Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I can't get over the first time a patient killed herself

The Guardian
Originally posted November 12, 2015

It wasn’t an if, but a when. I knew it would happen eventually. I knew it would suck. Finding out a patient has killed themselves definitely does. And it should. The first time something like this happens and it stops sucking, I will immediately hand in my notice and do something else.

I found out one lunchtime. My colleague, Matt, and I were talking about responsibility and moaning about how, as therapists, we can be expected to be “on call” 24/7, soothing the distress of those we work with, far beyond the limits of the therapeutic hour we spend with patients. We had received a message from our patient Jenny’s friend asking if we could ring her back. In the kitchen, while I was eating risotto we decided between the two of us who should chase it up. Matt went to call her and returned a few minutes later looking grim. He asked if he could speak to me privately. I sensed something was seriously wrong. I said, “It’s not great, is it?”. He just said, “No”.

The entire article is here.

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