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Just looking for some understanding/help with my new job. I recently got a new job working part-time, it's closer to home and because I am on contract I get in leau of benefits and vacation so I make the same amount working 3 shifts instead of my full time job in the city that take me away from the kids for about 11-12 hours a day with the commute in. I also work weekends which cuts down on our daycare costs. It absolutely perfect and I love the job itself, there is just one issue that I have and maybe you guys will understand more then anyone else.
I'm working in the ER department and I see at least one women having a miscarrage each shift. It's been extremely difficult for me to deal with. But it's not the patient themselves as I am just a unit clerk and not a nurse, but the nurses and doctors. Their attitude towards it is so cold and some of the comments they make are very hard for me to deal with. I can't really say anything to them now, being new and all, but it's been so hard to see these women as it is, but then to have to deal with some of the comments they make, or how they don't understand the patients behaviour, it makes me so upset. I need to find a way to deal with this in order to do my job. I just don't know how to get through it without getting upset. I lost my babies years ago but it's just still so upsetting to see other ppl going through the same thing. I don't know if I can deal with it everyday that I am at work. Any suggestions?
This is definitely a tough one, Sabina. I don't think there is any way that you can quickly just make them understand. But I am hopeful that you can impact them over time. Do you ever deal directly with the patients? In my m/c experiences, I can distinctly remember the women who saw me suffering and were brave enough to say to me, "I've been there." One was an u/s tech and one was a receptionist. For some reason, that made such a difference to me at the time....I think because m/c seems like such an isolating thing.
Without excusing the behavior of the staff, I will say that I believe their attitude toward miscarriage is a bit of a self-defense mechanism. M/c is something they don't understand and are uncomfortable with....not to mention, they see so much of it that it probably helps them to not let themselves feel emotionally involved. My husband is a cop and the same type of behavior is very common for law enforcement.
I hope that you are able to turn this situation into something positive for you and for all of those you work with....Hugs!
Thanks Kelly, you are always so helpful. I hope that overtime I can help them understand what it actually feels like to go through so they can understand some of the "weird" behaviour that ppl do to deal with it. I do have contact with the patients and I try really hard to make them feel better, actually I go out of my way, I really can't help it. I helped a patients boyfriend the other night, he was crying and upset and I remembered my DH and it broke my heart. I find myself following them on the boards and making sure all their stuff gets done right away, since they are not "emergencies" they sometimes get put aside for more important patients, which I understand but I remember waiting so long so I try to get their stuff moving out fast.
I guess I just have to try my best to deal with it. It just so hard for me, even after all these years. I never thought it would be something that would be so hard for me when I took this job.
HUGS Sabina...i don't have any advice either but I hope it gets easier for you - i think any job in healthcare must be difficult just for that emotional aspect and seeing people ill or going through painful injuries all day long. I totally agree with Kelly...while I wish that some of the nurses I had encountered had been more understanding during my D&C, I do realize that given what they're exposed to on a day-to-day basis if they let every event impact them they'd never be able to function in that job (or at least I couldn't!) so i at least understand why they seem disengaged from what i was experiencing.
I also agree with Kelly (heck it's hard not to she's always right ) that it DOES really help when someone is brave enough to say to you that they experienced the same thing...i remember feeling so horribly alone with my m/c and even though my OB quoted statistics at me as to how common it is, it's not the same as the nurse in my OB's office who hugged me as i sat there crying and told me she'd suffered 5 m/c but went on to have 3 healthy kids.
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Oh honey, that sounds so tough. You just keep doing what you are doing and being there for those patients! Over time I bet the doctors and nurses will notice and maybe it will help change their attitudes as well. If nothing else, you can be that person who helps them through a tough time.
Perhaps at some point there might be a way to get some information on miscarriages, like some phamplet on grieving after a miscarriage, that you could give to the patients that validates their feelings. I think there is stuff like that out there. And that may not be an option or something you can bring up to the staff yet, but just some food for thought some day on down the line.
Awww you guys are all so understanding, I love talking to you. I actually spoke with a nurse the other night on break and she was complaining about the lack of caring some of the nurses have towards the elderly (which is the majority of our patients) so it really made me feel so much better that I am not alone. Perhaps in the future I can really do something to educate them on what its like to go through and do more to help the patients (like you said about the pamphlets Shannon - a great idea!) I might even be able to find some of the more caring nurses to help me. After talking with you guys I am feeling so much better. Thanks guys!