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Do you worry about your patients after leaving work?

Nurses   (6,436 Views 25 Comments)
by gigglymo gigglymo (New Member) New Member

gigglymo works as a RN.

3,242 Visitors; 122 Posts

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I know my fellow nurses are perfectly capable (and in some cases more capable than I am: experience wins every time) of taking care of everyone, but there are some patients that I can't help thinking about after I leave. Augghh! I'm almost looking forward to going back to work in a couple of days just to be sure all's well. Is that normal?

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2 Likes; 22,018 Visitors; 4,266 Posts

I did that when I was new- and it went on for a while, but got better as time went by. There were always some situations that came up that stuck with me...but I think that's just being human.

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KeechieSan has 8 years experience and works as a Clinical Nurse IIII.

2,624 Visitors; 93 Posts

I'm sure that is normal for a lot of people, but I don't think about patients once I leave. The separation of work and personal life is very important to me.

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Forever Sunshine has 7 years experience.

15,995 Visitors; 1,261 Posts

I know my fellow nurses are perfectly capable (and in some cases more capable than I am: experience wins every time) of taking care of everyone, but there are some patients that I can't help thinking about after I leave. Augghh! I'm almost looking forward to going back to work in a couple of days just to be sure all's well. Is that normal?

I do especially us LTC nurses. Our residents are like our second family. Something always big happens on the day before I have a couple days off and I do think about them. If they are dying I check the obituaries every day lol. I've learned of a few deaths that way too.

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

6,712 Visitors; 387 Posts

This concern and regard for your patients after you clock out is, I believe, a hallmark of a good nurse. I sometimes think about patients that I cared for three years ago and in nursing school and hope they are doing well. Sometimes I run into them or a family member in the community and they say, "Hey, you took care of my mom/dad/brother/sister!" I ask how they are doing. In SNF, I can certainly see how this issue can haunt you since you spend so much time with them and every decline you mourn a little with the family, if they family is there.

My bad habit is calling up the unit on my way home and saying, "oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you such and such, what do you think we should do about...?"

Keep it up. The moment that feeling leaves you, that little bit of worry or concern, it is time to move into another area of nursing or another job altogether. Kudos to you.

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RyanCarolinaBoy has 11 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

6,130 Visitors; 170 Posts

This concern and regard for your patients after you clock out is, I believe, a hallmark of a good nurse. I sometimes think about patients that I cared for three years ago and in nursing school and hope they are doing well. Sometimes I run into them or a family member in the community and they say, "Hey, you took care of my mom/dad/brother/sister!" I ask how they are doing. In SNF, I can certainly see how this issue can haunt you since you spend so much time with them and every decline you mourn a little with the family, if they family is there.

My bad habit is calling up the unit on my way home and saying, "oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you such and such, what do you think we should do about...?"

Keep it up. The moment that feeling leaves you, that little bit of worry or concern, it is time to move into another area of nursing or another job altogether. Kudos to you.

I would disagree on this. I believe the hallmark of a good nurse is competence and a willingness to get the job done while being paid to do so. While I believe in being compassionate, and taking care of the people under my care to the best of my ability, I also believe that when I clock out, I leave those patients behind. We as nurses will ALWAYS have those patients and situations that stick with us, but on a routine basis, when I clock out, I leave my job at the timeclock. I get paid to do my job, I try to do it well, but that is where it ends. If I was routinely having to think about my patients/job consistently on my own time, then it would be time to choose a different career...

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

6,712 Visitors; 387 Posts

Watson, an amazing and still living nursing theorist posited a fantastic nursing theory that in essence states (and I am paraphrasing and I mean no disrespect if I'm wrong) the nursing process requires that the nurse and the patient transcend their roles as patient and nurse, and transcend the disease process so that the nurse can best identify the patient's need and that the patient can see the nurse as a partner and trusted confidant. It is a uniquely magical moment.

I ran into this one guy nurse who is a newbie on a neuro intensive care unit who said, "my favorite patient is one who is comatose and unresponsive". My reaction was, "Really". Clearly this guy is only in nursing for the money.

Often times when I reflect on my patients at the end of the day I am actually using the EVALUATION portion of the nursing process. How well did I nurse them? How well are they responding to nursing interventions?

I consider myself a professional, so I am not getting paid for my time, but for my expertise. If I considered myself a vocationalist, then I am getting paid for my time by the hour. I think there is room in nursing for both types of thought, neither better than the other, except in certain circumstances.

