Trauma nurses, some ?????

  1. Hello everyone, newbie here. I posted an intro. I plan to go into trauma nursing, I feel passionately about it. But I am very anxious about how to handle the tragedy. I have known nurses who say "you get used to it", but just what does that mean? I don't think I would ever want to 'get used' to that, but maybe some of you can help me understand how you cope. What has worked for you?
    I will add that I did work in an ER for a couple of years, as a unit secretary. There are things I won't forget, sounds I can't unhear, and that is what scares me. I know I would be a great nurse, and it is what I have always wanted. I thrive in chaos. But how does it all come down when you go home?

    Thanks,
    Shawnee
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Larry77
    As far as the "tragedy"...I really don't think about it until after my work is done. When a big trauma comes in all I'm thinking about is my ABCDEF always assessing. Afterwards is when you have to go have a few minutes of quite time to reflect and for it all to just sink in I guess. Sometimes it is very difficult to cope--especially when kids are involved but I think you get better at it over time.

    Sometimes you go home and give your spouse and kids an extra hug and a "Have I told you lately how much a love and appreciate you".

    I'm sure you will be a great trauma nurse.
    Larry
  4. by   traumaRUs
    Hi and welcome. I did trauma nursing in a level one trauma center for 10 years. Many, many patients stay with you forever. However, if some don't you can become too "removed" from the patients. Always remember that before they came to your ER, they were functioning members of society (for the most part). It helps to have a well-developed sense of self and the ability to care for patients competently - skills you develop in nursing school and hone in the ER.

    I loved the ER. I didn't always like my patients or their families or my co-workers. However, I will always consider myself a trauma nurse.

    Take care of yourself and good luck.
  5. by   crazy4trauma
    Thanks Larry. I like to think that in a trauma, I would be thinking about my job too, and not about how some kid is dying while their mother is screaming. I guess it is fear of the unknown.

    I remember my first experience, a SIDS baby. He was 6 months, and the entire family came. Aunts, uncles, lots of people. Managing them allw as a taks, and the ER was busy so I was busy, but I was very upset. On the way home, in the car, I screamed a few times.

    Healthy detachment is something I am sure I can learn to practice, but the more advice I can get the better!
  6. by   Rio
    Sometimes its a series of stressors other times its just one horrific trauma; everyone has some degree of coping measures and resources to rely upon. But like everything in the ER, resources can become overwhelmed. When it happens, or even before that happens, the intervention of a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) is essential. If your hospital does not have one check with local EMS or Fire.
  7. by   augigi
    I hated trauma for just that reason. Such a waste. It didn't worry me especially at the time, when there was stuff to do to save their lives, but I did often wonder if it was worth it later when confronted by their functional state.

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