Sjuksköterskors erfarenhet av att arbeta med suicidala patienter inom psykiatrisk affektiv öppenvård

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Sammanfattning: Background: Working with suicidal patients is professionally and emotionally exhausting. A suicide is a tragic event for everyone involved and leaves an emotional scar in the caregiver. Predicting suicide through risk assessment is difficult. Nevertheless, the caregiver needs to asses risks, prevent suicide, manage internal anxiety and at the same time guide the patient away from suicidal ideation and towards life. Aim: To describe nurses' experiences of working with suicidal patients in psychiatric affective outpatient care. Method: Qualitative study with inductive approach. Data collection through semi-structured interviews with seven nurse professionals in psychiatric affective outpatient care. The interviews were analyzed by means of content analysis. Result: The nurses strived to create security, both for the patient and for themselves. Through a respectful and empathetic commitment, they created the conditions for a good caring relationship and an open conversation where the patient could dare to share their situation. The nurses were able to build safety through suicide risk assessments, flexibility in care contact and by helping the patient build a protective network. They strived to strengthen the health of the patients, as well as to give hope. The work of caring for suicidal patients affected the nurses on a personal level. Teamwork, supervision, shared assessments, and documentation emerged as important in dealing with this impact. Conclusion: Working with suicidal patients is complex and demanding. The nurses strived to create security both for themselves and for patients, as well as relatives. An empathetic and transparent response was viewed as central for creating an open conversation where the patient dares to share their experiences. Nurses are in need of continuous formal and informal support in the workplace. The team fulfills an important function in this support as well as to share the burden of responsibility in difficult assessments.

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