Publication Date

Spring 2016

Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Christine Ortiz

Second Advisor

Deborah Hitt

Third Advisor

Kristine Brown


Emergency department, Triage


Suicide remains to be a global and a national problem, and it continues to be one of the leading causes of death in the United States (U.S.) The Emergency Department (ED), being the gateway to the hospital can provide a great opportunity to assess each patient for suicidal ideation, and evaluate if patients present with risk factors for suicide. The competency of the ED staff plays a critical role in early recognition of patients who are at risk, and in implementing a plan of care for those with positive screens. However, researchers showed that knowledge deficit and lack of education regarding suicide assessment have contributed to failure in identifying high-risks suicidal patients. Failure to identify, monitor and provide early interventions can result in adverse sentinel events.

This study examined the effect of teaching the ED nurses the Suicidal Assessment, Five-Step Evaluation and Triage (SAFE-T), an evidenced based tool for suicide assessment designed for ED triage. This study measured post-teaching intervention to assess if SAFE-T teaching increased knowledge of nurses regarding assessment and care of suicidal patients. The results showed that SAFE- T teaching increased nurse’s knowledge in identifying risk and protective factors, it showed improved suicide inquiry, and increased knowledge in nursing determination of risk level and appropriate nursing intervention.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.