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Reality Unscripted
Grace for the Emotional Minefield

Life is not static. For anyone. The good does not last forever. Neither does the bad. Neither does the status quo. Some events, like college, marriage, moves, are anticipated and planned for. Others are not. Just ask one of your patients.

My guess is you have had contact with someone in the last couple of days whose world has been turned upside down by an accident, diagnosis, new baby. You've had the opportunity to rub shoulders with those who are shell-shocked by the sudden turn in the road. Were they angry? Depressed? Overly emotional? Flat? We are often not prepared for the emotions we feel when we know what's coming, much less for the unexpected.

It is our privilege as nurses to care for the shell-shocked, whether patient or family. We are in a unique position to help them through the trial and error of emoting. It will not always be comfortable. It will rarely be pretty. We may even get sucked into some unhealthy dynamics.

I think the key is grace. For our patients, their families, ourselves. Emotions catch us all off guard sometimes and we behave in ways we later regret. We say things we don't mean. We don't say things we should. We cry when we don't want to. We yell.

Are you able to let it go? Are you able to walk back in to the patient’s room after they've been unkind and let them have a fresh start? Can you take the burden of bad behavior off their plate so they only have to worry about the impending surgery? It takes maturity to do it. It takes someone who is able to put the patient’s needs above their own. It takes a nurse who knows the next sudden turn may be in her own road.

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3 Responses to “Grace for the Emotional Minefield”

  1. Emma Kirby Says:

    that is a lovely script. i was wondering if you could help me, ihave just started my access to nursing course and need some help, i am unsure as to which pathway i wish to take into nursing,i know that i really want to do it but dont know what kind? could you inform me of some of the kinds there is? the basic salary and shift patterns? mayb a strange request but am struggling to find infomation.


  2. Melissa Granger Says:

    You could go for a BSN 4 years or an associates which I think is 2 years. Then you pretty much can go into any area you are interested in.
    Peds, Labor and Delivery, Surgery, Med-Surg, Neuro, Oncology. By the time that you go through clinicals with the different types of nursing you will have an idea of what you would like to go into further. In Illinois I think that the average start pay at a hosiptal is about 23 dollars an hour and then if you work evenings or night shift you get about 3-5 more dollars an hour. I hope that helps, you can always email me if you have any more questions.

  3. Jeff Says:

    That is a great lesson for everyone Jana. I am always so impressed with the compassion that nurses can muster day after day. I imagine it is the high of the good times that make it worthwhile.

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