Compassion, easily lost?

  1. 2
    After weeks of poking and proding from family and friends..I can't hide it anymore. I am terrified. In the 4 months since finishing school I have yet to fill out even one application. It's not that I don't want to work or that I'm lazy. I think it's the fact that my clinicals left me scarred. There were so many times my preceptor for the day was catty, rude or downright mean. I've seen nurses talk about their coworkers behind their back, in front of other nurses, students and even patients. Come out of a patients room and leave the door slightly ajar..then loudly tell whoever is closest how crazy or annoying the patient is. I've seen them man handle little old ladies and scared children. I have had one tell me how a patient didn't really want the assistance they had asked for because they were lazy. Looking back just makes me wonder, where did the compassion go? Were these women always this way or did the stress of huge patient loads, mean doctors, ungrateful patients and endless overtime the true culprits? Why would anyone want to start a career in nursing if it has the ability to strip away your compassion? How many conniving coworkers, needing patients and stressful shifts will it take before i crack..If there is one thing I take pride in (and its not brains or beauty) it's my ability to feel empathy and provide compassionate care. Do you still have compassion? How do you keep hold of it when many aspects of your job are trying to pull it from you?
    lindarn and IowaKaren like this.
  2. 24 Comments so far...

  3. 9
    You must not need work very badly to put it off for so long. Sounds like a nice place to be in. You can't let others take your power or give you fear. Your compassion is yours, so don't be worried about the outcome on an emotional level. You control your emotions. It takes practice sure but the sooner you start practicing the better equipped you will become.
  4. 5
    My compassion has always stayed in my heart...no one can take that from me. Work is work.....I would not let how others behave affect my dreams and goals. Get out there and use what you've worked so hard to complete! Maybe you can make a difference!! Blessings ♥
    BeesMama, lindarn, IowaKaren, and 2 others like this.
  5. 4
    This is how you saw everyday of clinical from your nursing school experience?

    Wow, I have no words.
  6. 6
    When I was a new nurse and unsure of my job it was easy for the seasoned nurses to almost put me down for my compassion. Some of it was concern that if I spent so much time with a patient, I would get behind. Some of it was lack of compassion on their part. Now that I'm seasoned, I could care less what the others think of how I treat my patients, coworkers and those I supervise. I am the one that paid to be a nurse, I'm the one that sleeps at night knowing I did the best I can and I'm the one that has to answer for my behavior...not them. It is easy to have that backbone when your are confident of your skills - a bit harder when you are still learning. So learn all you can from the nurses that have lost their compassion. Take the negative advice, backbitting and all the other negatives with a grain of salt. When you are on your own, be the nurse YOU want to be.

    One thing I really try to explain to managers is that every nurse has their own way of connecting with patients, with organizing their workload and with dealing with those they delegate to. Let them be who they are and work the best for them. If they are really doing something wrong and not "well I don't do it that way" than help them correct that.

    Good luck!
  7. 4
    Your clinical site is only one workplace.
    Maybe you did your clinical at a place where the morale and standards are low, but don't judge all nurses from your very limited exposure.
    I still have compassion. I also learned that being respected counted as much as being liked.
    lindarn, NurseDirtyBird, IowaKaren, and 1 other like this.
  8. 5
    ((HUGS)) the world of nursing can be overwhelming and there are the mean girls there just like they were in high school.

    I have been a nurse for 34 years....I don't let the loud voices get me....I just consider the source and it isn't worth my time. I have plenty of compassion and I did not "burnout" I just don't let other people tell me how I should feel. There are these people everywhere you go in life....the challenge is to ignore them.

    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent"........ Eleanor Roosevelt
    lindarn, NurseDirtyBird, IowaKaren, and 2 others like this.
  9. 3
    Did you only have one place for clinicals? Because it is not like that everywhere. Not by a long shot. You are using a very small example to create an overwhelmingly (and unrealistically) negative view of nursing and nurses. It sounds like perhaps a therapist to work through your anxiety and help you reframe your experiences and thoughts might be a good idea. Being this paralyzed is a bit unusual. If I had this script running in my head about nursing and nurses I would not want to be one either.
    lindarn, NurseDirtyBird, and GrnTea like this.
  10. 1
    When nurses start acting like you mentioned, it's time to go. Actually, it's time to go before that happens. Nurses do need to vent to each other sometimes. It's just necessary, but it needs to be done far away from the patient, not within ear shot. Nurses burn out all of the time, and some decide to leave and try a different nursing position. Others don't. People get comfortable where they are, and some people get so comfortable that they don't want to learn a new position, and feel like the new guy again even if they have lost their compassion and hate their job. I can understand that on some level, but that's just not me. If I really hate my job, I will look elsewhere. In fact, I'm looking for a different position, but it's not because I hate my job. I actually enjoy it, but that's not applicable here.

    I have also seen great nurses that are burnt out. They still treat their patients like they should, with compassion, and care. But, all units are not the same, so don't let that one experience scar you. Even if you end up on a floor like that, it will only make you stronger. Get through it, do your year, and then move on to greener pastures. And, don't participate in the gossip.
    lindarn likes this.
  11. 0
    As others have said, it's not like that everywhere.


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