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Personal sexual assault hx-emotional conflict?

Posted

Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 2 years experience.

My life unfortunately has opened my eyes to personal sexual assault experiences. Also, people close to me have had histories of childhood sexual abuse. In general, the topic hits really close to home for me.

Recently, I had a patient who came in for other reasons. It was clear to me (just knowing from my own life) that this patient had been sexually abused. It is getting hard for me to work with these patients, especially since I work with children. They remind me of me and it breaks my heart... Does anyone have advice on how I can work with these patients without getting too upset/emotional?

Edited by pinkdoves

canoehead, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

You can suspect it, but don't assume that you know. Unless the patient discloses, revealing that says more about your trauma than about them. Be concious about reporting objective data rather than your gut, especially because your emotions can get pulled in easily.

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

Work with a different patient population maybe? Working with children is something many of us nurses find too emotionally difficult.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

I would suggest seeing a therapist that is well versed in trauma-informed methods. This will help you process your own violation and help you determine if you are able to continue working in this specialty. There is no shame in this and I hope you feel none. I am sorry for your pain. Triggers can be very heavy.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

7 hours ago, Nurse SMS said:

I would suggest seeing a therapist that is well versed in trauma-informed methods. This will help you process your own violation and help you determine if you are able to continue working in this specialty.

Outstanding advice. As Jung said, "Embrace your grief, for there your soul will grow".

Some of the very best chemical dependency treatment professional, therapists and nurses, were themselves recovering addicts and codependents. They had been there, were in the process of successfully dealing with their own issues, and could show others the way.

I always thought that I worked well with psych patients because, well, I've been told that I'm "out there". I could identify with the patients I served on some level.

The very best to you on whatever you decide, pinkdoves.