Close to breaking... seriously. - page 3
I've been working SICU (with the exception of a short-lived foray into Case Management a few months ago - HATED it) for about 14 years now. I've seen some really tragic things in my time and somehow... Read More
Oct 31, '07God bless you. It sounds like you were just the nurse these people needed you to be. How awesome is that?!
I agree about debriefing with EAP, or with nurses close to you.
I've never gone to a chaplain to discuss my feelings, but I've happened to run into one or another at just the right time, and they seem to be pretty good listeners. Maybe you could look one up.
I hope you feel better soon. I'm sure you know, you're doing good work, here.
Oct 31, '07I am sorry you had to go through that. I don't know if it will help but I bet those families will remember you during an extremely difficult time. Some time away may be just what you need as well as to talk to someone. I don't know if maybe you can talk to your manager and she can grant some time off to you. If possible you might be able to utilize the Family Medical Leave Act. I don't know what the requirements are for that. Just some thoughts.
Oct 31, '07I hope you are okay. How very sad to be there for these situations. I am sure you were a great comfort for the families. Just take a little YOU time for now however you see is best. Everyone has had such good suggestions. The debriefing is good. There may come a time when you are done w/ this. It may be now. It may not be now. If you change areas, etc. try to look back at all the good you've done, not feel guilty that you have to move on. You have touched so many people and that is so awesome. Take care of you and find a way to be happy. God bless!
Oct 31, '07Even though it seems like your heart is breaking, think of the gift you give each family by taking care of their loved one and helping them have the best death possible given the circumstances. They are so fortunate to have you there to explain things to them and to support them with whatever decision they make. I would be honored to have a nurse who cared enough to cry take care of my family any day.
Big hugs to you, and I hope you find peace.
Oct 31, '07Quote from icurn1993the above is excellent advice.
My advice for "Close to Breaking" is to try to distance yourself from work for a while. If you have some time off that you can take, do so. Make sure you are doing activities outside of work that you enjoy (particularly if you are someone who lives and breathes work even on your days off). Find someone who you can talk to and vent your feelings (either personal contact or professional). If you can cut your hours at work, maybe try that to create more time off from the ICU environment (that helped with my situation). If none of these works, it might be time to leave the ICU for a while and find some other area of nursing that you enjoy.
i've worked inpatient hospice for sev'l yrs.
this past year, we've taken on peds cases.
even when i think i'm doing ok, i've been known to break down, usually over seemingly benign incidents.
for instance, last week the clothes in my dryer were still wet.
i had a major meltdown and couldn't stop crying.
my salvation has been through a series of mental health days, mini-vacations and a couple of times, loa's.
my employer is extremely aware of the stressors we nurses deal with, and supports us in whatever is needed to keep us sane.
my mental-health days, can stretch 2-3 days.
i'm always changing my schedule, hoping for more relief on another day, another shift.
i also see a therapist (r/t other issues) who specializes in trauma, so she's great to speak with.
nature walks and 1:1 talks with God, help me in trying to understand and transcend the suffering i see.
one time, i took almost a year's leave, thinking it was going to be permanent.
it's imperative to find balance, and to leave work at work.
having a very flexible schedule, will help in getting groups of days off together.
find something that will work.
if these feelings persist, it may be time to leave.
your sanity and health should always come first.
it's easy to burn out if you don't anticipate the effects of working under such stress.
pm me anytime.
i also understand what you're experiencing.
it can and will get better.
you just have to be proactive in this growing process.
Oct 31, '07I understand what you're going through. I've been questioning my work experience in PICU, which is new to me. Recently I cared for a GSW, very young teenager. It still bothers me, I have a lot of mixed feelings about my work lately.
You sound kind and compassionate. I hope you have other nurses at work or friends to talk to as well as your husband.
Nov 1, '07It sounds like you are reaching a saturation point. In your shoee, I'd definitely start looking for another area to get into.