Patient Suicide or Self Harm in a Health Care Facility
Self harm refers to any practices that are elf injurious to persons. Common among female patients in a clinical set up, the practice can take various forms. Self harm is reported as being major, stereotypical or superficial. The major self harm results in permanent marks in the person of the perpetrator. The results can be permanent disfigurement, mutilation or amputation of limbs. Other forms of self injury such as biting, scratching and burning are also common in the clinical set up. In recent years, the rates of self harm in the clinical set up have increased significantly. It is the clinicians who are in the closest interaction with the patients who can identify tendencies for self harm. Those who perform acts that are associated with self harm cannot report the same to their families. This means that only those with whom the patients are in close proximity like the clinicians are capable of identifying the trends and focusing on its solution. Children may also resort to self harm if exposed to stressful conditions (Levenkron 69).
Cutting is the most common type of self harm. The effects of self harm on the clinicians are negative. Clinicians in most case have long term impacts on experiencing the death of a patient in their facilities (Clarke et al., 25). Psychiatrists experience immense difficulty in reporting cases of suicide among patients. They view it as a sign of individual failure and find it hard to deal with. Similarly, the patients themselves may not report the cases of self injury to their families and friends as they may feel guilty about their actions. Moreover, they also tend to feel lonely and isolated. Cases of suicide among patients may also result in negative images associated with the facility in question.
Levenkron, Steven. Cutting: Understanding & Overcoming Self-Mutilation. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1998.
Clarke, Liam; Whittaker, Margaret. Self-Mutilation: Culture, Contexts and Nursing Responses. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 1998. Vol. 7.
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