Dealing with death - page 3
I am looking for advice on dealing with death. I graduated in May and began working in June on a tele unit. Aside from feeling quite similar to many new grads in the sense of feeling really... Read More
Sep 15, '06Quote from JoeTheNursecorrect me if i'm wrong, but working in such a traumatic environment and having to 'perform', our bodies pump the adrenaline r/t the fight or flight phenomena.I to dealt with death while in Vietnam, almost every day (at least it fealt that way), I was an Army combat medic. The problem with seeing so much death is that you become hardened to a point where you find it dificult to show some empathy and/or compassion.
what you perceive as hardened, is a necessary and protective mechanism that enables you to tend to all the victims in their life and death situations.
that's why ptsd is rampant among soldiers in war.
you function as needed, during the horror.
but it's usually later, that the reality of what was witnessed or performed, that becomes a burden too much to bear.
i would be surprised to hear of vets who weren't affected by the horrors of war.
for sev'l yrs, i worked in-pt hospice with very high acuity pts.
much of the time it was intensive care for the dying and their families.
w/o getting into it, the yrs of dealing with tremendous suffering, caught up with me.
and all that time, i thought i was handling everything so well.
it often got to a point, that death was a welcomed relief.
it's not because i lost my compassion, but rather, the peace that came when the screaming, begging for the pain to end, the desperation....it stopped w/death.
i don't know if one ever gets used to it.
the day i get used to it is the day it doesn't affect me.
but with experience, you do learn ways of coping.