I've been working as an Enrolled Nurse (similar to a LPN in the USA) for the past 6 years. And yes, I have felt so much for some of my patients that I too have swelled up with tears - even put a hand on their shoulder - its amazing what a simple gesture like that can do for someone when words may not be enough.
My point is that I'm currently at University completeing my Bachelor Of Nursing Degree. During this program nursing students are basically taught to be non caring robots. We are told by lecturers that its not appropriate or "professional" to cry with a patient or even give them any hint that you are a human being. I find this unbelievable. I feel that the lecturers are so far removed from the "real world" of nursing. I wonder when the last time was when they were working in a real hospital ward with real patients.
The patients I work with are cared for on a long term basis (some many years) & I have found that during that time you build up a good rapport, becoming very involved in their lives & the lives of their significant others. A large part of my job, besides nursing, is counselling patients. I also love a good joke & find humour with my patients a good way to break down barriers & humanise nursing.
Despite what I am taught at university, I will continue to nurse the way I have for the past 6 years.