Thank you for your replies. I appreciate them sincerely. I have been accused by some of my family members as being detached. I have to chuckle at that because it is absolutely true, but they confuse me as being unfeeling. I tend to handle my emotions best when alone and do not really allow many people to see me "break down." I can be detached enough to get the job done. I often have delayed emotional reaction, which gets me through some tough situations. I have never been on the front lines in healthcare. I really don't know how I would react in the above scenario. I usually do well under pressure and I pray that my training would be enough for me to react wisely to save a life. This may not compare in any way, shape, or form, but I spent a few years as a volunteer at an animal shelter when I was in my early teens. Even though I was nuts about animals, I participated in animal euthanasia hundreds of times, simply because there was nothing else to do with these animals. They weren't anyone's pets, no one wanted them, and more were coming in on a daily basis. There simply wasn't room for them all. It was sad and tragic, but it drove me to be more proactive in educating the general public to spay and neuter b/c you would be shocked at the number of perfectly healthy, precious, puppies and kittens that die each year because of irresponsible pet ownership.
Now, regarding my original post, my question was not so much, "Do I have what it takes?" Time will tell, and I don't think anyone can really tell me that. Physically and emotionally, I think I am as good a candidate as my competition, as I have dealt with some earth-shattering situations. My real concern is how to treat people who are going through devastation that I could not imagine, such as having that life inside of them that does not make it into "our world," or watching a parent die slowly and painfully of cancer. The two people in my above post *are* my family/friends. They are not some patients in a hospital that I need to save or be detached from. They are my close friends who are experiencing/have experienced tragic losses. I just want to be a comforting presence, and am just kind of looking for some advice or some bereavement training of my own to make me better able to be that rock that my friends, and hopefully my eventual patients, will find comfort in.