emotional presence.........

  1. talked about much in nursing school, nursing management and nursing documentation..........

    but in reality........we all know what we have............

    so i ask you this..........
    tonight................
    usually.......it doesn't get to me.....that level of detachment that i swear by usually holds me through

    So, when......I have nothing to give the patient that is under my "expert" care......other than presence after all the technical skills of nursing are done.....

    so thoughts anyone........???????

    .........i can hold my own with anyone one the technical side of nursing.....but what about the other

    so, let's see by this time....I am suffering by insomnia.....as you can all see by the late hour of postin.........

    but past that........

    When...I was "on duty" last night.........when i was just doing my what i expected my or what i expected that i should so as my usual daily or pm duty...............

    k'............



    what a great forum.......but i have been thinking about this point since early on PM shift 5/31-02 shift................

    so here i go.............
    Last edit by micro on Jun 1, '02
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   teeituptom
    Howdy Micro
    from deep in the heart of texas

    YOU LOST ME???????????????

    keep it in the short grass yall

    teeituptom
  4. by   aimeee
    Micro, I would love to give you my thoughts on this, and I would if I understood what you were asking. When you speak in sentence fragments I get really confused. Are you asking what do to do when you feel you CAN'T be emotionally present for a patient?
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    what i do???? ok......take a BREAK....visualize my FAMILY who are EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD TO ME.....give myself a pat on the back for a job well-done....drink a nice mocha latte and read a wonderful book.....listen to classical music while watching my kids and the grass grow.......remember how i felt when i graduated nursing school.....think of the wonder in my babies' eyes at the world around them...think of my friends........

    gee when i do all that, i quickly find i DO have some things to give and can give them freely. i recharge whenever i can and do nursing on my terms. i work when i want and when i can. when/if the day comes i cannot find anything to give to my patients and their loved ones, i think i will need to move on either to another area of nursing or get out altogether. hope it does not happen.
  6. by   indeed
    Oy, micro. All I can say is, I'll drink to that! I don't have an answer. Sometimes no matter how much you "know" you are doing what you need to do, it still doesn't feel right. This job, more than any other I can think of, makes the separation of who you are and what you do VERY difficult. No wonder we are all sleep deprived! You keep on postin', too, micro. And thanks for saying things in a way that only you can.

    Indeed.
  7. by   l.rae
    Sometimes everything is not enough.....so I just back off. Can't fix the world.....stop trying. The old school of nursing says it's our lot in life to fix everything......if you can't fix, make better.....after all we are the all mighty nurse??????? Finally did myself a favor and stop falling for this BS. All else done, listening is the best you can do.......when you have time......Peace........LR:zzzzz
  8. by   dianah
    Well said, l.rae!! ---- D
  9. by   oramar
    micro I sometimes have trouble following you but I always try. I think you are saying you feel like you are trying to fill a bottomless well. Yeah, I know how that feels.
  10. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    You shouldn't think you're emotionaly deficient just because you reach a point when you have to detach for awhile.
    I think that fact really shows that you make an effort to shoulder the emotional burden that comes with feeling true compassion.

    You don't want to become emotionaly detached but you must recognize a boundry and never cross it for long.

    There's no such thing as "painless nursing" in fact, I don't think you can say that you care and not welcome it

    Don't carry it home with you like a sixty pound goiter though!

    You should only take home the pride of being the special person that can feel that and say they do.

    God blees you Micro.
  11. by   LasVegasRN
    My gosh, know this feeling all too well. Days when I feel completely and totally tapped dry. I knew it was bad when I was up late one night watching Animal Planet and a man was having to listen to the Vet tell him he was going to have to put down his beagle. I cried like a baby. Then I watched a zebra chew a leaf for awhile and felt much better
    We think we have this bottomless pit of care and compassion, but every now and then, the well runs dry. But eventually the rains come (through tears, laughter, hugs) and fills us back up, and we go on...:angel2:
  12. by   semstr
    Mikro, you are a Mensch!!
  13. by   micro
    first off, sorry all, think i wrote the first of this thread in my almost sleep could get there(sleep that is until wee hours of this a.m.).....

    so here the presence ??? again and a couple more thoughts.....

    last night.....

    patient assessment and care.....
    okay.....vent settings are_____
    patient settings are_____
    patient LOC is ______
    LF and VS are_____
    GT is patent and minimal.......
    Incision is_______
    Trach care done________
    and the list goes on and on.....

    but then stops.....

    k'...............

    time to leave the room and move on.........

    the lady on the other side of this story cannot talk.....
    opens her eyes
    tears stream down her face
    and her face grimaces in such sadness....
    her eyes look directly at me
    she mouths "you"
    and then can't say anymore.......

    I have no words, I have no answers, I am "just the nurse"

    so, i spoke no words.....
    i held her hand
    kissed her cheek
    looked directly back into her eyes.....
    and we just stayed together for a few minutes.......

    when i left the room, i told her i would be back and every time i was with her i gave her all i had..........

    it is not enough.....
    but it is presence.............
    and i do care so deeply.........

    i am a nurse.........
    i love people.............
    sometimes i feel their "pain" and it hurts so bad


    just micro after sleep.........

    thx all for listening.........
  14. by   suzannasue
    micro,
    You gave ALL with your emotional and physical presence. You met the need she presented at that very moment. No matter how many technical facts take up space in our heads (the space in mine is extremely limited!!!!!!!) the heart shines through. We feel we have detached, but we are there. We bend and kiss and hold more than we tell.
    I am sure she was comforted by your presence, my friend. I am sure she knew you were giving all that you had !!!!!!! If I am ever the face on the other side of the tubes and lines and monitors, I can only hope a nurses like micro blots my tears with her cheek as she bends to kiss me and holds my hands with the touch that tells me she is THERE.
    :kiss
    have a great day micro !!!! you deserve it !!!!!!!

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