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Personal sexual assault hx-emotional conflict?

Nurses   (194 Views | 4 Replies)

pinkdoves has 1 years experience and specializes in Pediatrics.

358 Profile Views; 28 Posts

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

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canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

2 Followers; 6,693 Posts; 49,722 Profile Views

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.

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

1 Follower; 4,289 Posts; 30,102 Profile Views

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

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Nurse SMS has 9 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

7 Followers; 6,353 Posts; 49,532 Profile Views

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.

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Davey Do has 41 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

17 Followers; 1 Article; 6,820 Posts; 84,520 Profile Views

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.

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