You are reading page 2 of Suicide

locolorenzo22, BSN, RN

1 Article; 2,396 Posts

Specializes in Ortho, Neuro, Detox, Tele.

Every patient has a different story.....I whole heartenly agree with Daytonite....this is a profession for a reason, not a "job".

I work on a neuro floor, so we get a lot of detox patients if they aren't "critical". There was a 27 yo who came in so beat up and drunk, that he was convinced we were all aliens and he needed to get off the ship. I convinced him that I was "on his side", and he needed to stay in the room to keep me time to work on my plans.

I was then off for 2 weeks...when I came back in, he was there and he asked me "were you the one "on my side"?" I was, and he was embarrassed about his delusion....he admitted to me that he was trying to drink himself to death, but after seeing people like us care for him...he realized what he was doing.

It's tough to see people killing themselves slowly or quickly....we give the care we can, but remember to always value the relationships in your never know when that is what saves someone.


141 Posts


Daytonite--your wisdom runs deep! I am a Hospice nurse so I certainly have developed an ability to support people who decide it is time to stop treatments because it is too miserable to go on. I am a good advocate and have the symptom management, communication and support skills down....Still, when I come across a patient who speaks of ending it now-their own way-it throws me and makes me squirm. I do not live and practice in a state that practices assisted suicide. I am not the only one who struggles with this. Life is precious. I have known people who attempted and those who successfully ended their life by their own hand. It shakes us to our core, much the same as it does when you walk along people who are at the end of their lives, like in Hospice. It makes us look deep within at what is important, what we value and love. There is not a lot of room for judgement of others when we take the nursing oath to relieve pain and suffering in others. It urges us to look within to find depths of compassion and understanding and committment that none of of knew would be required to serve in this profession. Everyone does not have the same amount of skilled developed in the various areas. Some of us are really good at saving people, some at helping them to say goodbye. Some of us are skilled working with children and their families and some of us would crack. Some of us are great in functioning under high stress surroundings and some of us need ordered and organized support. I am always happy when I see nurses being kind to themselves. Not beating themself up for feeing true emotions. Sure we need to know when and where we can let them out, but we will not achieve the depth of compassion and integrity in or work if we deny that they are a part of us. And---way to go supporting each other! We all need a lot more of that in our nursing culture!

Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

I later worked with a nurse who had attempted suicide. She was just a lovely person to be around and work with. When she came back to work she spoke openly about it with those of us who were compassionate with her situation. She, unfortunately, attempted and was successful about a year later. It was due to family problems. Those of us who had befriended her were devastated because in all the talking she never really talked with us about the real problems. Her work was what kept her mind off what was going on at home is what we heard from the family when we went to the funeral. Where there is a will, there is a way, I guess.

If I have learned anything over the years, it is that you never really know if people are telling you everything or even being truthful. I know that there are a lot of things I don't tell my doctors. I can only imagine what people must not tell their physicians.


141 Posts


Yes, I too worked years ago with a young and pretty nurse who committed suicide. No one suspected it. She was quiet, sweet, productive. We were both fairly new--she was on pm shift, I worked days. Some of the old timer staff on the unit 'tested' us a lot as newbies. Such as...cold shouldering, no offers of assisting, etc. It really impacted me and made me kind to the new staff my whole career.

I worked closely with another nurse who told me that she had been suicidal for years--planning and carrying around the lethal combo of pills in her purse. I never would have guessed. She always performed so competently and was self assured on the outside. Now she is an ER Manager!

Specializes in Geriatric, Psychiatric, Emergency. Has 2 years experience.

Before I started nursing school, I had to deal with all of the attempted suicides and everything not only working as an EMT, but also as a weekend Psych Tech. It is very very hard not to react the way that you did at first, but it only means you care, which is definitely a vital aspect of nursing. I don't think one can ever get USED TO seeing someone who has attempted suicide, but as you experience it more and more, you care more about the fact that they didn't succeed and now you can help them get back on the right track. STAY STRONG!! :wink2:

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