Published Apr 15, 2002
I posted this question on the general board, but also wanted to ask OB nurses specifically.
Have you ever cried with a patient and or their family? I cannot imagine how difficult it will be when the time comes in my career that I have to take care of a grieving pt that has lost a baby. How do you all do it?
Yes I've cried. You just muddle through as best you can. There are a few dos and don't you should know (like don't say "well, you can aways have another one"...), but in the end, you can't really help them a whole lot. Their baby's dead. No comforting words are going to make them not feel devastated....
Of course. I deliver dead babies. I wouldn't be human if I didn't cry.
Certainly--in all areas of nursing that I've worked. Babies are the worst--20 weekers born alive, visibly moving and struggling and you know there's not a d%&* thing anyone can do but wait it out. Or the 43 year old who had misarried multiple pregnancies--begging the doctor to make sure her bleeding was not from something other than another 1st trimester spontaneous abortion--even the doc cried with that patient...............
I am more worried about nurses who do not or cannot cry...THEY are the ones who "bring it home".....Whether its someone who knows they are going to die, and try to comfort you as you think you are comforting them, or that baby you know sounds vigorous and strong inside the mom, but who is an imminent delivery too soon who will surely die... to the fetal demise and his or her family who not only know their baby is dead, but have to go through labor and delivery anyway...Yes, you surely cry, but your patients will appreciate your tears....
Of course, I have cried with my patients..out of joy and out of sadness. Some deliveries are just so glorious, just so beautiful, so
awesome. Some deliveries are so sad, losses or problems. One thing your patients will always remember is the kind nurse who cared so little about how she looked and how much she cared about her patient that she would cry in public for her patient. I have had pts who have had fetal demises/miscarriages who came back repeatedly just to chat with me because they remembered my kindness..something so simple as empathy.
MANY TIMES! I have personally been through the tragic loss of miscarriage twice and also delivered a premature boy w/a birth defect. ( Thankfully he is a healthy 10 year old today). So, I believe I can relate and understand totally when patients go thru losses or birth stresses and I am sure I would be less than human if I did NOT cry with them at these times. My motto: treat that patient as if she were: your grandma.... your mom...your sister....your daughter...your best female friend....and you can't go wrong in OB/GYN nursing. As long as you can go home, (leaving it at work is critical for me) , and put it all in perspective and talk it out w/your coworkers if you need to, I believe you do ok.
Have I ever cried with a patient? More times than I can count! :)
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