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Do you worry about your patients after leaving work?

Nurses   (6,451 Views 25 Comments)
by gigglymo gigglymo (New Member) New Member

gigglymo works as a RN.

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wooh works as a RN & Critter Mama.

1 Like; 1 Follower; 1 Article; 37,337 Visitors; 4,383 Posts

Only occasionally. I'm a big advocate of separation of work and life. That said, occasionally a patient just gets to me. Neither way makes you more or less compassionate, IMO.

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romie has 3 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

6,716 Visitors; 387 Posts

Worry in itself is an inately unhealthy behavior. We really cannot do anything about worry but change our frame of mind. I think the OP was asking was whether or not we feel concern that last beyond the initial caring shift for our patients. Worry by its very connotation is considered a negative thing. I know because I worry about everything. Not just patients but the state of the earth, global economy and I have recognized that worry is not healthy for me. I think the OP, but I could be wrong, if you have concern and regard for the patients you cared for after the relationship has formally ended. Or\I suspect that newbie nurses experience this more. I tend to worry more about my young but abnormally ill patients or those without good support systems. I also work at a major metropolitain hopsital where we have 35 year olds having their fifth MI. Its kinda humbling when you realize that your patients are stroking out and having cerebral and cardial infarcts and they the same age as you. I mean young, not 90 yo.

Add crack or cocaine to the picture and it becomes even more complicated. I serve the number one Deaf population in the midwest. They come from three states away to come to my hospital because we cater to the Deaf. It's amazing.

What is the difference between healthy worry and unhealthy worry?

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romie has 3 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

6,716 Visitors; 387 Posts

The consensus is worry less and send positive thoughts out to the the universe. And if we did our jobs as RNs, then we have already equiped our paitnets for a better experience. We then eat pizza and get ready for our 15th shift in a row.

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233 Likes; 3 Followers; 95,230 Visitors; 36,400 Posts

I've been like that for years, although I don't necessarily worry that another nurse won't do a good job taking care of my patient. I just worry about the patient and the family anyway.

Guess it is better than worrying about my own problems.

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13,402 Visitors; 728 Posts

I don't think about work, at all, once I'm gone. In fact, when I'm off for several days in a row, I occasionally even forget how to navigate the halls to get back to my unit.

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NurseHopefulInOH has 7 years experience and works as a LPN.

5,497 Visitors; 162 Posts

In LTC its hard not to care and get attached. We call each other on days off to ask about a resident if something is going on. We have a online computer charting system that I can access from home and I sometimes go on to check on people because I'm worried. Its not about not trusting other nurses like you said. Yes its normal! I try not to get to emotionally involved and try to remind myself they are elderly and in a "better place" free from their aging bodies and minds!

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience.

210 Likes; 1 Follower; 28,994 Visitors; 4,113 Posts

I guess I worry enough about my patients while I am at work. When I clock out, my responsibility ends.

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tele jelly has 6 years experience.

2,488 Visitors; 58 Posts

how is worrying about your patients when you get home the hallmark of a good nurse???

i guess i'm a bad nurse! i completely separate work and home life.

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1 Like; 43,181 Visitors; 4,767 Posts

At times I have, depending on the pt and the circumstance. However, I learned early to separate work and home. Otherwise you'd go insane.

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Seas has 4 years experience and works as a RN, MSN.

9,551 Visitors; 519 Posts

If I work a few days in a row with a somewhat critical patient, I think and wonder about their progression when I am off work. But I won't do it in a daily basis, or I won't worry about them when at home. I think it is not good for my own mental health and it has nothing to do with being a good nurse.

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gigglymo works as a RN.

3,243 Visitors; 122 Posts

I didn't mean (and I don't think subsequent posters meant) to imply constant worry per se - I don't wring my hands and pace the floor, wondering how Room 17 is. I do occasionally think, "Huh, I wonder how such-and-such is doing," or "I sure hope this-or-that was resolved."

I think the ability to completely separate work and home just depends on the person, and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with being a good nurse. I personally know I can't just walk out and not think about it anymore - someone mentioned that it's part of the process of decompressing/reviewing the shift/realizing what you could have done better. (I'm paraphrasing.)

Personally, I think my tendency to think about it later is directly related to the fact that I just moved into a new specialty - for me, thinking things over, wondering about patients, etc. usually results in some kind of learning experience/revelation that makes the next shift better. (Hopefully...)

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Multicollinearity has 4 years experience.

27,416 Visitors; 3,119 Posts

Sure I do. I worked almost 16 hours yesterday dealing with a post-op patient whose fever went from 102 to 103.8. The surgeon was refusing to address the fever in a reasonable and medically sound way, so I stayed way late with the pt. calling administrators/going up the chain of command. I'm worried about the pt. this morning on my day off because it's a tiny little hospital and nobody wants to challenge this surgeon/hold his feet to the fire with this pt.

Edited by Multicollinearity

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