New Grad and Patient's Who Hit Close to Home

  1. 2
    Hi Everyone,

    I recently starting work as a float pool nurse as a part of my new grad orientation I have started on a neuro unit.

    This past winter my boyfriend was in a serious snowboarding accident (fractures of his spine.. had spinal fusion surgery). I stayed with him in hospital until he came home.

    Anyway, I got a patient assignment of a young girl who had been in a serious MVA. (Her doc actually wrote it's a mircle she is alive). Her boyfriend has been staying over. After meeting him and her and reading their story I started to cry at the nursing station. I excused myself and went in our report room. I just couldn't help but think this could have been my boyfriend and I (who now he is currently ok and walking)..

    I want to ask how do other nurses handle these types of days?? I am sure everyone who has had a patient that has hit close to home..
    Am I being crazy, crying on shift??

    Thank you for your responses
    timmedico and Esme12 like this.
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  3. 16 Comments so far...

  4. 7
    You didn't become a nurse because you don't care, so don't beat yourself up for being a compassionate human being. You will probably become a little more detached and clinical as you get more experience, but hopefully you'll never lose your compassion.
    opossum, Sun0408, KJM-RN, and 4 others like this.
  5. 1
    I work on an oncology/hospice unit and we definitely ALL have those days...you won't get "used" to it but you'll get a bit thicker skin and continue to go above and beyond for your patients.
    NurseDirtyBird likes this.
  6. 5
    Crazy? Nope - just being a nurse.

    Part of my reason for getting a CNA certificate was to work in situations where I might/would witness a patient die. My concern was whether my experience with my mother's passing might cause an emotional backlash that would make me unsuitable for nursing.

    I had several patients pass on while I worked in LTC; while I had emotional responses to their passing, they were more of a bittersweet nature, and not emotionally incapacitating.

    My guess is that with time you'll get a bit more accustomed to incidents like this - and that every once in awhile you'll spend some time crying about it. Seems to go with the territory.

    ----- Dave
    opossum, timmedico, priorities2, and 2 others like this.
  7. 2
    Thank you for your replies! It makes me feel better .. You are all very right we got into nursing because we care. It's nice to read words of support.
    NurseDirtyBird and Esme12 like this.
  8. 0
    Your life experiences are useful. You can understand their fears, frustrations, and hope. You will have those days, we all do.
  9. 6
    Quote from canadianjess
    Hi Everyone,

    I recently starting work as a float pool nurse as a part of my new grad orientation I have started on a neuro unit.

    This past winter my boyfriend was in a serious snowboarding accident (fractures of his spine.. had spinal fusion surgery). I stayed with him in hospital until he came home.

    Anyway, I got a patient assignment of a young girl who had been in a serious MVA. (Her doc actually wrote it's a mircle she is alive). Her boyfriend has been staying over. After meeting him and her and reading their story I started to cry at the nursing station. I excused myself and went in our report room. I just couldn't help but think this could have been my boyfriend and I (who now he is currently ok and walking)..

    I want to ask how do other nurses handle these types of days?? I am sure everyone who has had a patient that has hit close to home..
    Am I being crazy, crying on shift??

    Thank you for your responses
    We do what you did....go to the bathroom...recoup...regain composure and go back to work.

    Then when you leave you decompress and sing happy songs at the top of your lungs in the car.....you go home and kiss your family...have a large bowl of comfort food...a bubble bath and sometimes...an adult beverage.

    Welcome to nursing .....((HUGS))
    opossum, richmay, amoLucia, and 3 others like this.
  10. 0
    Totally normal and no one will ever think less of you for that.

    When I was doing my CNA training I had a patient who had Multiple Sclerosis and I had to leave the room because it hit too close to home for my family, it was a really similar case. My instructor was amazing about it really and we talked about it. I learned to deal with my emotions and I don't become overwhelmed at EVERY case anymore. You do learn to deal with it but you should never lose your compassion either.
  11. 0
    I second melizerd's comments: totally normal.

    I've cried at work for the same reasons and a couple times for personal reasons. Excusing yourself and letting the feelings flow was a good thing to do. Cases that are difficult will continue to come your way; you will still feel for people and react emotionally, but it will get easier. Sure makes you appreciate what you have, right?
  12. 6
    We all have had patients who remind us of family members or friends. You learn to distance yourself from them while still caring. You have to develop some sort of coping mechanism or you will burn out quickly.
    I sing....at work....at home....everywhere. It gets me out of a funk. I also correct people's spelling and grammar on Allnurses. Patients in your title does NOT need an apostrophe. It is plural, not possessive.
    Teacup Pom, imintrouble, Carlalily, and 3 others like this.


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