Dear nurse no one prepares you for this

Dear nurse no one prepares you for this


No one prepares you for this feeling.

Im not going to sugarcoat it, it’s hard, it’s so painful. You feel like you haven’t had a chance to breathe sometimes. I remember this happening to me on several occasions, one sticks out in my mind more than others. Closing the door on a person who just took their last breath, then opening the door to be greeted with ‘Becky your admission is here’ i watched them being wheeled onto the ward, the nurse stood there waiting to give me handover. it was such a fast paced environment i had to snap out of it and carry on in that moment. 

But later on during the shift I did take a breather, I did cry with a colleague. Post shift I reflected and journaled and I chatted again to family (chatting sometimes helps me process things it may or may not help you). Then I tried to switch off from the shift by getting lost in a film at the time.

Try to find a way to process the shift whether that’s chatting to someone, crying, taking a breather. In time the emotions won’t necessarily get easier but the way you manage them may… 

Reflection is a great tool to help with shifts like this, it helps us look back on an event and write about how we feel, what was good, what could we change. What positives can we take from the situation. With something like a reflection journal you can get it all off your chest and get your feelings on paper, then close the book and move on with your day (I know it’s not always easy but with time and practice it can be done). 

Remember it’s ok to feel emotional. You’re looking after people at their most vulnerable and this can make us feel vulnerable too.

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