I just finished reading Elaine Aaron's book, "The Highly Sensitive Person." Do you identify as one? Take a self-test here: http://www.hsperson.com/pages/test.htm
There is a chapter in the book about HSPs and finding the right career. Ms. Aaron claims there are two classes of people: the "warriors" (non-HSPs, people on the front line) and the "royal advisors" (which includes many HSPs, some of who are behind the scenes).
I do identify as an HSP, but I'm now a bit worried/skeptical if nursing is right for me as I'm about to enter a BSN program soon. I, like some other HSPs, can feel overaroused in some situations, and can find it challening having to complete numerous tasks all at once. So, I'm curious to get thoughts from other nurses who identify as an HSP.
What are some pros and cons of having this trait as a nurse? How overwhelmed do you feel most of the time? How do you manage that? Do you think nursing is not a good choice for an HSP?
The book also claims that there are many positive traits of being an HSP, such as identifying subtleties and changes in environments, and being keenly aware of the suffering of others. Are there some advantages of being an HSP in nursing? I suspect many HSPs are drawn to nursing because of this compassion, but I'm also not sure how they manage the stress and overstimulation at times. For all you HSP nurses out there, what type of nursing environment works best for you, if any? What are some other thoughts?
Aug 6, '10
I scored an 8.. I wouldn't worry if I was you.. I don't think too highly of that assessment tool.. but that's just me.
I'm a very sensitive person to the needs and feelings of others, I am affected by others moods and feel tremendous empathy for the suffering of others, but loud noises, deadlines, lots of things going on around me, do not bother me. I actually enjoy that. I guess it depends on what you are "sensitive" to.
I can't say how I'll be affected since I'm a new grad hoping to find a position soon. This will be a second career for me and I think my age and life experience will serve me well. I desperately want to work in psych, I think I'm a perfect fit. I felt right at home my first day of my rotation there.
I also did my practicum of 200 hours in an ER and LOVED IT! Shame they all seem to want a minimum of a year of med/surg to work in an ER. Hard to even find a med/surg job around here as it seems nearly all new grads follow that road. I understand and know I have a lot to learn, but an ER with willing, experienced nurses could mold me like clay.. lol.. oh well, their loss.
In any event, best wishes to you!
Last edit by wezzie, RN on Aug 6, '10
Aug 6, '10
I am a highly sensitive and emotional person. I get stressed easily. I never thought I could handle a med surge floor either. I found that the more you get used to something and the more knowledge you gain the less stressful it is. The first year of nursing is highly stressful time. I cried a lot due to being overwhelmed and detailed oriented. Of course I only received 3 weeks of floor training as a new nurse. I found that being sensitive and empathetic helped me to be a better nurse. I still have a long way to go but the stress level has come down tremendously. I am only one person and can only be in one place at a time and that is all I can do. If I ever had 2 patients doing badly at the same time I could always call my charge nurse or even a supervisor. What helps is knowing that you are never truly alone on the floor.
Last edit by sistasoul on Aug 6, '10
Aug 7, '10
Quote from triquee
Great, now I sound like a crazy person.
lol.. not at all.. it's our "quirks" that make us who we are as individuals.. those are the best things in life..
Show me someone who isn't a "crazy person".. we'd be at a funeral..
Last edit by wezzie, RN on Aug 7, '10