Psychiatric nursing emergency: A simulated experience of a wrist-cutting suicide attempt

Mary L. Lilly, Melinda S. Hermanns, Bill Crawley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A simulated wrist-cutting suicide attempt scenario was developed and implemented, with the goal of integrating the concepts of psychiatric emergency care, contraband, environmental assessment, and personal safety. Faculty also wanted to convey and provide care and support for participants throughout the visually and emotionally stimulating activity. The underlying premise was that providing readings and lecture material on these topics was insufficient to the level of learning and performance needed by nursing students and novice nurses. However, actual student clinical episodes integrating these concepts were also infrequent, unpredictable, and often not conducive to student learning. Therefore, faculty implemented a simulation teaching modality to deliver the concepts in a vivid and memorable format. A standardized rating scale on perceived learning and care from faculty during the course of the simulation was administered immediately following participation in the activity. Participants were overwhelmingly positive in their assessment of the activity, reporting an enhanced appreciation for safety in the conduct of inpatient psychiatric nursing care. Further, the faculty member's observation and post-simulation processing of the activity noted cognitive, behavioral, and emotional responses at the individual and group levels related to communication, observation and assessment, decision making, and interpersonal support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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