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My colleague’s suicide showed how vulnerable medical professionals can be

Dec 2nd, 2016 by

I knew afterwards that my days working as a nurse in the emergency department were numbered

I stood in front of the ambulance bay door. My badge clutched in my hand, knuckles white, jaw clenched. I questioned my attempt at returning to work on this day. I stood in front of the doors grappling with a burning feeling in the pit of my stomach. I knew then, right there, that my career in the emergency department was over.

A quiet swollen presence of pain ran down every corridor. The night before, we lost a colleague to suicide. Some of us found the body. Some of us carried out the post mortem care. Some of us stood there as family filed in to the room. Some of us made the calls alerting fellow staff. Some of us, all of us, changed forever that night.

Related: By the end of my first year as a doctor, I was ready to kill myself

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