I find it amazing that a pt would even be placed in a hospital, on a med /sug unit to be checked q15 min. for attempting suicide...What are you checking for? That he is ok? Is he alive or is he dead? Is he attempting again? A person who is brought in for attempted suicide doesn't need to be checked q15 min, he needs CONSTANT observation at arms length! And why isn't he/s admitted to the psych unit or a psych facility where his psych problems can be addressed??? Like previous posters stated alot can happen in 15 min. Realistically speaking, that pt does not get checked EVERY 15 min staying on a med surg unit. What if you're busy with another pt who stated , "I have chest pain!" Chances are you're going to forget about that suicide pt. and bingo that's when things happen.
We have a resident right now on COS (close observation status)
and has been since last wednesday. Over the weekend one of the NAs observing him found a paring type knife under his pillow and everyone who observed him 1:1 has no idea when he even put it there. The resident denies putting it there and states that he never had a knife and someone is trying to frame him. He has no visitors and he never gets OOB. He was checked for all contraban when he was placed on COS and no knife was found. The point is, if he had the "opportunity," he may have tried to use it.
This is the time of year when people become depressed and may attempt suicide. Prior to the holidays, facilities such as LTC need to have mandatory inservices dealing with s/s of depression, suicide prevention and protocol for observation status COS or Group observation. This class is as important as a CPR mandatory refresher course because you just might save a life, but in a different way.