How do you feel about nurses discussing spirituality with patients who need emotional support, especially those who express feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and suicidal thoughts?
I'd definitely get someone involved who is more equipped to help assess the mental status, and intensity of the suicidal thoughts- are they down about something in particular, or overall feeling life is pointless...plan? Ability to carry out plan? Previous attempts?
Spiritual and emotional support are one thing (well, two) but suicidal anything needs some sort of evaluation JMO and ime
If someone is telling you they are suicidal, and have a plan, they need to see a mental health professional, and I would get an order for a pysch consult--or if they are activelly suicidal implement suicide precautions. If they are feeling spiritually depressed, I would ask if they would like to see the chaplin, their priest or minister. I think their is a difference between feeling helpless/hopeless and being suicidal.
Whatever feelings a patient is expressing your main goal is to keep your mouth shut and your ears open. You should not be thinking about what you are going to say, you should not be "discussing" anything. You should be actively listening, hearing their words and reflecting their same words back to them in the form of a question.
On the other hand, I am an atheist. If I told a nurse I was suicidal and she started discussing spiritual needs I just might get angry enough at her non therapeutic response to forget I was suicidal!!!!