I wrote this in my personal journal the other day under the title of "What Nurses Think but Don't Say" ( Read on...Collapse )
Now it has thinking some. I know that entry sounded horrible. It's why I put it behind a cut. I know it seems that I didn't feel for the woman I was referring to, or her husband, who was my patient. (Yes, this was a real situation.) However, that's not true. I'm sure that Mrs. K. tried to get her hubby to the dentist long before he bled into his brain. I know that her primary concern isn't his teeth, but the really large possibility of infection those rotted teeth are causing.
I also know (and here's the biggest issue) that when your loved one is sick enough to be my patient (For those of you who don't know, I only work ICU and mostly only in prominent area hospitals), it's really hard to focus on the fact that they may be dying. I saw it in my own family when Mom died last year. It's easier for people to focus on the small details. It's a defense mechanism. I truly do understand this, and it's okay when it happens.
But I also understand that Nurses have to have a pretty thick skin that rejects some of the pain and the raw emotion that we see daily. Usually, we turn it into some rant on our journals or some evil sounding joke. That's OUR defense mechanism. Because, you see, Nurses aren't Angels. We're humans. Called to do a sometimes Angelic job, sure....but we're human and we can't let it all in, or we'd all go crazy. Most of us are on the edge as it is.
So, if I rant about work, please don't think I don't care. If I make a joke that's off-color or crude, please don't think I don't feel. I'm only trying to keep myself going so I can keep
caring and feeling.
What do the rest of you think? What do you do to let off the stress of work? How do you deal with people who don't think you have any empathy because you sometimes *have to* make fun of your job or you'll go nuts?