Published Oct 20, 2002
For those of you who nurse children, do you find you get very attatched to them? and how do you deal with getting attatched?
goats'r'us, ASN, RN
come on, please post, i REALLY need your responses for an assignment i'm doing! its an important one...
your help makes me happy :)
I think it depends on the patient. Some kids I have gotten really attached too and almost mourned when they left the hospital or died. I just went home and cried. Others I haven't, just like with my adult patients. I think it's often worse for nurses who have their own chiildren that are around the same age or look like a patient.
I had one child during school that I got extremely attached to because he was on our floor for about a month and not expected to live. He made an AMAZING recovery and was actually able to go home and live a happy life from here on. His parents were also amazingly supportive of him throughout the entire process. It was a wonderful success story! :)
Actually this may sound strange but the ones i get attached to are the children with special needs (and the little cuddly babys of course;) ) but i relash the times iafter ive finished placment their when i bump into someone who can update me on all the childrne ive got fond of.
Fear of attachment kept me away from peds for years. Then a peds job simply landed in my lap. I now do private duty for an agency that works with vent dependent children. Yes I am attached to my pt, and if she died I would be devastated. However, I have found that the spirit of these little ones makes it worth it. She has so much fight and is so happy and well adjusted considering the many obstacles she has faced throughout her life so far. My situation makes it harder not to get attached since she is my only pt. I have definitely crossed the line and I care deeply for her. I could see as the other poster mentioned, that some you get attached to and others you don't, just like working with adults. I have two kids of my own and I certainly don't take their health for granted anymore. But, I still don't think I could ever handle the death of children on a daily basis, it would be too much for my heart to take.
I can't work peds. It tears me up to lose one.
My rotation in Peds during nursing school made me acutely aware that peds was NOT my area. Our rotation was mostly at a county hospital and at the time we had soooo many abuse cases that I couldn't stand going in most days.
It literally made me depressed. Looking in their eyes, seeing their pain - no. I could never do Peds.
You get attach but there is nothing wrong with this. Life is made of relationship with others and beleive me they are no other way to deal with children and there families
yes i do get attached, I do not dealwell with the loss of a peds patient or a baby
Charity, RN, APRN
Children have personalities, just as adults do. It may sound awful, but there were some children that I could not stand to take. Didn't like them. But they were not that common. Most children I enjoy caring for...and some I do get very attached to.
I once worked in a unit that became so involved with a certain child that we all got 2nd jobs doing private duty for him when he went home on a vent. We were convinced that only WE could properly care for him. (Talk about continuity of care!) We bought him clothes and videos. Two of our nurses took him to his very first movie. Got a pass, put him in a stroller, the portable vent on a little red wagon and went off to see The Lion King. (this was not limited to children. We had a 21y/o new quadraplegic that went shopping with two other nurses. ) When he went off to a nearby state to a special hospital for a few weeks, I visited him when I was in that town. Everyone at work had to have an update. We loved that child. And we mourned his death.
People ask "how can you stand it?" I don't know, I just knew that someone had to do it. And I felt privileged to be a part of it all. I love seeing my kids come into my current unit, now all grown up.
I don't see that becoming attached to your patients is limited to pediatrics. I have taken the death of an adult harder than that of a child. (Adults are more fearful of death than are children.) The most emotional memories I have are of that 21y/o I mentioned. (If you doubt that there is nothing worse than death, let me tell you about him.)
I don't think you can know if pediatrics is for you until you do it. I didn't think I would like it, but had a job there before my clinicals were finished. I have seen nurses leave peds when they had children. Hit too close to home. And I have seen nurses become peds specialists because of their own children's experiences. I think that nurses should have a passion for their work. And for some, that passion is children.
I never met a child I didn't like ...It's not that I don't get attached I just feel that they all touch my life for a reason and am able to move on with a feeling that I am able to give them back. I think the hard ones are the children who have to return to a dangerous situation or abusive parent.
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