When Nurses Cry - page 2

by tnbutterfly 70,743 Views | 46 Comments Admin

Although itís been more than 30 years ago, I remember the occasion very clearly. My first death on Peds as the charge nurse. It was horrible. A four-month old with a congenital heart defect was to be discharged that afternoon.... Read More


  1. 1
    Thank you for sharing this article. It reaches to the innermost emotion.
    tnbutterfly likes this.
  2. 4
    I remember the first time I teared up and I left the room to go get tissues for the family so I could compose myself. The patient was in ICU and even though she was older than I am she was still young to be dying. The doctor was telling the patient's mother that she might not make it. He just didn't know. My children are small, but I could just only imagine being that mother and it broke my heart. Peds would be too much for me to handle!
    maelstrom143, cp1024, tnbutterfly, and 1 other like this.
  3. 3
    The thought of me crying in front of a patient scares the hell out of me. I'm a male and I'm not particularly sensitive, but I wonder about things like this and how I will stop myself from doing so. I've always seen crying as a weakness myself, but at the same time I've never worked around terminally ill people so that is definitely something that I have to figure out before actually starting. It's almost a blessing that I'm only a pre-req student at this time and have nearly 2 years to figure it out.

    NewbieNeedsHelp... I feel your pain, man. "Pricharilla" from my handle was my dog. I lost her on the 11th one year ago. I've thought about her EVERY day since.
    gonzo1, tnbutterfly, and sistasoul like this.
  4. 1
    The first time I cried I was a brand new nurse and worked a long weekend on nights. My patient stated she couldn't feel her tongue and I thought she was having an allergic reaction. I caught the doctor in the hall who ran in the room and started screaming she was over sedated and needed narcan. I had not given her any pain medications in over 8 hours and she had been receiving them since surgery 4 days ago. The doctor started screaming at me in front of the patient, family and other people in the room as we were giving the narcan. I cried in the supplies closet.
    tnbutterfly likes this.
  5. 2
    I have cried quite a few times at work. The worst for me was the 88 year old man who I was discharging to a rehab facility to get stronger from a fall before going home. His wife who had recently had a stroke was at a LTC facility. He would call her every night and visit her every day when he was home. THe rehab facility was not the same one his wife was at and all he wanted to do was to be with her. He sobbed continuously through the D/C process and while he was being wheeled out the door to be transported by EMS. He just kept saying over and over that he would never see his wife again. I cried with him. I will never foget how heart breaking that was or that patient. I was completely drained for hours after that.
    He did eventually need LTC and was able to be placed in the same facility with his wife.

    THe other thing that kills me is when I see sons and daughters crying over their elderly parents. It reminds me of just how special our mothers are and how much they are loved. I usually tear up with them.
    maelstrom143 and tnbutterfly like this.
  6. 2
    I think there is nothing wrong with shedding a few tears with our patients. It shows we are human, and it shows we care. Now, there is a different from a complete breakdown where the family/patient has to hold YOU up or a few tears and a hug in support. I dread the day that I no longer get emotional and cry a bit at work. Some cases just affect us more than others. Whether it is because we relate to a patient and/or their family for whatever reason, or because we got to know them and particularly care about them and are genuinely feeling a loss.

    On another note, in my L/D clinicals, when I witnessed my first spontaneous vaginal delivery, I cried a little at the sheer beauty of the moment, and felt no shame at all. (unfortunately the little one ended up needing much help afterwards because of problems with dystocia, but she ended up fine. Her parents' expressions of utter fear were awful to see though.)
    xoemmylouox and tnbutterfly like this.
  7. 3
    I am a new nurse working in a Health and Rehab Center. I have often cried at he death of a resident or at the aching in their hearts to "go home". It breaks my heart to see the ones that never get a visit and to see the ones who have come to accept they are there for the long haul and have given up. So, you see I sometimes cry at the heartache I see.

    My fellow nursing friends who have been doing this for years tell me I need to toughen up but I dont think I want to toughen up. I am afraid I will get cold hearted if I do. What do you think?
    ElSea, sistasoul, and tnbutterfly like this.
  8. 1
    Thanks for the article, since nurses are facing many situations which they are totally different, such as birth and death. Adapting with these situations sometimes makes no passion appears with the patient's family, because it becomes a habit, so i am totally agree with showing the emotions towards the patient and family, this really makes a difference with them, supporting their feelings can really enhance the tolerance of the situation itself.
    gonzo1 likes this.
  9. 3
    I spent several years in the ER and now ICU. I have seen doctors cry, firemen cry, EMS, nurses and all the rest. At first it is hard to control your emotions, but as time goes on you learn to get the job done, then cry. I gotta say, there is nothing more gut renching then seeing a fireman cry. But I have nothing but respect for those who cry.
    Most of us agree that when you don't cry anymore then you should probably get out
    qestout, NutmeggeRN, and tnbutterfly like this.
  10. 2
    Your article was very well written and evocative. Thank you for sharing.
    jadelpn and tnbutterfly like this.


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