VENT before we Loose it!

  1. Stress is everywhere but even more so in the Acute Care mileau of Pre Hospital care and ED. We deal with Patients who are not only experiencing real physical trauma but also emotional stress. And it's not just the patient but also dealing with visitors, bystanders and family who are also taken up by the suffering of the Patient.

    So what avenues do we as Health Care Professionals have to deal with what we see on a daily basis in a healthy manner? When do we get to vent?

    When I was a medic back in the 80's my partner Angelo who by the way was a very good Medic and cared very much for his Patients. Angelo was a very stressed out guy and the job wasn't really very tranquil if ya know what I mean. He was walking down a hospital corridor and a kinda nutso pt. was on a gurney and was staring at my partner, so instead of ignoring him he confronts him. What the %*&&&^% are you looking at? They exchange words the Pt. curses out his mother and Angelo pops him one in the kisser and breaks his jaw!

    Law suite, fired from his job what a shame! Charges pressed, what a Hot head. Loss of a very good Medic who had a hair trigger attitude.

    We were working in New York dealing with Patients on the Bowery from Every walk of life. Ya gotta be cool and can't afford to loose it. We are Professionals and have to maintain and control.

    I think there should be monthly mandatory debriefings, group therapy, vent sessions for all RNS and Medics. We are exposed to so many emotionally traumatizing events. For all my years as an EMT/Medic RN I can count on 1 hand how many times me and collegues sat down to process our feelings after a SIDS or a Murder or Still born. How long can the you boil before you burst?
    Last edit by sirI on Dec 5, '09
  2. Visit Jerry 75 profile page

    About Jerry 75

    Joined: Aug '09; Posts: 173; Likes: 83
    RN; from US
    Specialty: ER, Psych, Telephone Triage


  3. by   JamieLynn RN
    I have to anyone that deals with direct patient care either in the field or in the hospital it can be very difficult and you are "supposed" to deal with it. You have coworkers, but for some it changes them so completley on the inside that sometimes you don't even notice it happening, and it can go so much deeper than just the need to vent. I know that my husband he has seen a great deal of tragedy....he is a paramedic, luckily I have not seen too much and usually if someone dies it is because of old age or they simply did not take care of themselves. he struggles on a day to day basis, and luckily for me being a nurse and my approach to medicine helps him be able to vent without having to talk in laymens terms to me... I do agree there should be more help avaliable for mental health in the professional field, but the truth is there isn't. What I do is encourage people that are having difficulties to seek help, and that it is okay to be human and things do get to you. Unfortunatley for me I do not have health insurance, but I do have a psychologist that I pay every few months out of pocket and she helps me keep my sanity......I hope that you aren't on the verge of breaking and if you are, take some time, regroup, get some help and perhaps change your nursing path for a bit......I hope what I said helps
  4. by   gonzo1
    I wish we had some way too. I have never gotten to debrief after anything. Had a 6 year old die in my arms..... on to the next patient.
    One of my fellow nurses was coding his own relative and didn't know it till one of us made a joke that all mexicans look alike and he took a closer look
    ......on to the next patient
    I keep my sanity by telling myself someone needs to take care of these people and I pray alot.
  5. by   Ruby Vee
    i'm all for venting -- but what exactly is it that we're turning loose?
  6. by   Jerry 75
    Problems were worse when I was a Medic and you had a Senior Old school partner who laughed everything off and never talked about anything
  7. by   nurse_mo1986
    Quote from ruby vee
    i'm all for venting -- but what exactly is it that we're turning loose?

    rofl...i'm right there with you i was assuming that he ment lose it, not loose it, but hey, i'm ready to turn loose too
  8. by   trixie333
    Some experienced nurse just posted a "feel my pain"-in-your-face story about tossing a dead baby around like a football. Really no framework for slipping the point of the story to you easy....more like "shock-jock" style. A thoughtful researcher/scholar has recently proposed CHRONIC PTSD SYNDROME. I find her ideas plausible and more than probable and can relate....maybe you can too?
  9. by   Larry77
    We have debriefings after PEDS codes or traumas automatically and after any stressful situation if someone requests, we also have EAP that pays for up to 10 counseling appts and we are a pretty tight family for every day venting...I think my dept handles this issue better than a lot.

    I have had some cases where I really did want to break someone's jaw but wow, I wouldn't actually do it!
  10. by   PostOpPrincess
    You are so correct.

    That's probably why I work where I work now. Most people leave, uncomfortable, but alive and generally healthy.

    I just pretend the whole world is like that.

  11. by   Dalzac
    I live in Oklahoma and in 1995 The Murrah Building was brought down by a maniac. I was on the medical team at the site and I had ground zero clearance, just in case they found a survivor. I was there 16 hrs a day for 14 days. I ended up with PTSD. The Doc that set the med station up didn't provide us with any kind of debriefing, nothing. I was starting to get weird in the head.... nightmares about dead kids etc etc.
    The fire department chaplian caught me sobbing one night. He found out the nurses had no way to talk it out and offered our Doc his services to help. She told him no. He went to each and every nurse there, about 6 of us, and told to come and see him anytime we wanted He and the chaplian from the police department had debriefings for every shift of cops and firefighters that came on and invited all of us to come anyway They saved my brain from massive overload.
    I honestly believe any hospital that has an ER should have a person to help the nurses in ICU and ER The last ER I worked in had a caseworker-social worker for the patients and was always available to the nurses for any reason. I loved it.
    I am all for debriefing after a really nasty case in the ER, infact, I think it is a necessity.