Thank you for your opposing viewpoint. It is most valuable.

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CVmursenary has 1 years experience.

6,019 Visitors; 240 Posts

I dont worry about patients at all once i've left; better for my own mental health that way; and it comes naturally :)

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

6,712 Visitors; 387 Posts

We nurses are such perfectionist. I can agree with the mental health aurgument. Don't worrry and trust your fellow nurses will care for them as well as you. But I'm such a natural worry wort that I can't help but agree with the OP. My mental health is precarious in that sense. But at least my patients are well.

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8,116 Visitors; 784 Posts

Watson, an amazing and still living nursing theorist posited a fantastic nursing theory that in essence states (and I am paraphrasing and I mean no disrespect if I'm wrong) the nursing process requires that the nurse and the patient transcend their roles as patient and nurse, and transcend the disease process so that the nurse can best identify the patient's need and that the patient can see the nurse as a partner and trusted confidant. It is a uniquely magical moment.

I ran into this one guy nurse who is a newbie on a neuro intensive care unit who said, "my favorite patient is one who is comatose and unresponsive". My reaction was, "Really". Clearly this guy is only in nursing for the money.

Often times when I reflect on my patients at the end of the day I am actually using the EVALUATION portion of the nursing process. How well did I nurse them? How well are they responding to nursing interventions?

I consider myself a professional, so I am not getting paid for my time, but for my expertise. If I considered myself a vocationalist, then I am getting paid for my time by the hour. I think there is room in nursing for both types of thought, neither better than the other, except in certain circumstances.

Thank you for your opposing viewpoint. It is most valuable.

At the time we do shift report, every one of us is undergoing a self evaluation as we report our day. Some may recognize it and communicate our lapses and "to do lists" at that time, some may not.

Report should contain my observations, what I see as goals, and the things I have suceeded at and have failed at as a template for the next nurses shift plan.They will then assess and replan priorities as they see fit.

If I have mostly suceeded in my goals for the day, and have communicated my concerns , I can go home with a clear head. If I forgot something, I will call when I remember it (usually in the parking lot).

OBTW, the example of the newbie you gave is an old joke among ICU nurses, in re: the easiest pt. is a pt. intubated and on sedation. No calls, no problems. Has nothing to do with a nurses values or propensities.

He just heard it somewhere, and thought it was cool to say.

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

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Thanks for the reply. I really think that nursing handoff should be a safe haven, non-judgemental time for both nurs to review the patient's chart (if you are lucky enough to have EPIC, love or hate it) and evaluate the interventions given and response like you said. I had posted earlier about a mean nurse who recieved my report who was very passive agressive and not helpful in the patient's interest but I managed to turn it around (unfortunately to cover my a$$ because this nurse was a tattle tale) If I missed something, oops! It's a major learning experience. If I'm recieving report and the nurse missed something ( recieved a patient who recieved HD and the nurse had no clue) it should be a great teaching opportunity. You teach with discovery and kindness and by cultivating a safe environment to learn and make mistakes (I'm talking simple, not gross negligence). I'm totally cool that my ARF patient is fine, despite the fact that the oncoming nurse made a big deal about his urine output.

You are totally right! A good handoff should put you at ease. You trust the next nurse and they trust you. On a professional level, not a petty B*%#@ or catty level.

The RN from Northwestern University Medical Center in Chicago works for an entitled class of people. They are essentially underpaid waitresses. Note I said underpaid, because servers in the same area make more than they do.

His body language suggested a disregard and apathy. No eye contact, would not take off his Raybans to talk to me. I nurse in ICU and I'm all about helping the family cope. This dude was clearly in it for the glory and will probably become a CRNA. I have been an ICU patient and had a male nurse like him. I also was fortunate to have a lovey dovey ICU nurse rescue me from this type of di@#$wad. While I hope he was only joking, I fear for the families who he takes care of. I've been lucky to care for a patient in the ICU, then care for him on Tele, then on Med surg, then in skilled care and have the family trust me the entire time. He was not my kind of nurse, and I would request a different nurse if he was caring for my family member.

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4,146 Visitors; 68 Posts

I don't worry about my pts after they leave my care, or I leave them. Worry solves nothing in my life, I might send a positive thought to universe for their wellbeing, and that is enough. I cannot carry the burdens of the world, I can only do what I can while I'm there.

I know this is a healthy perspective, and I'm no less of a nurse for it.

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