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Ambulance clinicians’ responsibility when encountering patients in a suicidal process
Linnaeus University, Sweden; Region Sörmland, Sweden; Uppsala University, Sweden.
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden; Centre of Interprofessional Collaboration within Emergency care (CICE), Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden; Department of Ambulance Service, Region Sörmland, Katrineholm, Sweden; Centre for Clinical Research Sörmland, Uppsala University, Eskilstuna, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1878-0992
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. Department of Health and Care Sciences, UiT/The Arctic University of Norway, Norway.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9714-577X
Linneaus University, Sweden.
2023 (English)In: Nursing Ethics, ISSN 0969-7330, E-ISSN 1477-0989Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Background: Even though the traditional focus in emergency care is on life-threatening medical crisis, ambulance clinicians frequently encounter patients with mental illness, including suicidal ideation. A suicide is preceded by a complex process where most of the suicidal ideation is invisible to others. However, as most patients seek healthcare in the year before suicide, ambulance clinicians could have an important part to play in preventing suicide, as they encounter patients in different phases of the suicidal process. Aim: The aim of this study was to describe ambulance clinicians’ conceptions of responsibility when encountering patients in a suicidal process. Research design: A qualitative inductive design using a phenomenographic approach was used. Participants and research context: Twenty-seven ambulance clinicians from two regions in southern Sweden were interviewed. Ethical considerations: The study was approved by the Swedish Ethical Review Authority. Findings: Three categories of descriptions captured a movement from responding to a biological being to responding to a social being. Conventional responsibility was perceived as a primary responsibility for emergency care. In conditional responsibility, the patient’s mental illness was given only limited importance and only if certain conditions were met. Ethical responsibility was perceived to have its primary focus on the encounter with the patient and listening to the patient’s life story. Conclusions: An ethical responsibility is favourable regarding suicide prevention in ambulance care, and competence development in mental illness and conversation skills could enable ambulance clinicians to have conversations with patients about suicidal ideation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE Publications Ltd , 2023.
Keywords [en]
Ambulance clinicians, emergency medical services, ethical responsibility, phenomenography, suicidal ideation
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-62334DOI: 10.1177/09697330221149102ISI: 000963458300001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85152260693OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-62334DiVA, id: diva2:1753158
Available from: 2023-04-26 Created: 2023-04-26 Last updated: 2023-05-03Bibliographically approved

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Holmberg, MatsWiklund, Lena

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