Quote from paradiseboundRN
I originally pasted this as a reply, but I think it needs its own thread.
A therapist once told me that nurses have a real problem with codependency. The definition of codependence is: Always putting ones needs above your own needs. Feeling/thinking that someones elses needs are more important than your own. She said nurses have a bad habit of accepting assignments/workloads even when though they can't handle or don't want the workload. Their reasoning is "my manager wouldn't have asked me to do it unless it was really important", or "if I quit the agency because they treat me bad, it will be the patients that suffer". I'm sure you have all heard the rationalizations before. For our sanity, nurses need to learn to set boundaries. For example, with a new agency that I started at, I pleasantly made it clear that if I work the weekend, I need 2 days off during the week and only on very rare occasions will I work more than 8 hours per day.
Are you codependent or are you able to set boundaries?
Hi! Thanks for sharing about co-dependence and boundaries. I agree with your thoughts! A quote I love by Florence Nightingale is "The martyr sacrifices themselves entirely in vain. Or rather not in vain; for they make the selfish more selfish, the lazy more lazy, the narrow narrower."
I do shift work home health (private duty), and a major problem I have encountered is nurses who completely and totally lack a boundary. The families of these patients can (understandably) be needy and demanding. If you give an inch, they take a mile. It is critical for the nurses to have a firm boundary. Without a proper boundary it is very easy for a nurse to get pulled into the dysfunctional dynamic (without even realizing it) and start making risky, subjective nursing decisions. Things can very quickly spiral out of control with these cases. And the nurse must also have a boundary with the agency, who can often PLEAD
Too many nurses I have encountered just don't "get" this. When spoken to about boundaries, the responses I have heard from these nurses are very co-dependent sounding! They feel they "must" do anything and everything for the families. The rationalizations I have heard are unbelievable!
Back to Florence: "The martyr sacrifices themselves entirely in vain. Or rather not in vain; for they make the selfish more selfish, the lazy more lazy, the narrow narrower." Florence was a wonderful nurse, the lady of the lamp, who served others, but she understood some "differences". There is a difference between being dependable and being a doormat. There is a difference between being responsible and being a martyr. As women and nurses, I think we naturally want to care for others and be there for them. So we are ripe to be taken advantage of by demanding agency staff and demanding families. But you do not help anyone in the long run when you don't have boundaries.... Yes, "For our sanity, nurses need to learn to set boundaries"! Thanks for your post!!