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Compassion required???

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by jellyfishmafia jellyfishmafia (New Member) New Member

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montinurse has 10 years experience and specializes in ICU.

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Boy, sometimes I wish ICU could give me a break on exercising my compassion! Don't do ICU either! I agree, if you don't have compassion, don't become a nurse. Almost every single patient and family member needs and expects a compassionate nurse.

:angel:

Edited by montinurse
na

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I have a fairly important question regarding the personal requirements of nursing. Most of everyone in my family has some sort of medical degree and I am following suit (after a less than climactic career in engineering). I identify pretty well with the people in my family in regards to personality and they all have encouraged me so far in the nursing program, each telling me I will do very well.

So heres the issue:

I keep coming across references to "Compassion" being a "common sense requirement" to be a nurse. This DOES NOT click with me or my personality. I like to think I have a science based logic and frame of mind, I am goal oriented, and I love a good challenge, excitement, and nigh impossible deadlines. This I can see being useful in being a nurse. However, I am not that compassionate of a person. Most of the time I believe that what happens is a consequence of your own actions. I do not easily feel sympathetic towards people and quite honestly am very irritated by drama and over acting. I have read and come across information explicitly stating that this is the number one reason NOT to be a nurse.

I have to admit, I am doing it for the money and job stability. I will most likely never work full time and I will never bring my work home with me WHEN POSSIBLE. I don't feel sorry for the sick, the injured, the unfortunate - IMO thats the way the world turns. I am in no way christian, bhuddist, jewish, agnostic, atheist, etc... I relate to Pantheism if I had to pick something spiritual to believe in. I do not agree with religion and would never pretend to. This being said, I CAN hold my tongue - I am actually quite the pro at it. Edit: I should also mention that I am very capable and I am very professional in work situations. I exhibit respect for other's opinions and beliefs. I just won't fake my own.

I am very good at carrying out instructions, working with a clear mind, getting the job done objectively. When it comes to critical thinking I can get it done subjectively as well. Those boundaries are malleable - the ones that aren't are the ones concerning my emotions. I like people in general when they are not consumed with themselves or taking themselves too seriously.

Am I a recipe for disaster when I begin working as a nurse? Should I cut my losses and withdraw from my nursing program so far - (Which I enjoy the moderate challenge)

Without WANTING to help the sick and injured I can still be a great nurse in my opinion. I'm not saying I would have a problem carrying out the duties of a nurse, but honestly it isn't what I wake up wanting to do. I am not a Mother Teresa. I want to be a nurse, like I said, to have the money, flexibility, and job security. I didn't even consider being a nurse until I realized the pay rate and demand. Don't get me wrong - I will do the job and do it to the best of my ability and I will follow direction easily without involving my own opinions, but I will not pretend to be sympathetic or empathetic. Thats just me. :nurse:

Anyone else feel this way? Are you a nurse that has a similar personality? If so please tell me your experience as a nurse.

EDIT: I am convinced that my lack of ability in being outwardly compassionate lends to my ability to "not freak out" in emergency situations. I have been known to carry out my responsibilities like nothing has happened. I wanted to be an EMT originally, but unfortunately they are paid like chumps... ):

I guess you don't need any compassion to be a nurse as long as you can fake it sometimes ( alot actually). You might think, " well that is how the world turns" but not all your patients will think that way. This may be the worst time of his/her life and it may actually only get worse for them.Some times they are looking for a pity party or at least some kind words. I guess as long as you get the job done you will be ok. Now the part where you said you are irritated by drama and over reacting, i am sure many nurses are. You just can't show that in front of a customer/patient just like in any other service job, you do it with a smile and remember to be the rational one and explain why the pt is ordered a npo diet or why the diabetic with a 563 blood sugar shouldn't be insisting on eating out your vending machines etc.

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Caffeine_IV has 7 years experience and specializes in LTC, med/surg, hospice.

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I can't judge as to whether you would be a good nurse or not but I can say that I probably would not want to work with you. I know people like you (who describe themselves the same way) and they work at desks behind closed doors which I think is perfect for their personality.

I'm one of those people that doesn't have the most awesome people skills or a high amount of compassion but you sound a tad bit heartless.

A lot of the patients we see are sick due to their own neglect but a high number of them are struck with illnesses and accidents beyond their control. You will get burn out fast with having no sympathy.

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JulieCVICURN is a BSN, RN and specializes in CVICU.

