I have been told often that I don't have a poker face and you can read all my emotions on my face and I am truly aware of that but also have realized it is something I can't change even if I really wanted to. I need to show you that I am listening and hearing everything you are saying verbally and non-verbally. I believe compassion comes in by doing so and trying to help in the situation at hand. Someone recently said to me that they had bad feelings and I truly feel that there are not bad or good feelings. It is just what it is, your feelings and I need to acknowledge what that is. How many times have you verbalized your concerns over something even a small incident and your spouse supplies a ready answer on how to handle it or just gives the accepted nod and yet you know that it was not heard and you weren't really looking for answers, you just needed heard. It is never good to hold in your feelings or block the painful thoughts. Compassion is the caring awareness of what someone else is going through. It can also bring with it compassion stress as it may drain you of all your emotional energy and in the end may drain you of your compassion and empathy.
We also hear of burnout or compassion fatigue which leads to a state of tension and preoccupation with trauma of an individual or group of individuals. Compassion fatigue can drain a caregiver or nurse of all their passion or energy and may even lead to guilt and distress. It may even lead up to as helplessness, a sense of isolation, or shock.
When you are dealing with this kind of pain and distress that patients or families continually go through, sometimes all of this can shut the nurse down and they end up going through the motions and have closed up the feeling, caring part of the experience. Nurses also can become traumatived by the indirect outcome of what is happening and add into that long hours, heavy caseloads and severely sick and or traumatized patients and you lose sight of your own feelings and shut down those feelings.Those around can suffer due to your secondary stress as well as it decreasing your ability to function and you may have loss of faith, purpose, impatience, exhaustion, illness, irritability and inability to sleep. It may even lead to a nurse quitting the field that they are working in.
So having said all that, we must do self checks and monitor stress and acknowledge when it has become to the extreem and learn better ways to cope and improve personal boundaries, and gain some control over your schedule and workload. We need good support systems and training and outlets to regroup and tackle each new day.
What are the steps that you would take to reduce your stress and deal with things on an more even basis? What stress have you dealt with personally and are they still haunting you? How do you present to work and what is your attitude at work? What subjects do you find the most difficult to deal with /and or discuss? What would you say to someone thinking about entering into your career and right there that will give you alot of insight to where you are at this particular moment in time.
As a dear friend used to say to me when all my kids were home, take care of you first and that will help you take care of them much better. I used to think that was truly selfish but as years passed by, I came to realize the value of that statement. It is not wrong to look out for yourself so that you can better give to others. Work on your Positive Thinking skills and kick the negativity out and please, have a sense of humor. We learn coping skills as life goes on and hopefully we get better at it as we do use them. Look to someone who does well in life and see that as a role model and what you have to do to achie