Crybaby nurse a bad nurse?

  1. I am wondering if you think a nurse who may become emotional when they lose a patient would be "unfit" as a nurse. Knowing me I am an emotional person and have been doing home care for many years. I have lost a few of the people I care for and it always affected me; not to the point that I was hestarical and unable to perform the duties I was expected to. SO I am wanting some input on others opinions about this since my father seems to think I may not be a good nurse since I allow it to affect me when people I am caring for die.
    I personally feel that if I did not care and was not affected by the loss of life then I am persuing the wrong profession. I did tell my father that a hit man is the only profession I know of that requires you to be unemotional about the loss of life he said I was just being an A hole
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   CHATSDALE
    you will learn in time that death is not always the enemy

    you must control your emotions when the family needs a strong presence but when you go home you will realize that you were professional and there when you are needed
  4. by   nforsee
    I am very familiar with death being a friend. I realized that with the death of my mom she ask me not to pray for God to keep her alive but for God to do what was right and I did and she died. With that in mind I knew then that mom wanted to be released from the pain she was having to "live" with. I have always kept my composure and maintained a professional appearance for the family, however, I have empathy for the family and recognize the pain they are feeling and that is when I become emotional ( teary eyed and kinda depressed).
  5. by   MALE*RN*777
    You would have to look at what death means to you? Is it just that the person is gone or did they go to a better place? Did they live a good long life, is their suffering gone, etc.? It is not wrong to be emotional with the loss but to be hestarical or unable to perform your duty may cause a problem. You may need to find a different type of nursing job such as a wellness nurse or something that doesn't involve death. Again there is nothing wrong but let me give you an example of a person I had a problem with. During a code (violent) with a pt. I looked over and noticed a new CNA crying in the doorway with a staff member. I was later told that she had some issues in her past that when the code happened brought back memories. Now I can understand that but if someone is attacking me or another staff member and you go off crying, I have a problem.... If all else fails Prozac or Xanax might help....
  6. by   PedsNurse322
    If you are a compassionate, caring, feeling person, of course you are going to feel some sadness and be emotional when you lose a patient. The trick is not to let that get in the way of your duties. If you need to bawl your eyes out, wait until you can be alone to do so. Letting it out is much better than holding it in, I think. But you're not abnormal... I'd be more concerned about the person who is so detached that they don't feel any emotion. Know what I mean?

    ((hugs)) Laurie
  7. by   locolorenzo22
    If you're so clinical you lose what it means to be a nurse -CARING/COMPASSIONATE CARE- that is a sign of the field not being for you. I agree with others- be strong when needed, but go take a extra 10 mins at lunch or quick 10 min BR break and let it out, get back to work, go home and reflect. Don't reflect too much though, just do it and go back thankful to make a difference.
  8. by   SteveNNP
    Quote from CHATSDALE
    you will learn in time that death is not always the enemy
    This is SO TRUE, Chatsdale!!

    Sometimes the death of a patient will turn into a liberating and healing experience, because you will find, that as a nurse, you often can sense when the patient has made peace and is actually ready to pass on. Families and sometimes staff may not feel the same way all the time, but as a NICU nurse who has been there when a baby has become an angel, death can be a peaceful exit from pain and suffering. Sometimes death delivers babies from the terrible hand fate has dealt them, whether after a long battle with illness, or pain... I know I'm beginning to sound scattered, but I often feel a sense of peace, and a connection with my patient during their final moments, as if we have decided together that this is what needed to happen, that God has a bigger plan.

    I have found that in the NICU, you have a few terrible days when you want to quit and never return, but you also have far more wonderful days when you can make a difference in a baby's and family's life forever. I would encourage you to look ahead to the difference we all can make as nurses, even if it means saying goodbye unexpectedly to a patient we have grown to love.

    When you become so hardened that you don't respond to a patient's death with emotion, you have lost something inside, and need to take time to find that spark inside that makes you human and a great nurse....


    Stephen
  9. by   pyseymo
    Quote from SteveRN21
    This is SO TRUE, Chatsdale!!

    Sometimes the death of a patient will turn into a liberating and healing experience, because you will find, that as a nurse, you often can sense when the patient has made peace and is actually ready to pass on. Families and sometimes staff may not feel the same way all the time, but as a NICU nurse who has been there when a baby has become an angel, death can be a peaceful exit from pain and suffering. Sometimes death delivers babies from the terrible hand fate has dealt them, whether after a long battle with illness, or pain... I know I'm beginning to sound scattered, but I often feel a sense of peace, and a connection with my patient during their final moments, as if we have decided together that this is what needed to happen, that God has a bigger plan.

    I have found that in the NICU, you have a few terrible days when you want to quit and never return, but you also have far more wonderful days when you can make a difference in a baby's and family's life forever. I would encourage you to look ahead to the difference we all can make as nurses, even if it means saying goodbye unexpectedly to a patient we have grown to love.

    When you become so hardened that you don't respond to a patient's death with emotion, you have lost something inside, and need to take time to find that spark inside that makes you human and a great nurse....


    Stephen
    That was a very beautiful post and brought a tear to my eyes. Thank you Stephen for such a beautiful post!
  10. by   Ann RN
    Your father is wrong. I had a patient whose wife wrote a letter to my supervisor after he died - she thought I was caring and compassionate because I cried with her.
  11. by   RNLisa
    Quote from nforsee
    I am wondering if you think a nurse who may become emotional when they lose a patient would be "unfit" as a nurse. Knowing me I am an emotional person and have been doing home care for many years. I have lost a few of the people I care for and it always affected me; not to the point that I was hestarical and unable to perform the duties I was expected to. SO I am wanting some input on others opinions about this since my father seems to think I may not be a good nurse since I allow it to affect me when people I am caring for die.
    I personally feel that if I did not care and was not affected by the loss of life then I am persuing the wrong profession. I did tell my father that a hit man is the only profession I know of that requires you to be unemotional about the loss of life he said I was just being an A hole
    Personally, if I was the family member of a dying patient, or the dying patient, I'd want a nurse who was caring and REAL with their emotions. Cry with the family, that isn't a bad thing. It shows you do care and that you are not just there for a paycheck.

    As for your father calling you an A hole.....WOW, I don't know what to say about that. I know I am being judgemental here, but he sounds very UNemotional.
  12. by   AliRae
    Maybe it's because I work with kids, but we cry all the time. We all had an awful day recently- a little girl we've all become very attached to seized, coded and had to be intubated. Again. We all went about our tasks, did what needed to be done, but you better believe that once it was all over and she was sort-of-stabilized, there wasn't a dry eye in the place.

    If I ever get to the point where suffering and death don't affect me, that's the day I'll quit, because that's the day I'll have stopped being human.

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