A teenage girl is brought to the outpatient psychiatric clinic for treatment of anxiety and depression. How should the nurse best evaluate the client’s risk for suicide?

  1. ask the client if she has had any suicidal thoughts or plans
  2. ask the girl’s parents what changes in behavior they have noticed
  3. ask the client if she has been taking her antidepressant medication as prescribed
  4. do not mention the subject of suicide until the client brings it up herself
Number 1 is correct.
Rationale: The nurse should ask the client directly if she has experienced any thoughts of suicide or self-harm, and if she has ever made a suicide plan. While the nurse can ask questions 2 and 3, they are not the best way to determine if the client is suicidal. Because of the client’s history, suicidal intent should be determined.