HCW

I'm a nurse in critical care. Seen it all throughout the pandemic and came out a shell of a person. I see why patients complain about us having a lack of empathy, and being monsters overall. They're not wrong and I hate admitting that. I can't even describe how difficult these years have been, and we've been expected to maintain our cool throughout but in conditions like that, it was just not possible. I'm gonna put myself through de-escalation training all over again and try to rewire my brain to be the empathetic nurse I was before all this happened. I dont like who I've become. I never show my patients how little empathy I have for them when they aren't truly suffering, but I've gotten to the point where I dont feel the empathy that I normally would unless they are in seriously critical condition. Suffering is subjective and I want to re-teach that to myself until I genuinely feel it. I'm sorry to all patients who have experienced substandard care from a group of beyond exhausted nurses/docs. This is not how healthcare should be and I'm going to try and be better. PLEASE be patient with us--ill try and spread the word.

23 Comments

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My mom, a RRN (retired RN)

May 3, 2022 at 1:39pm

was saying back in 2020 that she wished she could be a nurse again and help out.

5 3Rating: +2

Patient? [J]

May 3, 2022 at 2:10pm

Us be patient with you? I'm pretty sure it's the other way around. Healthcare was already understaffed and overworked before the pandemic. You just spent two years paid lip service by the entire country. What tangible, immediate support did you get? Increased wages? Fewer hours, or more flexible hours? Paid stress leave? More staff hired to help lighten the workload? Anything at all?

17 1Rating: +16

I get it

May 3, 2022 at 4:00pm

You want to be a great health care professional and for the patients to feel your empathy. I think that's laudable. I think though that it is dangerous. I burned out, you can too. The public deserves our best professional judgement and effort, and on a personal level deserves our attention and patience. Do you actually need to personally feel their suffering? Isn't that opening the door to vicarious trauma?

I don't know, but good luck with everything.

8 3Rating: +5

Big hugs

May 3, 2022 at 4:06pm

I completely understand how this happens. You’re only human and being around so much pain and suffering inevitably results in burnout unless you’re able to regularly get away from that environment to decompress. It’s normal to become desensitized when you’re overwhelmed with it. I have a loved one in a hospital facility and the shortage of staff is a crisis. The patient care is suffering and the medical staff are overwhelmed. Perhaps it’s time to start paying the care aides what they’re really worth to attract more people into it as a career choice? When they removed the care aides from hospitals they put a huge burden onto the nurses, and now there’s just not enough nursing staff to deal with all the patients. They need to get the care side back in the hospitals along with more cleaning personnel as well. Many areas of the hospitals are filthy compared to how it was before they made so many awful changes when they privatized it. I really feel for you and everyone else who has been affected by this situation. It’s an epic crisis and our government needs to address it ASAP.

24 1Rating: +23

I’d rather…

May 3, 2022 at 5:17pm

Die than step foot in a hospital again. Dramatic? Most definitely. All I ask is at my funeral you bang your pots and remind the living how important you are in the form of a TikTok conga line. Peace

Most People....

May 3, 2022 at 6:05pm

My god you're only human! You've received by far the shortest stick in this entire pandemic and it's not even over yet. I don't think I'd still be working if I were you; I couldn't take it. Thank you SO MUCH for your service and for taking care of people through all of the trauma that you yourself are enduring. I think we should bring back the 7pm cheers because I still feel very appreciative! My hat is off to all of you.

15 1Rating: +14

Your honesty and sentiments are appreciated

May 3, 2022 at 6:24pm

But don't blame yourself for what is the systemic default of our society to properly take care of everyone. There is enough $$ & resources to properly take care of all those in ill health, the hungry and homeless if we were a coherent society. So it ain't the fault of your and your overworked colleagues. Sue we all have an upside and a downside but don't get stuck in thinking yourself an a-hole. Yes we all have an a-hole; that's part of the Vedic teachings of Chakras but the higher teaching is we do not have to park our consciousness in the low chakra of our a-hole. Energy goes where energy flows so pray upon flowing it up up up thru our hearts and up above beyond the top of our head chakra into the Universe energy. Be good to yourself. A'ho

8 2Rating: +6

Private Serpents

May 3, 2022 at 6:27pm

Thanks for that. Still won’t change the experiences I’ve had from 2012-2022. Unfortunately, our public system has been impotent for years. Our hospitals are shady autobody shops where they just “unplug the check engine light” and send you on your sedate confused way. I pray these 15% of neglectful doctors get everything they deserve. Bitter? Of course. Maybe treat your patients instead of tricking them.

32 7Rating: +25

Ex-Critical Care Patient

May 3, 2022 at 7:26pm

I once underwent open heart surgery. It was a rather unpleasant experience. I felt helpless and hopelessly despondent. It was 36 hours post surgery when I met the woman I referred to as the 'Nurse from Hell'. She wasn't having any of my bulshit and she certainly wasn't about to be my personal servant. Having to deal with her everyday is what really inspired me to get the hell out of there. So I made a real effort to complete my daily tasks and be as independent as possible in the recovery ward. I was home five days after the operation, thanks in part to the nurse from hell. So from that point of view, I don't think that you should feel too bad about not showing enough empathy to your patients. From what I witnessed on that floor, some patients are prima-donna wonders who actually abuse the overworked staff at every interaction. So thank you for showing up for work everyday and doing that thankless job. You're probably more inspiring than you are giving yourself credit for. To all the critical care nurses....many thanks. You are the life blood and heart of the hospital.

23 4Rating: +19

Right...

May 3, 2022 at 9:06pm

"PLEASE be patient with us--ill try and spread the word."

No patience for monopoly employees. The only excuse for a monopoly is that it provides good care.

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