Compassion Fatigue - page 2

by tiredbeatupRN 3,449 Views | 18 Comments

article from advance for nurses. how long before cf becomes a legit medical diagnosis? :idea:... Read More


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    You're human. I've had people I could not stand, people who abused their kids, and all I wanted to do was invite them down to the dam to go play in the water -- upstream, just before a big release. *sigh*

    Nobody who hasn't done this job knows what that's like. We get the newbies who want to hold hands with Charles Manson and Ted Bundy and sing "Kumbaya" -- well, I'm old enough to have learned there is true evil in the world...beyond a medical or psych diagnosis, there are people who are mean, cruel and evil because they LIKE it. No med, no therapy can implant a human conscience. You can't make evil people good; at best, you can keep them from hurting the folks around them. There is darkness in some human souls, and it can snuff out our light if we let it.

    I had a patient, scary, scary guy. When he finally passed away, I was cleaning up the room and I suddenly "felt" that patient was still in the room -- hair stood on end, HR went tachycardic. Very firmly, I said, "I know who you are, and what you are, and you don't belong here. In the name of Jesus, beat it, buster!" When in doubt, give that a try. Sometimes, evil people in this world manage to bring "friends" from the next. And that ain't good.
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    Quote from nerdtonurse?
    You're human. I've had people I could not stand, people who abused their kids, and all I wanted to do was invite them down to the dam to go play in the water -- upstream, just before a big release. *sigh*

    Nobody who hasn't done this job knows what that's like. We get the newbies who want to hold hands with Charles Manson and Ted Bundy and sing "Kumbaya" -- well, I'm old enough to have learned there is true evil in the world...beyond a medical or psych diagnosis, there are people who are mean, cruel and evil because they LIKE it. No med, no therapy can implant a human conscience. You can't make evil people good; at best, you can keep them from hurting the folks around them. There is darkness in some human souls, and it can snuff out our light if we let it.
    THANK YOU for this. Every encouraging word helps.

    The home-health psych nurse who was seeing Mr. Crazypants at my building for a couple of months told me yesterday, "I would think there's something wrong with you if you DID have any compassion left." She has a history with him spanning almost a decade off-and-on, so she knows whereof she speaks; accordingly, she's been very helpful to our staff in coping with him, and now she comes to visit ME every couple of weeks (on her own time) since she had to discharge him from service due to failure to cooperate (surprise, surprise).

    Yet I still feel just a wee bit guilty for being so hostile toward him. As a woman of faith, I try very hard to live out that faith every day by being kind and compassionate, because I know everyone is struggling with something in their lives. But I'm having trouble managing the "love your enemies" part; it would be so much easier to "love" this guy at a distance......preferably a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG distance.
    herring_RN, nerdtonurse?, and Altra like this.
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    Quote from nerdtonurse?



    I had a patient, scary, scary guy. When he finally passed away, I was cleaning up the room and I suddenly "felt" that patient was still in the room -- hair stood on end, HR went tachycardic. Very firmly, I said, "I know who you are, and what you are, and you don't belong here. In the name of Jesus, beat it, buster!"
    thanks for the laugh..."beat it, buster".
    btw, did it leave? what happened?

    i'm reminded of a pt who was truly incorrigible and impossible.
    no one could manage him.
    but when someone is on hospice, you tend to be more patient.
    anyways (and lucky me), i was the only nurse he'd half-way listen to.
    i could tell he had been a miserable soul all his life.

    when he died, most breathed a sigh of relief.
    i did not.
    i could feel him still with me...no matter where i walked, he was there.
    i went in the ladies room, and told mr. pain-in-my-ass, that he needs to go home...
    that he is finished here on earth, and however you do it, just go to the light...
    and for the 1st time in your life, find love and peace.
    i told him i'd never forget him.

    then i went pee.

    experiences i treasure today and forever.

    leslie
    herring_RN and VivaLasViejas like this.
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    I had a horrible pt....who could have beat his cancer if he was just compliant, he assaulted me and several other staff,disconnected himself from chemo, threw urinals and food trays.

    When he died, he died screaming "the black was coming out of the shadows to come and get him." We had to hold him down and give him IM ativan and haldol, because he had no IV access because he kept no showing for his appointments to get his IVAD placed, and he was an impossible stick. The MD didn't want him to have a PICC r/t his injection drug use, and he and his death was a quite sudden thing...he just quit showing up for outpatient chemo and labs. Showed up with pnuemonia and tumor lysis syndrome and acute renal failure that was too advanced too do anything about.

    After he died, the call light in his room malfunctioned for days...until a CNA who was a lay preacher blessed that room.
    herring_RN likes this.
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    anyone else feel that there is a big stigma attached to this? or am i the only one? i think it was discussed in school in about 5 minutes and i have seen compassion fatigue mentioned here. sometimes i feel like i am in a battlefield at work.......................... no offense to those who have been in a real battlefield.
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    Boy, this post rang some bells for me. I agree it's been swept under the rug because nurses are afraid to tarnish their halos by admitting we don't like some of our patients. You stomped that cliche!

    Viva, you sound like you've gone that extra..hundred miles to answer your call of duty. Nurses are human and your feelings are normal. Hopefully, you get a breather or even better...a miracle.
    herring_RN and VivaLasViejas like this.
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    I have often reached the point where I don't know if I can go on, I see pt's abusing their LVAD's and their transplanted organs whilst others languish and die while waiting for the chance to just have an LVAD or make it to transplant but are to sick to survive the operation.


    Then one of the survivors who hasn't abused or neglected his chance comes in for a "tune up" and hugs me, and says "you were my nurse, and I just wanted to say hi" and for in small way it recharges me. Just that one small act refills my entire soul.


    Just the other night a pt was confused, and I was in her room every 30 minutes, frequent bed changes, up to the bathroom, frequent pain meds, interventions, adjusting pillows, thermostat, blankets, IV anti-arryhthmics, NG tube flushes, you name it. Then right before my shift was over she "fired" me. She said I was a cold hearted soul-less beast, and then went and complained to the charge nurse and the entire surgical team about me, and said I acted like I didn't want to take care of her. Because I wouldn't let her have water.

    However the room next to her, who often had to wait on my "services" because I was always next door, told me "why is it that the best nurses are always on night shift when I am asleep? Are you back tonight, you are my favorite nurse."
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    Quote from country mom
    The Nurses' Serenity Prayer (adapted from the AA Serenity Prayer)
    God grant me the serenity to accept the patients that I cannot heal.
    Courage to heal the ones I can,
    and the wisdom to know the difference.

    I think the serenity prayer is great to go by when you feel like this. I'm glad I read this post because I was feeling in a foul mood until I saw this and thought about it.

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference.

    Reminds me to not feel so horrible about certain stuff. I almost instantly feel better when I hear and remember to deal with a situation differently. :heartbeat
    leslie :-D and VivaLasViejas like this.
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    I think any support we can receive as nurses is important. Whether it comes from the hospitals or not, it is recognizing an important element of what happens to nurses. As nurses, we are traumatized by the awful things that we see everyday. Seeing death and dying over and over again... Seeing relatives not coping or grieving in their own unique, often dysfunctional, ways. I think we need the support and grief work. I believe it should be readily available to us with no stigma attached.
    herring_RN and VivaLasViejas like this.


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