Date of Graduation

Fall 12-15-2015

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Professor Elena Capella

Second Advisor

Professor T. Gallo


Evidence suggest for those who have successfully committed suicide in the form of asphyxiation inside locked facilities are more than likely due to patient bathroom doors. The current unit consists of 30 inpatient medical-psychiatric beds serving the adult and geriatric populations. The goal is to ensure patient safety by removing patient bathroom doors and replacing them with breakaway shower curtains for those exhibiting direct signs and symptoms of suicidal ideations with a plan. The specific aim is to improve patient outcomes by decreasing the number of deaths or attempted suicides. With great results, this type of project has been implemented within other acute psychiatric settings, which is considered best practice in acute mental health. Suicide has ranked in the top five most frequently reported events to the Joint Commission since 1995 (Joint Commission, 2010). A random sample questionnaire was distributed to 20 fulltime behavioral health registered nurses, which yielded16 completed questionnaires. Of the 16 completed questionnaires, 13 of the nurses (81%) were in favor of this project. Nurses play a crucial role in making recommendations for the design of psychiatric units, not only in securing the units but also in creating a culture of safety.


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Cardell, R., Bratcher, K., & Quinnett, P. (2009). Revisiting 'suicide proofing' an inpatient unit through environmental safeguards: a review. Perspectives In Psychiatric Care, 45(1), 36-44.

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Joint Commission Resources. (2007). Suicide prevention: Toolkit for implementing national patient safety goal 15A. Oakbrook Terrace, IL: Author.

Tishler, C., & Reiss, N. (2009). Inpatient suicide: preventing a common sentinel event. General Hospital Psychiatry, 31(2), 103-109