About Me

undergrad RN
I'm a twenty-something Canadian student. After stumbling through a few years of college, I finally managed to get into the nursing school of my dreams, where I hope to graduate in 2012 with a nursing baccalaureate degree. I want to offer an honest look into how a modern nurse is educated, both good and bad. Eventually I hope to compare my education to my day-to-day career and see how it holds up. Whatever happens, it should be somewhat entertaining. Find me on allnurses.com!
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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weight of the World

I don't know it it's because we had a big going away party for one of my best nursing school friends last night, or if it's the color of my scrubs or what, but seemingly all the patients I've talked to today have chosen to unload their crushing emotional pain on me.


Normally I don't mind and can sometimes even help,  and I get it that I am helping just by offering a kind ear and some healing touch, wiping tears, that kind of thing....


But I started my shift already mentally fatigued, and everywhere I turn people are telling me that they want to die and hate their lives and have SO MUCH emotional baggage that I just don't feel equipped to deal with. It's like we've got a department full of trauma patients, but instead of broken bones, they've got broken lives. And how am I supposed to be therapeutic at all in an emergency department where I've only got 7 minutes until the next quasi-crisis erupts. I hate feeling like I'm giving them the same rushed lines that they get every time they come in to the ED or walk in clinic.... But I feel stuck.


And then there's the emotional exhaustion where I think.... PLEASE stop crying and unloading your life on me. I just don't have the strength to carry both of us. My heart aches for you, and I just want to save you, but I can't fix all your problems in a 2 hour stay in Emergency.


Sometimes I know the right thing to say, but a lot of the time I'm thinking..... O fuck. I can't think of a single thing. So I hold hands, I rub shoulders, I sit/stand in silence, I look compassionate.


Help me, emergency nurses!!! I need to learn how to let this stuff roll off me, or I feel like I am never going to make it in this specialty.


Anonymous said...

"Sometimes I know the right thing to say, but a lot of the time I'm thinking..... O fuck."

haha. So true. There are indeed times that the world seems to had given its weight on us nurses. So many patients, so many things to do yet so little time. Whew!

Thanks for sharing,
Peny@nursing shoes

Betsyanne (E Sheppard) said...

I think you are doing a really good thing, just listening to people who are having a hard time.

I hope you can take a break now and then to renew. Nobody could keep this up without a break, that's for sure.

For the record, I think you are doing great, and I'll bet the people you helped think so too.

Betsyanne (E Sheppard) said...

I had a friend who was going through a hard time once. It got hard to listen to after awhile. But at the same time, I was glad I helped a little, before telling the person it was too much right then. Now as an older person, it's a bit easier to listen. So maybe it will get easier for you too. It sounds like you are a good shoulder and a friend to many. Keep up the great caring job. It sounds like it is really hard. I hope it gets easier for you.

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