Importance Of Risk Management In Mental Health Nursing

1016 Words 5 Pages
Risk management is an extensive component of mental health nursing. Risk, in accordance with mental health problems, may be defined as the “likelihood of violence” (Snowden, 1997) and as “suicide, self harm and self neglect” (NHS Executive, 1994). People with mental health problems are exposed to a number of risks during their illness. These may include self harm and suicide, possibly reaching further to violence and homicide. There are plentiful approaches to the management of risk in mental health nursing. The initial risk assessment of a client is paramount in maintaining patient safety in mental health nursing. The author will be discussing this in further detail, along with the importance of environmental safety in the risk management
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People with mental health problems are at much greater risk of harming themselves than of harming others. (DoH, 2001). Self harm may be considered by many to consist of cutting, burning and overdosing. These are forms of deliberate self harm (DSH), as many people can unintentionally harm their bodies on a daily basis, through acts such as smoking and the consummation of alcohol. Suicide is another major risk factor in clients with mental health problems. It is found that suicide is more successful in males than in females and is more common in patients suffering with psychiatric disorders such as depression, psychosis, personality disorders and substance abuse. (Shives, 2005). It is essential that managing the risk of self harm and suicide is a high priority for mental health nurses and indeed all mental health staff. In order to follow through with the risk management of these clients, it is crucial for staff to possess qualities of empathy and …show more content…
Clinical assessment of risk is designed to develop a “balanced judgement and informed opinion that seeks to explain and understand risk behaviour” (Ryan, 1993). When assessing a patient it is vital to have a clear understanding of their background, personal history and attitudes towards themselves and towards others. This is imperative to risk assessment as typically in practice, risk behaviours mainly arise when a patient becomes further independent, substantially increasing their risk of harm to themselves or to other people. It is primal that the nurses assessing the risk of the patient are aware of triggers and behaviours that may possibly lead to any of the above risk factors; suicide, self harm, homicide or violence. Essentially, the end result of this assessment is based on evidence. This therefore proposes the strongest possibility that these risk behaviours will not reoccur. The rapid identification of early warning signs and triggers is fundamental to the process of risk management and hugely decreases the chances of a patient taking part in risk

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