Do you get attatched to your patients?

Specialties PICU


For all those working in PICU, do you find yourself getting really attatched to patients? Does getting attatched make your job harder?

Jolie, BSN

6,375 Posts

Specializes in Maternal - Child Health.

Working in the NICU, where some of our babies are with us for months, it is impossible NOT to get attached, and there is nothing wrong with developing a true affection for your patients and their families. It comes with the territory, and as long as you handle it properly, it can be very rewarding. Remember you are not the parent. You are there to support and teach the parents how to care for their child. You celebrate with them and greive with them. Then they earn their wings and fly home. Much like our own children do.


43 Posts

I am afraid that I am going to have a hard time with this. My daughter passed away after a two and a half month NICU stay, and I became attached to some of her "neighbors" while I was there even before I got into nursing. I think that you kind of learn how to distance least I hope!


gwenith, BSN, RN

3,755 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

Sorry - I read the thread title of "do you get attached to your patients" and saw it was in the paediatric forum and immediately thought "only if they have been eating something sticky." :devil::chuckle - sorry!!!

Pediatric Critical Care Columnist

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

11 Articles; 7,358 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology.

Sure do. Don't apologize for it either. Some kids really get under your skin and it's hard not to like 'em. A lot of our patients aren't really in the unit for too long and we don't get to know them. Then there are the ones who fight like tigers and keep getting hit with new complications that I just want to scoop up and take home. I can think of at least a dozen kids that I've really liked over the years. I often will think about them and wonder how they're doing. Oh, and BTW, you don't have to like the parents to love the kid...:wink2:


150 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU,IVT,PedM/S.

I always fall in love with my patients! I also think that it is just part nursing. I work in a large NICU that is a transport center so we have parents that live 10 min to 3 hours away. I have no problem saying good bye. I have kept in touch with a few families.

We had a set of twins born at 29 weeks that were given up for adoption. They did not find a family for abot 5 weeks. I was their self adopted mom I took pictures, made a little scrapbook, made sure their nurses held them. I wanted to be sure that if something happened to one of the babies its sibling would know that someone cared. They are 18mo and thriving with their adoptive family.

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