Emotional Turmoil

So I was on Instagram earlier and I saw a post that made me think more than I have in a while about my chosen profession and wanted to write a little bit about some of my thoughts and feelings about it. Here is the link incase you’re curious what I saw.  https://www.instagram.com/p/-5new1Q52l/?taken-by=medicaltalks  Disclaimer, this may be a little bit of a rant so go ahead and close the window now if you’re not down for that :).

The shot showed an ER doctor that was outside grieving the loss of one of his patients, which is something that most people accept as part of our profession. However this person who posted this touched on an aspect that even I, as someone in the healthcare profession, had not put much thought into.

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Once the patient has passed away, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are expected to carry on and continue to care for our other patients, who have no idea what just happened in the other room. The purpose of this post is kind of just to let people know that yes, we are healthcare professionals by choice, but we are still human and we are not immune to emotions that come with death. I think that when you are not feeling your best and you come to a hospital, it is easy to forget about everyone else because of the pain or suffering being endured that brought us there in the first place. Yet, there is that trauma occurring in the next room where the patient doesn’t make it after 3 hours of many people working to keep him/her alive, and that is tough for anyone. Especially those directly involved that tried to prevent that tragedy. Then after all this has occurred, the expectation is for health professionals to complete the paperwork necessary, and move on to care for the next patient. There are always exceptions and if there are enough staff, we hopefully give those people the time to grieve, but oftentimes there is not the excess staff to pick up the slack, so on to the next patient it is.

It’s an unfortunate reality of working with the public and in acute healthcare settings, but despite the sadness and the drawbacks, I wouldn’t chose any other profession. We do this because we love our jobs, and it is not everyday we endure tragedy, there are days where we get to save lives and make a difference in the lives of people. We just have to take the good with the bad.

Any thoughts comments or questions? Please leave them in the comments 🙂

~Niki

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2 thoughts on “Emotional Turmoil

  1. This is so true. As health care professionals we have to deal with illness and death. I have been a nurse for 15 years, but you never get used to your patients dying. I remember my first day at Los Robles….we had a code. My 84 year old patient who was two days post op from a hip replacement had a PE. We worked on him for over an hour, but couldn’t save him. And after, I still had 4 other patients to take care of. It can be really tough not have the time to reflect on what happened and grieve that patient. But that is often the reality in today’s health care. Its a very fast pace environment, and many nurses burn out. But there is always that other side too. The times when you feel you are making a difference and patients are feeling better because of you and the care you provide.

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