Coping while nursing

  1. We all have or will deal with the hospitalzation or death of a loved one during our careers. For me this is the first time in my adult life that I will face the looming death of a loved one. I haven't worked or had clinical since I found out, and I am afraid of going in on Monday. Also I am putting off going to the hospital to see her. I usually deal so well with death when patients die I am never sad for them just for the family's loss. Now that I'm the family I'm not sure what to do. I have worked hard have good grades and am excelling at clinical. My coworkers respect me as a hard worker that hardly ever calls off and handles most situations with ease.

    How do you work/learn when it feels like your falling apart?
    Please don't remove my post I really need some feedback on how the rest of you do this. All I need is to know how others work in medicine when it is a reminder that someone in your family is gravely ill.
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    {{{{Shadelyn}}}}

    Believe it or not, it can actually help you in your career. Some of the best lessons I've learned in how to do my job in the darkest moments came from my own experiences with my family.
  4. by   Ann RN
    Sometimes it is very difficult to separate the personal from the professional. If at all possible try to see your loved one. IMO, it is often with regret that we look back when we do not get a chance to say goodbye. I agree with Tazzi that this experience may help you to learn a greater lesson.
  5. by   KJRN79
    I feel for you. I really, really do. During my first job as a nurse, my grandfather died. He lived about 200 miles away and had been in the hospital for at least a month, and I needed some extended time to stay away for about ten days. We were there when he died, and then the funeral planning etc. When I went back to work I was a wreck. I started to cry anytime anyone said they were sorry to hear of my loss. Finally, my manager said "if you can't get it together, you might as well leave. You are no good like this." I stayed and pulled it together.

    The second loss I had was an aunt with whom I was very close. Until she got sick. I couldn't stand to be around her. She had advanced uterine cancer, had surgery/chemo/radiation and just didn't look like herself and she was in so much pain! I was a nurse for about 15 years at this point. I did NOT drive the 200 miles to see her. I did what I had to do to protect myself. Is it right? I don't know, it was just right for me at that time.

    I have always felt the empathy for famlies when they face death. I have worked with moms w/ fetal demise and liked the work. I have my views of death and dying, and I have MY feelings and emotions when I am confronted with death/dying in a loved one. They are separate. You have to grieve as YOU have to grieve. I don't think the feelings you have in any way change your abilities as a nurse. Feelings are feelings and not logical. When the time comes, you will know what to do. It's hard. Everyone who has lost someone knows that. Hopefully, you will find some empathy at school/work too.

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