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Indifferent

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I have read numerous posts asking, "Is nursing right for me?" or "Should I get out of nursing? etc. Now it's my turn to ask the question. Am I missing the compassion? When I witness an animal that is hurt, I break down and cry like a baby; with people, not so much. I love the science behind nursing and completing assessments in order to have a better picture of the patient, but I am not feeling teardrops down my cheeks at the first sign of tragedy or struggle. Life IS a struggle. When I was younger, I thought I wanted to be a vet, but I was encouraged to pursue nursing. Sometimes I wonder if I pursued the wrong path. I am embarrassed to admit that, no, I don't "love" people. But, I have these moments where I feel rewarded as a nurse, personal satisfaction in handling a situation appropriately and preventing the patient from harm. My concern is the indifference I "feel" sometimes. I love the technical side of nursing, but more often than not I relate to patients objectively or jokingly. Anyway, nothing like internet strangers for a psych eval.

Edited by Art_Vandelay

Kiwidanni

Specializes in NICU, Peds. Has 6 years experience.

As long as you can treat your patients with dignity and respect, you don't really need the "tears rolling down cheeks" feeling. Sometimes that over emotiveness can detract from the job that needs doing.

So the questions should be: Are you good at what you do? Are you able to take good care of your patients? Do you enjoy what you do?

Your patients don't need to know that you don't feel deeply saddened at their plight. As long as you can convey a sense of care, then all is well.

linearthinker, DNP, RN

Specializes in FNP. Has 25 years experience.

What is the question? Are you asking if you cannot be an effective nurse because you lack empathy?

I do not become emotionally involved with people. I can code a child or infant and not shed a tear. And I go home and forget all about them, it doesn't touch me or impact me. And I am an outstanding nurse. However, in order to be effective, I do have to "care" about it to some extent. If not people as individuals per say, their outcomes at least statistically. Think of it like this, if you were a general surgeon, you would be very concerned with your outcome data, even if you never remembered a single face or name. I am very concerned with my performance and my patient outcomes. I strive for excellence for excellence sake. I could see the "sepsis in bed 2" next week at Costco and not know him from Adam, for sure. I don't remember names or faces, but I want people to do well, so I keep up to date and perform to the best of my ability. I don't have to bond with them, hold their hands, cry with them or name my cat after them. I do have to keep up with the literature and technology, push myself, and them, to be our best.

I don't go to work to make friends, and I assume patients don't go there for some great spiritual experience either. We can both get that someplace else. The way I see it, they get the best of what I have to offer this way. If they need couseling they shuld call a priest or a social worker, and if they need hand holding and co-dependency, they should call a real friend or family member. I am neither interested nor emotionally equipped to fill that role.

Old.Timer

Has 25ish years experience.

Anyway, nothing like internet strangers for a psych eval.

LOL !!!!!

BOOYARN

Has 8 years experience.

LINEARTHINKer WELL said, I AGREE with all of these, if you get too involved its a problem, other patients dont get adequate care ..

anadersrn i think your psych eval came back WNL

Discharge home stat!!! lol

ICU, RN, BSN, B.S.

Specializes in Medical/Telemetry. Now ICU.

I have read numerous posts asking, "Is nursing right for me?" or "Should I get out of nursing? etc. Now it's my turn to ask the question. Am I missing the compassion? When I witness an animal that is hurt, I break down and cry like a baby; with people, not so much. I love the science behind nursing and completing assessments in order to have a better picture of the patient, but I am not feeling teardrops down my cheeks at the first sign of tragedy or struggle. Life IS a struggle. When I was younger, I thought I wanted to be a vet, but I was encouraged to pursue nursing. Sometimes I wonder if I pursued the wrong path. I am embarrassed to admit that, no, I don't "love" people. But, I have these moments where I feel rewarded as a nurse, personal satisfaction in handling a situation appropriately and preventing the patient from harm. My concern is the indifference I "feel" sometimes. I love the technical side of nursing, but more often than not I relate to patients objectively or jokingly. Anyway, nothing like internet strangers for a psych eval.

Me and my sister are both RNs...and both say , we love animals more than people!

Nothing wrong with the indifference. I'm the same way. When I see those ASPCA commercials with the animals in need, I have to change the station because they make me so sad. When I see the commercials with children or others in need, I don't have nearly as big of an emotional response. It's strange. But, all that matters is that you provide great nursing care when you're at your place of work.

Whew. Thanks for your feedback. :rolleyes: I was beginning to worry.

I don't see this as a matter of indifference so much as it is one of boundaries.

With human patients you need to be very clear about where they leave off and you begin. If you don't, you'll tend to over-empathize, and that's not good. Patients don't need you to cry for them. They need you to carry out your nursing duties in an effective manner.

Compassion isn't made up only of feelings. At least the healthy kind isn't. It's what you do after the feelings that gets the job done. I would rather have a nurse who provided the care I needed, even if she seemed a little distant, than one who held my hand but forgot my pain meds and didn't insist that I ambulate.

If anything, you're probably more effective for not having tears coursing down your cheeks.

i've always despised nsg being perceived as "compassionate", merciful, angelic.

seriously, i resent that image and even felt inadequate because i wasn't any of those things...nor did i want to be.

once i decided what type of nurse should represent my ideal, i let my hair done and morphed into who i wanted to be...which is me...a very no-nonsense, direct, efficient pragmatist.

very seldom do i cry or become overly emotional.

my goal as a nurse, is to 'git er done'.

op, don't sweat it...at all.

ea one of us has our strengths, and compassion is not a prerequisite into nsg.

at best, you should be sensitive to your pts needs....often when they don't even know what their needs are.

so whatever it takes, i just want to git er done.:nurse:

leslie