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4.1: 4.01-0 Spotlight Application

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    Let’s review how the nursing process can be applied to Sample Case A introduced in the “Diagnosis” section of this chapter regarding caring for a suicidal client:


    During an interview with a 32-year-old male client diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, the client exhibited signs of a sad affect and hopelessness. He expressed desire to die and reported difficulty sleeping and a lack of appetite. He reports he has not showered in over a week and his clothes have a strong body odor.


    The nurse analyzed this data and created four nursing diagnoses:

    • Hopelessness related to social isolation
    • Risk for Suicide as manifested by the reported desire to die
    • Imbalanced Nutrition: Less than Body Requirements related to insufficient dietary intake
    • Self-Neglect related to insufficient personal hygiene

    The nurse established the top priority nursing diagnosis of Risk for Suicide and immediately screened for suicidal ideation and a plan using the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS).

    Outcome Identification

    The nurse identified the following SMART expected outcomes:

    • The client will verbalize feelings by the end of the shift.
    • The client will remain free from injury during the hospitalization stay.
    • The client will progressively gain at least one pound per week toward his ideal body weight (180 pounds).
    • The client will participate in daily bathing.

    Planning and Implementation

    The nurse implemented planned nursing interventions for Risk for Suicide as previously discussed in Table 4.6.


    Day 1: Outcomes partially met. By the end of the shift, the client verbalized feelings related to hopelessness and did not harm himself. He did not agree to participate in taking a bath and only ate 25% of his meal tray. Interventions will be re-attempted on Day 2 and reassessed for effectiveness.

    Sample Documentation

    0900: 32-year-old male client diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder admitted for active suicidal ideation with a plan to do so with a gun. He has the means to accomplish this plan at home. He has expressed the desire to die and reports difficulty sleeping and a lack of appetite for the past two weeks. He reports he has not showered in over a week, and his clothes have a strong body odor. Client was placed in a room near the nursing station and assigned a 1:1 sitter. His personal belongings were removed and placed in a secure area. An environmental scan was completed, and all hazards were removed from the room. He agreed to complete a no-harm contract. Dr. Delgado was notified at 0930. She assessed the client at 0945, and new orders for medications were received and administered. —– Zerimiah Alimi, Nursing Student

    This page titled 4.1: 4.01-0 Spotlight Application is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Ernstmeyer & Christman (Eds.) (OpenRN) .

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