are underutilized settings for suicide prevention and management as patients with occult (camouflaged) suicides and suicidal ideation are rarely screened by nurses and other health workers in these sites. The under-detection rates could be a result of lack of suicide assessment and management confidence among the hospital staff. The aim of the study was to find out the perceived self-efficacy in suicide risk assessment, management and referral among nurses working in an emergency department within a lower income country. Method: The Risk Assessment and Management Self-Efficacy Scale (RAMSES) was administered among nurses in an emergency department (ED) within an urban region in a descriptive study. The risk assessment, management and referral domains among 64 respondents were evaluated using mean and standard deviation calculations in SPSS v 21. Results: The total RAMSES composite score in risk assessment, management and referral was 6.19 (SD 2.107) with risk assessment having the lowest mean score of 6.09 (SD 2.08), while risk referral process mean score was the highest at 6.55 (SD 2.36). The nurses had the least confidence in developing a written risk management plan 5.68 (SD 2.51) as well as using screening instruments to assess risk 5.90 (SD 2.15). Findings: Nurses in emergency department have below average self-efficacy in suicide assessment and management necessitating training as well as integration of protocols that could enhance effective utilization of emergency departments as suicide prevention and management settings.
- Accident and Emergency Nurses
- Suicide risk assessment
- Suicide risk management
- Suicide risk referral
- Suicide self-efficacy