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This is so similar to another recent posting from an engineer (or someone considering engineering after pharmacy school, something like that) that I'd almost put money on it being the same poster, rewording the question to attempt to get a different bunch of responses.

Maybe I'm just suspicious and cynical, though. Bad traits, but I'm compassionate too, for what it's worth. Maybe there are just an awful lot of engineers wanting to go into nursing for the big payday.

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joanna73 is a BSN, RN and specializes in geriatrics.

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In some way, you should want to help people, and have SOME degree of compassion to be a nurse. Otherwise, don't do it. People can see right through that. IMO, you sound rather cold. Yeah, OR...but I've worked the OR. And even OR nurses must be compassionate in order to alleviate people's anxieties. I can't really see nursing working well for you. And if an employer was able to pick up on any of that during an interview, you probably wouldn't be a favourable candidate. People skills are important for all areas of nursing.

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TheMoonisMyLantern has 12 years experience as a ADN, LPN, RN and specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU.

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So, you don't care about those that are ill, injured, or dying. You really ought to go into the field of nursing, you'd be awesome at it!

Seriously, some common sense is needed here, if you don't give a rat's behind about helping people why on Earth would you go into a profession that is at its heart a helping profession? Come on now.

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dragonfly55 specializes in neonatal intensive care,paed,paed oncol.

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i don't think nursing is for you.... i don't care what type of nursing one does, but it does involve compassion and caring along with all the other skills, etc.

if you do stick it out- please do not pursue neonatal intensive care or paediatrics- you wouldn't survive

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eriksoln has 15 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in M/S, Travel Nursing, Pulmonary.

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I have to say, I'm a little surprised by all the high horsed finger wagging. Kinda juvenile really. Tell me this, I believe compassion is somewhat innate, you either radiate it or you don't. I don't think if you have it in one setting, you lose it in another. With that said, logic prevails and tells us if you don't have it in one place, you probably don't display it elsewhere. So, for all the finger wagers, how are you showing "compassion"? Does the OP bother you because you see a little bit of yourself in it perhaps? Do you talk to your patients this way? I guess you could say you are showing compassion for the patients by not suggesting TC pursue nursing, but there is much to be said about the parts humility and tact play in compassion.

I'll propose another side of the story for the wagers too. Imagine you the time when you first entered school and wanted to be a nurse. NONE of us go into nursing school with every skill in place, every perception of what nursing is mature and every personality trait completely shaped and molded for nursing. NO ONE.

So, lets say, you are half way through your NSG 101 course, and you find yourself falling short in some way or another. Maybe, oh, IDK, math is not your strong suit and you failed the Drug Calc. test. So, there you have it, your shortcoming as a nurse. Now, imagine your instructors talking the way you do: "OMG, please, don't become a nurse and if you do don't care for anyone I love. You'll have their Heparin gtt. running at 250cc/hr and not see anything wrong with it."...................."Just cut your losses and go study something else, nursing isn't for you, math/science is a part of nursing and you'll never get it."

I can safely say 90% of the finger wagers would not be nurses right now if this is really how things are done. The standards for becoming a nurse are no where near as rigid as you are interpreting them to be. YOU, yes you the finger wager, wouldn't be here if they were.

TC opened up and admitted she lacks in compassion. OK. We all have our places we need to grow. Does every nurse you run into these days exude compassion? I think not. I think TC has an advantage over many people practicing/coming into nursing in that she has identified the problem. Burnt out vet. nurses and student's who proclaim "compassion" are the real problem, because they deny their shortcomings and hence won't change.

It is possible to enter the nursing field with the idea that one must improve upon their outlook towards the sick. The TC's shortcoming/hurdle as a nurse will be to learn this. Is that so different from the nurse who must improve their math? I don't see it.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/742189

There is hope for those who don't exude compassion or have a "calling".

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Florence NightinFAIL has 2 years experience and specializes in Medical - Surgical.

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However, I am not that compassionate of a person.
That's ok as long as you keep as your thoughts/feelings don't become actions.

I have to admit, I am doing it for the money and job stability
I have never heard of a nurse volunteering to do it for free. EVERYONE cares about the money and those that say they don't need to get out and let the ones who need the money take their place.

I will most likely never work full time and I will never bring my work home with me WHEN POSSIBLE.

This is my goal. Except the part where you have to keep your education up to date - so you need to brush up on diseases/procedures etc. at home sometimes.

