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Can't Work on Floor Where Dad Died

Nurse Beth   (147 Views 1 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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Dear Nurse Beth,

Basically I have been working as an RN 3 years. My unit is moving to another floor. Unfortunately, this is the same floor where my dad passed away when I was a child. I still have memories of the floor and when I walked up to it the other day it looked exactly the same. When I went out to my car I cried. I also cried at home the day I found out we were moving. Am I just being selfish and sentimental? Is this normal or am I just a coward? Should I try to get another job?


Dear Has Memories,

I'm so sorry for your loss.

You are not selfish and you are not a coward. You're a grown-up who's a child who's a grown-up who lost a parent and it was traumatic. What this means is being on the floor where your dad passed away brings it all up again for you. The grief, the loss. The terrible loss of a parent as a child, and the ongoing loss and pain as an adult. 

It's possible, maybe likely, that your response would diminish with repeated exposure. Or maybe it won't. What's more important is processing your dad's death.

Have you thought about getting counseling? Grief counseling? All those overwhelming feelings are still there and still need to be acknowledged. Just talking about your experience can help you more than you know.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!"

 

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