Is there room for sensitive individuals in Nursing?

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    Before I switch majors from psychology to nursing, I just wanted to make sure that sensitivity is looked upon as a strength in nursing rather than as a weakness. My strengths are organization and sensitivity, and I don't want to waste time in an occupation that won't be able to utilize these strengths. I will be about 41 by the time I graduate, etc., so I want to make the right decision on whether I should change majors or not???
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  4. 0
    Quote from nursing6
    Before I switch majors from psychology to nursing, I just wanted to make sure that sensitivity is looked upon as a strength in nursing rather than as a weakness. My strengths are organization and sensitivity, and I don't want to waste time in an occupation that won't be able to utilize these strengths. I will be about 41 by the time I graduate, etc., so I want to make the right decision on whether I should change majors or not???
    I think that if you are interested in nursing, just go for it! Nurses need to be both sensitive and organized, so you'll fit right in!

    I am a really sensitive person - the type that cries during TV commercials. I think healthy to be sensitive and not keep your emotions all bottled up inside. Of course, on the job you have to develop a little bit of a thicker skin, just to protect yourself because nursing is often an emotional rollercoaster. But you can definitely still be sensitive and a great nurse. Half of our job is technical, and the other half psychological.
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    Hmmm. Interesting. I have been a nurse for only 7 months, and I can tell you that many nurses I've met along the way seem to be sensitive underneath, yet they have "thickened their skin" to the point that they seem quite insensitive. I don't like it and don't want to end up that way. The pace of the hospital workload also does not allow for it...for example, I'm in the NICU and there is one mom in particular who likes to have her baby's care done a certain way. Nothing about the way she wants to do it changes the quality of the care....so I figure, be sensitive to her desires...she's the baby's mom after all. But many nurses are too rushed to be sensitive to her...ironically they waste more time complaining about her than it would take to just do the care. Bugs me a lot! This mom has no choice but to be here with her baby, why can't these nurses be sensitive to that? They don't put themselves in her shoes at all.
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    I think you are doing the right thing by investigating if you will like nursing. The problem is that it's hard to tell until you've been working as a nurse. It's not at all what I thought it would be and I became a nurse at 42. I think the above poster's description is a good one. I also think that just trying to get through your day sort of scabs over your sensitivity. I only lasted 7 months in trauma step down. I had all the ideals you have. It didn't take long to squash them pretty quickly. Now I'm in the OR, I'm the patient advocate, and quite frankly I can bring things to a screaching halt if I think the patient's best interests aren't being adhered to, at least in elective cases. Trauma is a different thing, saving their lives is the main and central thought in big blood letting cases. Still, I found that working the technological side of nursing works better for me now. I could never go back to unit or floor nursing because I just couldn't give all the patients the time and effort I felt they should have, it just couldn't be done, there's only one of me. There are those who love bedside nursing. I love them for loving it. I just don't think it's for everyone. I don't know how to help you decide. You can get your RN then go into psychiatric nursing. Maybe that would be your niche. Good luck.
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    Just wanted to say Thank you to all the people who took their time to reply to my post. Your thoughts helped me a great deal and are much appreciated
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    I definately think that you can and should be sensitive in nursing. Just keep in mind that it is not about you...what I mean by that is if you are the super-sensitive type that will be emotionally hurt by a nutso patient that is mean, well that can bring you down pretty quick...but it's not about you. I think that you need to be sensitive to patients, their needs and goals, sensitive to their families. You coordinate their care with other departments and the docs. YOu are the docs eyes and ears. As I am sure that you have read, not all docs are nice to work with. You need to stand up for yourself and for your patient. If a doc is rude, certainly don't let him/her walk all over you, if you are too sensitive though, I can see how this also can break you down pretty quick. You need to find a unit/floor/specialty that fits your needs and you will be fine! I am sure that your orgazinational skills will be well used
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    I am concerned about this issue also. I am currently taking my prereqs for nursing school while i am a practicing lawyer. my brother, who is a doctor, tells me that i am much too sensitive to be a nurse and i'll never be able to handle it when doctors scream at me. I know the profession can be difficult and stressful i have been a practicing attorney and a single parent for the last 11 years. I can certainly deal with someone occassionally blowing off steam in my direction - it happens now all the time - but the way he makes it sound is as though i will be entering a war zone.
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    Well this is what I have found... first of all most nurses are sensitive to their patient's needs. Often however, they seem to lose this sensibility when it comes to how they (we) treat each other. Being a mom, an activist and soon to be RN (May '04, bayyyyybe), I do often find myself emotionally exhausted from meeting everyone else's psychosocial needs. Alas, my poor husband has payed the price because I'm not really sensitive to his needs as much anymore. Please y'all more experienced folks correct me if I'm wrong but I've also noticed that there are other factors related to how respectfully we treat each other. These are; unit type (OB and Peds nurses I've found to be more sensitive), atmosphere promoted by management (professional vs. pure gossip central), age, specialty and professionalism of attending physicians.

    Just remember this simple rule, all that smiles is not a friend. There are so many genuine and sensitive people in this business but those nurses who aren't do the most damage behind your back. It seems to me that the in-your-face insulters are in the end easier to become friends with because they are straight shooters.

    Just my 2.
  11. 0
    "Is there room for sensitive individuals in Nursing?"

    I hope so, otherwise I am in trouble
  12. 0
    Quote from bluesky
    Well this is what I have found... first of all most nurses are sensitive to their patient's needs. Often however, they seem to lose this sensibility when it comes to how they (we) treat each other. Being a mom, an activist and soon to be RN (May '04, bayyyyybe), I do often find myself emotionally exhausted from meeting everyone else's psychosocial needs. Alas, my poor husband has payed the price because I'm not really sensitive to his needs as much anymore. Please y'all more experienced folks correct me if I'm wrong but I've also noticed that there are other factors related to how respectfully we treat each other. These are; unit type (OB and Peds nurses I've found to be more sensitive), atmosphere promoted by management (professional vs. pure gossip central), age, specialty and professionalism of attending physicians.

    Just remember this simple rule, all that smiles is not a friend. There are so many genuine and sensitive people in this business but those nurses who aren't do the most damage behind your back. It seems to me that the in-your-face insulters are in the end easier to become friends with because they are straight shooters.

    Just my 2.
    Excellent post! Worth repeating.

    Congratulations on your RN. I got my licence at age 34, and found myself at first becoming de-sensitised to the mahem that mankind inflicts upon itself.
    At the same time, I have found that my sensitivity has increased to the point where I have found myself not only to weep openly at ER tragedy, but also when I am particularly moved by a musical performance. I give permission to do this by being an old man, who might be a Jew or a homosexual.

    I think it helps to pray and weep with families at the end of a patients life.

    I have to congratulate you also on the wisdom you express in your last paragraph. If I had been aware of the nature of nursing politics in the beginning I would have done well to have chosen some other profession. How right you are that, "All that smiles is not a friend."

    Every new job I went to the nurse's "coven" smiled to me, and did me in behind my back. Whenever you are new you are damned walking in the door. If you work too hard, you make your sisters look bad. If you do not work hard enough you are a slacker. If you don't suck up to the clique, you are not a "team player." The older you get, the worse it becomes, (see the string , "Blackballed and broke.)

    I thought my boss was my friend, so I wrote some complaints to her. After a few weeks, when it became apparent that she had no intention of discussing my complaints, I handed her some more. She responded by firing me. It took several months for me to realize that I am in an "at will" state. If I had simply walked across town into another job on day-one I would still have a job, somewhere.

    Thank you again for such a good post.

    Love :blushkiss


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