General nurses’ attitudes to patients who self-harm
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General nurses’ attitudes to patients who self-harm

Gary Sidley Consultant Clinical Psychologist, North Manchester General Hospital, Manchester
Julia Renton Clinical Psychologist, North Manchester General Hospital, Manchester

This article describes the prevalence of suicidal behaviour, both nationally and in relation to one inner city district general hospital. The authors discuss what is currently known about risk assessment for identifying those patients likely to repeat the act in the near future. They also examine the findings of a recent survey about nurses’ perceptions and attitudes to patients who take deliberate drug overdoses. The survey found that nurses possessed some of the facts about risk factors relating to future parasuicidal intent and displayed generally professional attitudes to the treatment of these patients in general medical wards and A&E, but they appeared to show negative personal reactions after caring for patients who self-harm.

Nursing Standard. 10, 30, 32-34. doi: 10.7748/ns1996.04.10.30.32.c6221

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