How do you cope with intensity?

  1. I am a nursing writer doing research on how nurses help each other after intense events--including code--during their shift. How do you help yourself and others after a patient has come close to death, or died? Tears, hugs, silence? Sharing small pleasures, Reese's cups, popcorn, neck rubs? Some units have unofficial rituals--do you have one and how did it begin? Do you think it helps you and others? Anything you share may end up helping other nurses who read it. I appreciate all that you do.
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   sharonhayes
    Originally posted by nursing writer:
    I am a nursing writer doing research on how nurses help each other after intense events--including code--during their shift. How do you help yourself and others after a patient has come close to death, or died? Tears, hugs, silence? Sharing small pleasures, Reese's cups, popcorn, neck rubs? Some units have unofficial rituals--do you have one and how did it begin? Do you think it helps you and others? Anything you share may end up helping other nurses who read it. I appreciate all that you do.
    I have found that after particularly difficult or intense incidents or days, we talk about it at work, usually during lunch break. We cry, laugh, curse, etc... whatever it takes to put the incident past us. I am fortunate to have worked in ER's in other states and have some very strong relationships with these nurses. If the incident, usually a code, is one of those "I'll never forget" experiences, I will call on them and relate the experience to them. Good luck on your research.
  4. by   Toots
    Originally posted by nursing writer:
    I am a nursing writer doing research on how nurses help each other after intense events--including code--during their shift. How do you help yourself and others after a patient has come close to death, or died? Tears, hugs, silence? Sharing small pleasures, Reese's cups, popcorn, neck rubs? Some units have unofficial rituals--do you have one and how did it begin? Do you think it helps you and others? Anything you share may end up helping other nurses who read it. I appreciate all that you do.
  5. by   Toots
    Originally posted by Toots:
    We support each other - when we can get away, go into the break area, talk to each other, go over the events trying to figure out if there would have been anything else we could have done to change the outcome, sometimes to reaffirm that we didn't do anything to cause more harm, sometimes to just cope with our feelings. Generally, I think most ER nurses after years in the business are pretty good at putting things behind them and going on to the next patient, that's the way we survive in the emergency medicine arena. the hardest codes are the ones when you have had them in your department for hours and they seems to be dong fine and all of a sudden arrest on you - you just wonder if you missed some subtle sign that this was going to happen. The ones off the street - we are then very good at distancing ourselves and, of course, the famous ER black humor that nobody outside could understand or relate to. Good luck on your project.


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