Most of the time I believe that what happens is a consequence of your own actions.
.

Now that I have an issue with. That is harsh. Where do you draw the line?

I don't feel sorry for the sick, the injured, the unfortunate - IMO thats the way the world turns.

I hope you don't expect compassion from your friends/family if you ever become sick/injured/etc. because that my dear is hypocrisy.

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3,408 Posts; 29,118 Profile Views

I have to say, I'm a little surprised by all the high horsed finger wagging. Kinda juvenile really. Tell me this, I believe compassion is somewhat innate, you either radiate it or you don't. I don't think if you have it in one setting, you lose it in another. With that said, logic prevails and tells us if you don't have it in one place, you probably don't display it elsewhere. So, for all the finger wagers, how are you showing "compassion"? Does the OP bother you because you see a little bit of yourself in it perhaps? Do you talk to your patients this way? I guess you could say you are showing compassion for the patients by not suggesting TC pursue nursing, but there is much to be said about the parts humility and tact play in compassion.

I'll propose another side of the story for the wagers too. Imagine you the time when you first entered school and wanted to be a nurse. NONE of us go into nursing school with every skill in place, every perception of what nursing is mature and every personality trait completely shaped and molded for nursing. NO ONE.

So, lets say, you are half way through your NSG 101 course, and you find yourself falling short in some way or another. Maybe, oh, IDK, math is not your strong suit and you failed the Drug Calc. test. So, there you have it, your shortcoming as a nurse. Now, imagine your instructors talking the way you do: "OMG, please, don't become a nurse and if you do don't care for anyone I love. You'll have their Heparin gtt. running at 250cc/hr and not see anything wrong with it."...................."Just cut your losses and go study something else, nursing isn't for you, math/science is a part of nursing and you'll never get it."

I can safely say 90% of the finger wagers would not be nurses right now if this is really how things are done. The standards for becoming a nurse are no where near as rigid as you are interpreting them to be. YOU, yes you the finger wager, wouldn't be here if they were.

TC opened up and admitted she lacks in compassion. OK. We all have our places we need to grow. Does every nurse you run into these days exude compassion? I think not. I think TC has an advantage over many people practicing/coming into nursing in that she has identified the problem. Burnt out vet. nurses and student's who proclaim "compassion" are the real problem, because they deny their shortcomings and hence won't change.

It is possible to enter the nursing field with the idea that one must improve upon their outlook towards the sick. The TC's shortcoming/hurdle as a nurse will be to learn this. Is that so different from the nurse who must improve their math? I don't see it.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/742189

There is hope for those who don't exude compassion or have a "calling".

I think you just like playing the devil's advocate sometimes. The OP not only states that they lack compassion, but that they don't like dealing with people going through a difficult time.

If I have issues with math, I can get tutoring and practice and learn to be better. Math is a skill and skills are learnable. Compassion and empathy are much harder things to teach and learn. The OP doesn't ask how to become more empathetic or compassionate but if they can be a nurse without that.

To use your analogy, a better example would be someone asking if it's possible to be a nurse without ever having to use math. Well...can you?

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joanna73 is a BSN, RN and specializes in geriatrics.

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I don't think you need to exude compassion to be a nurse, BUT, there should be some degree of wanting to help others. People aren't being too hard on the OP, Erik. When she states, "I don't feel sorry for the sick, injured, or unfortunate..." Among other things, well that really struck a cord with me. Wow. Sure, we all have our shortcomings, but IMO, that's pretty harsh. And not comparable to someone having poor math skills.

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eriksoln has 15 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in M/S, Travel Nursing, Pulmonary.

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I think you just like playing the devil's advocate sometimes. The OP not only states that they lack compassion, but that they don't like dealing with people going through a difficult time.

If I have issues with math, I can get tutoring and practice and learn to be better. Math is a skill and skills are learnable. Compassion and empathy are much harder things to teach and learn. The OP doesn't ask how to become more empathetic or compassionate but if they can be a nurse without that.

To use your analogy, a better example would be someone asking if it's possible to be a nurse without ever having to use math. Well...can you?

Well, I do actually take the devil's advocate role a lot, but...................look at the difference between my post (early in the thread) and the finger wagging. Thats the part I find...........ehhh, odd.

You don't see the irony in a person........................scolding another for not having compassion and lacking said compassion in their scolding?

And yes, math can be tutored while old thinking says compassion is something you have or don't. But read the article I posted. It says differently.

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