Rutgers training nursing students to identify people at risk for suicide
Rutgers School of Nursing‒Camden class are learning to work with patients and help prevent suicides using standardized patientsin the school’s simulation suite – trained actors playing the role of someone who may be at risk of taking his or her own life.
The interaction between the nursing student and patient are filmed, and following the session, students review the video with their instructors, who focus on what the students did right and touch on ways that they can improve, according to Mary Wunnenberg, an assistant clinical professor at the school.
The school believes the training is especially important now, given the recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that says suicide rates in the United States have risen nearly 30 percent since 1999, in both men and women, in all ethnic groups and in both urban and rural areas.
Through their work using the standardized patients, the Rutgers University–Camden students are able to learn and observe a patient’s nonverbal cues and subtle clues to indicate to a nurse the seriousness of the situation and suggest the appropriate treatment for the patient.