Am I too emotional?

  1. Hi Everyone!
    Ok heres my dilema... When I first told my husband that I wanted to be a Nurse he told me I was way too emotional.... But I've insisted and insisted, and persisted.... and I didn't back down...
    He really liked that and now is behind me 100%, and I'm going to start pre-reqs next month.
    NOW though, I just got the book "Tending Lives" by Echo Heron. Im like GLUED to this book and have read about half of it already,I love it... but almost every story made me cry... Now I'm afraid that I'll be such an emotional mess that I wont be able to really help someone... Did anyone have this fear? And honestly how do you handle patient losses? I have this huge feeling that won't just let me change my mind... I dont want to give up never having tried... what do you think?

    Thanks for listening,
    S
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  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   bellehill
    nrs2bme-

    If you aren't a little emotial then you have no business being a nurse. You need emotions to help you carry out compassionate care for your patients. As for dealing with the loss of a patient; you have to believe you did everything for that patient to make them comfortable. Spend time with the family. There is nothing wrong with becoming emotional in front of your patients, just don't let it interfere with you doing a good job.

    You will do good, just be yourself, you sound like a wonderful person.
  4. by   live4today
    Ditto...to what bellehill said. And...best of everything to you in the process! :kiss
  5. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    I cried....................and I'm a guy!!

    It's really not all "Echo Heron" all the time you know. While Echo's books dig deep into the human condition and it is true; You won't always feel that way when you are "in the moment".

    Once you become a nurse you'll have been through the grinder enough to know when to be focused and tough and when emotion is apropriate

    The emotional stuff doesn't happen often enough to worry about how you will handle it.
  6. by   Sleepyeyes
    I just read it too, and I cried too. Had to alternate it with another book, this board, and some housework....

    But what Peeps says is true; you just don't get all of that emotion every day. (If we did, we'd all be wrecks!)
  7. by   Tiiki
    I too was told I was far too emotional to be a nurse. In the end it has benefited me considerably. It is not as horrid as you think. I will grant you that some patients touch your heart, and yes you do cry when they pass on. I have even gone so far as to attend funerals. Other patients, whom you may not know well, you'll treat with care and dignity, but they will not affect you in the same way. I have always stated that if I ever stopped caring about the care I give...or the feeling I have, then I'd leave nursing. I have cried with patients, with their families. It does not make you look weak, it makes you look human.

    Good luck, go with your instinct. Most of all, don't be afraid to feel. Real life is never like the text book.

    Jo-Anne
  8. by   Qwiigley
    It is so important to remember that we as nurses treat our entire patient, their body, their mind, their soul and their family. We are the patient advocate for a reason, we care. It is our job as a team member in the medical community to be compassionate when necessary and to push at other times. With the love of nursing, will come the love the brief meaningful moments you have with the patient before their death and for the time you get too spend with the families afterward talking about all of the wonderful things they know about their loved one. To do this job, (I'm Pediatric Intensive Care) you have to have a strong definition of life after death and a strong belief that death is a celebration. This loved one is now doing other jobs for God. He has completed his mission on earth and God has chosen him to do more work elsewhere.
    Small children understand it a little differently. We explain that their brother/sister has now gone to Heaven and will now be their guardian angel.
    You see, you will cry, you will feel... but that will make you a better nurse.
    Be sure to find balance in your life so you don't burn out. Devote one day a week to yourself. ONLY. I pick Wednesdays. I quilt with a group of older women. I do not comprimise on this day. Wednesdays are for me, so that I can be for everyone else all of the other days!
    GOOD LUCK!
    PS: I love being a nurse! Encourage others both male and female to join us in the most rewarding career possible! Where else can you polish your halo daily?
  9. by   nella-pea
    I think "Do you have real compasion" should be the first question on any nursing school application. If you're like me, and your sympaty can bubble up in an instant and you cry when you read any "Chicken Soup" book, I can offer two thoughts:

    1. You're going to make one excellent nurse!
    and
    2. Nothing out there will prepare you for the emotional rollercoaster that you'll jump on as soon as you start your first clinical rotation.

    If you're older, you can rely on alot of your life's experiences to help buoy you thru. If you're younger, the learning curve may be a little steeper, but by no means impossible. Only experience will make you learn when a patient is sincere, and when they're taking advantage of you; holding the hand of a dying person will be hard, but holding the hand of a grieving spouse/child/parent will be harder; and looking into the eyes of a spouse/child/parent who doesen't give a damn that their family member just died will be the hardest of all.
    Sounds like you've got a honey who'll support you fully. Add to that a deep, grounded, abiding faith that this old world is just the beginning, and that things happen for a reason. You'll be fine. Welcome to a wonderful calling!
  10. by   fedupnurse
    Once you get unemotional it is time to leave the nursing profession. I ahve cried with quite a few families and patients in my day and I have never had one say anything other than "thank you for caring enough to cry with us." You'll do fine. Nursing school will suck most of your emotions out anyway. Talk about a rollercoaster!!!
    Best of luck!!
  11. by   sharann
    Originally posted by fedupnurse
    Once you get unemotional it is time to leave the nursing profession. I ahve cried with quite a few families and patients in my day and I have never had one say anything other than "thank you for caring enough to cry with us." You'll do fine. Nursing school will suck most of your emotions out anyway. Talk about a rollercoaster!!!
    Best of luck!!
    I lived in Echo Herons book throughout nursing school. Somedays, it was all that kept me sane. I say go for it!
  12. by   shay
    Originally posted by fedupnurse
    Once you get unemotional it is time to leave the nursing profession.
    Yep.

    I used to get weepy at the music when 'ER' started when I was student....LOL!!!

    No offense, my XY chromosome nurse friends, but 'TOO EMOTIONAL' is such a man thing to say!!! LOL!!!

    Do whatcha want. If nsg is what you feel you truly want to do, come on down.
  13. by   hoolahan
    All of this advise is great. Only thing I can think of to add is, perhaps one area of nursing may make you feel more emotional than another. For me that was peds. Took it too hard, cried to much to be healthy, don't do peds anymore, and I am OK.

    There are sooooo many options in nursing, you will find what is right for you. Like NRSKaren's signature line says..."The sky's the limit if your heart is in it." Follow your dreams.
  14. by   ernurse728
    Emotion is must have I think to be a good nurse. But you also have to realize that not every patient or situation is going to cause you to shed a tear. Take for instance the 45yo man who comes into the ER via ambo, is drunk out of his mind, screaming all sorts of profanity, causing a scene and then decides to lean over and throw up on the floor! Now yes...that may make some people cry...but I don't think that is the kind of emotion you are speaking of. There are definitely times when you have to hold back the tears...it happens to me everytime we have a SIDS baby come, or a child that has been abused. I think that being emotional helps you fight for your patients rights. And in the end that is what matters!

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