Clinical placements

Listening to my intuition helped prevent a patient's suicide

I learned having the courage to act on your instincts is an important part of being a nurse
Illustration of figure following instinct

I learned having the courage to act on your instincts is an important part of being a nurse

In my first year of training, I had a clinical placement on an acute mental health ward.

One of the patients I was helping to support was a woman in her early twenties with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder with bipolar traits.

The patient, I will call her Sarah, had been accessing mental health services since she was a teenager. When I asked her what it was like living with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, she said: ‘When you burn yourself, the skin is very sensitive, even to the slightest touch. That’s what it’s like for me on the inside, every single day.’

I was really moved by this – both beautiful and sad, this description has stayed with me

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