Attempted suicide on my shift


A couple of days ago we had an attempted suicide on my shift. I'm a new psych nurse (less than a year) and it was one of the most horrible things I've ever seen or been through but instinct kicked in and I am confident that me and all my coworkers did everything right. All of us are still really shaken up about it and I truly wish it didn't happen, but looking back makes me really proud of myself and all staff on duty that day. There is honestly NO doubt in my mind that staff did anything wrong or inappropriate. I think we did a great job and the patient ended up being physically o.k. So why are we getting negative feedback from other staff who weren't on duty? We haven't really spoken to administration in depth and I don't think there will be any question about our actions but our coworkers that work other shifts or were off duty that day are all second guessing us and kind of insulting us about it. I think it's one of those "you had to be there" situations but it's really hurtful and makes those of us that went through it angry and defensive. It's like we have a secret club now and have to go off in another room to talk about it. There's nothing secretive about our actions, we just don't want to hear the negative, condescending comments from others. Can't we get a little sympathy?? What gives??


358 Posts

Perhaps your co-workers are having trouble with the suicide attempt itself, rather than your response. You've got my sympathy!

They may be thinking "How would I have reacted?", or "Could I have picked up on something sooner?" (Or there may be some issue that you as a relatively new staff member are not aware of.)

Does your nursing administration have a debriefing policy? It might help if everyone could talk openly. You might suggest this.

Specializes in Assisted Living Nurse Manager.

Sorry to hear about this, I am sure it was very traumatic for you and your co-workers. I am sure all of you did a great job. Dont let what others are saying get to you. Remember "hindsight is 20/20".


29 Posts

Thanks for the positive comments. I'm off duty today and when I called to check in on a coworker who was there that day she says that all of the people in management and all of our doctors are raving about our performance. That makes us both feel better. I don't know what's up with the others but I guess you just can't get compliments or positive feedback from some people no matter what happens. :banghead:


386 Posts

If they weren't on duty and do not know what really did or did not occur, how can they really comment?

As you have determined, some people are just miserable wretches, jealous, always have to be right, or can't give a compliment or refrain from negative UNINFORMED comments to belittle others. This is so sad, so hurtful. Just recognize it for what it is and try not to let it hurt or anger you.

As long as the pt wasn't hurt, you did something right, it sounds like to me.

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