Psychiatric-Mental Health Chapter
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At the SCNA Annual meeting last fall, the Psychiatric Mental Health Chapter sponsored resolutions on three important subjects: suicide risk assessment, intimate partner violence and lateral violence (workplace conflict and bullying) in nursing. Here is what has been accomplished so far.
With regard to suicide risk assessment, David Hodson, Chair on the Chapter Executive Committee, is working with a task force of chapter members to explore suicide prevention resources available within South Carolina. David reports that tremendous progress is being made toward our chapter’s goal to enlighten nurses across the state to be ever vigilant as to the assessment of all patients with regard to suicide. Efforts are underway in the development of a pocket size assessment tool to help nurses articulate their suicide assessment skills in all areas of nursing, not just psych. The suicide prevention resource center which is supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicate that 10 % of all emergency patients are thinking of suicide, but most don’t tell. Additionally 1 in 10 suicides are by people seen in the emergency department within two months of dying. Save a life-ask questions!
Fred Astle, Chapter Secretary-Treasurer, is working on the issue of intimate partner violence (IPV). As many of us are aware, South Carolina has one of the worst track records in the country when it comes to intimate partner violence. We believe that nurses and the patients and communities they serve could benefit greatly if nurses were better equipped to identify victims of IPV and if they were aware of evidence-based clinical guidelines in caring for these victims. To that end, the IPV task force is exploring evidence-based screening tools, clinical guidelines and documentation guidelines.
The Chapter has also partnered with the SC Lateral Violence Taskforce to convene a statewide workgroup on the problem of lateral violence in nursing. The workgroup has had one meeting and is currently enlisting representatives from various organizations around the state that have indicated an interest in working together to address lateral violence. Lateral violence not only impacts nurse recruitment and retention, but it has now been shown to directly affect the quality of patient care. The organizations and agencies currently represented on this workgroup are Upstate AHEC, SC Office of Rural Health, MUSC, Spartanburg Regional Health System, SCONL, the VA Hospital in Charleston, the SCNA team that worked on the generational conflict grant from the Center for American Nurses and the SC Board of Nursing. The South Carolina Hospital Association and the Deans and Directors are also interested in being involved.
Chapter Chair- Maggie Johnson
Vice Chair- Sylvia Whiting Mallory
Secretary/Treasurer- Julia Coons
Members At Large- Kim Gilmore, Peggy Dulaney