Is it okay to be emotional? - page 2

Hi! I want to be a nurse when I graduate from highschool (1 1/2 yrs.). My problem though is that if I see someone cry because of a loved one passing away or loads of pain, I tend to get emotional... Read More

  1. by   researchrabbit
    When I did psych research, I did most of our interviewing. Some of the saddest, most horrendous life histories (especially in the PTSD studies). If the patient cried, I did too, and sometimes even when the patient didn't. Not one patient ever objected or appeared uncomfortable; I think for many it was a validation of their experience.

    And usually, if I cried in the interview, I didn't wind up having to debrief or take the pain home with me.
  2. by   deespoohbear
    Yes, it is okay to cry and show that you are part of the human race. I work in a small hospital and have been witness to some pretty sad things involving my work family and my church family. The past few years have been particularly hard for our hospital. We have lost 2 co-workers to cancer (one a young mother with 3 small children, and the other a long-term employee involved in education at our facility.) Both of these ladies died in our hospital. Very difficult to watch someone who you have worked with for years die in front of you...2 more co-workers this summer were diagnosed with breast cancer....Plus I have been was on duty when my 11 y/o nephew was brought in after being hit by a car...(suffered a fractured leg, but otherwise okay). I have cried with families when their loved one was slipping away...or when they received bad news. Just shows that I am human...if I ever get to the point where I don't feel anything anymore as nurse is the day I turn in my resignation from nursing....hope this helps you....

    Now for the second part of the question...our local school systems (3 in our county) have a class called "Health Occupations Education." It is taught by a MSN prepared nurse. The students who are juniors or seniors take this class to see if they may be interested in a health care occupation...they get to shadow various health team care members such as nurses, MD's, CNA's, pharmacists, rad techs, resp techs, and so on to see what their day entails. When they come to our general med-surg floor we usually let them help with some of the tasks such as bathing, feeding, etc. If the students want, they can pursue getting their CNA certification. Several of the nurses I now work with were former HOE students...kind of fun to watch them as they go from 17 y/o kids, to nurses and such....maybe your school has a similar program...
  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    The day I don't feel sad when the situation calls for it, is the day I quit nursing for good. There's nothing worse than closing oneself off from feelings. That doesn't necessarily mean losing all control and bawling like a baby, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with showing honest emotion, and believe me, most patients and families never forget it. When my second child passed away shortly after birth 19 years ago, the nurse who cried with me was the one who inspired me to become a nurse myself years later.
    I still think of her around the anniversary of my child's birth and death, and whenever I'm tempted to shut down emotionally because I'm feeling wounded and fragile.

    Hope this helps.
  4. by   tattooednursie
    I'm 17 and I'm a CNA. I took the course through the American Red Cross in the state of California.

    I very much enjoy my job. I am a very emotional person. I'm usually the first to burst into tears. Crying shows that a person cares. If some one close to me was dying, I would much rather have a nurse who would cry too, rather than a hard and cold nurse. I think if a person doesnt show emotions, then they need to quit.

    Things that I do think are unprofessional is like getting absloutley hysterical, throwing self on the floor, getting hostile about it, or do something freaky like preform a seance (SP) to try to bring them back. HEY! it could happen. But Crying is ok.
  5. by   sanakruz
    Eventually you will learn to be proactive rather than reactive.
    The feelings stay the same, though
  6. by   magRN
    My Mom once told me when I was concerned about how emotional I can be and if I should be a nurse...she said to me "When you are no longer able to feel and show emotion you should no longer be in medine esp. as a nurse!" She was right...families aren't upset if you cry when someone dies, but tend to be positively touched by you degree of concern.

    As long as the issue of death and the dying is on topic: Never be afraid of helping someone dealing with loss. Treat them as you would want to be treated. If in doubt of what to do or how to help ask the bereaved!
  7. by   mark_LD_RN
    yes it is fine, i believe being emotional helps one be a better nurse. just remember to save some for your self. i am one of most emotional nurses i know and i seem to do well and my patients surely like it
  8. by   chrn
    Emery and Mandi;
    Thank you so much. Your posts give hope for the future of nursing. A lot of people go into nursing for a lot of reasons (it has become a better paying profession with lots of options). There's nothing wrong with that. But to hear from young people who really care about other
    I agree with other posts- some times you will need to cry but have to put it away because the situation demands your "strength". Sometimes, you will cry like a baby in empathy for other people's losses.
    I had to do post-mortem care on a 2 year old who died in an auto accident. Cleaned up lots of blood so her grandma could come see her. The nurse I worked with just got through it, didn't cry (but I knew her to be as caring as anyone). I cried so much I almost couldn't function. Every situation will be different. Don't be afraid of feeling, ever.
  9. by   Love-A-Nurse
    yes, it is alright to cry. it seems, to me, the tears come at the appropriate time. every wonder why you can "hold" tears back at one moment and they "run" like a river at others?

  10. by   renerian
    Shows your human and you identify with someone's heartache.


  11. by   Emery
    Thank you so much for all of your replies! Its just that volunteering in a hospital, I see a lot. And I see families who have just lost loved ones and nurses standing there comforting them, but never shedding any tears, at least not in front of them. So I thought that you had to be some kind of unemotional freak or something!! I'm kidding. But I'm glad to know that I wouldn't be the only nurse who has ever cried before. Its a real encouragement! Thanks!

    And thank you to those of you who have given info on the CNA stuff. Since I'm homeschooled, its kind of hard to know what there is for you out there. I do know that 2 of the schools in the county have some kind of program, but I don't know anything about it. Maybe I should go check that out? Anyway, thanks for all your help!!

  12. by   semstr
    the moment I cannot be emotional any more, is the moment I stop nursing.
  13. by   hapeewendy
    its not the money or the respect or the excitement of the nursing profession that makes people want to become a nurse,its the fact that they CARE and feel that they can positively impact someones life,whether it be to help them heal from surgery and go home, to holding their hand when they are breathing their last breath...
    those are the same reasons we stay in nursing and why I love nursing.
    When you are around the sick and dying you cannot help but show empathy and caring and raw emotion.
    most people, myself included, would prefer that their nurse cried with them or held their hands or gave them a hug when they are faced with horrible news or the loss of a loved one, it can be of great comfort ,which is of course one of the main aspects of nursing - offering comfort and solace...
    from someone who cries at long distance phone company commercials and humane society telethons I can tell you that yes , being a nurse can be absolutely heartbreaking sometimes, and the tears come, as does the heavy heart feeling....
    but when the sadness fades a bit, and you see the bigger picture - the fact that you have eased the pain of someones heartbreak and shown that you are human and that you care- then you realize that you wouldnt have it any other way..
    I'd rather be emotional and cry sometimes than be stonefaced and jaded.
    I agree that we cannot be emotional basketcases here, but thats not what this post is all about , its about the fact that what breaks your heart one day is the same thing that makes you keep coming back to work the next day...