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How do you separate work life from home?

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I am curious as to how nurses cope and deal with the hardships of being a nurse, such as losing a patient, decline in patient's health, or some type of situation that is upsetting. I want to know how nurses keep their work life separate from their personal life since I feel it is important to keep these things separate. I want to be able to leave work at work, and not feel guilty. #doctor #nurse #healthcare #registered #hospital-and-health-care #medicine

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Teresa’s Answer

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Dear Chelsea-- It is so wise of you to see this issue! I agree that keeping separation of work and home life is important to some extent. I believe, however, that nurses who genuinely care for their patients can really make a difference in their life. People know if you are genuine or not.

I work in an NICU where we see the good news and bad news that can happen in the lives of families that we care for-- It's not always easy after a loss to recover quickly. When we have a loss in our unit, all of the staff feel it and we support each other. We often perform post mortem care in a team so that the nurses can share in this tough duty. We also have free counseling from our institution that can help us to deal with the pressure. The reality of life and death is a difficult concept. Many staff members use their religious beliefs for support- others use their friends. It is never easy to witness these losses, but can be so touching when a family member recognizes that we feel their pain as well. Empathy is a valuable asset to treat our families as long as we protect ourselves in the process.

My family knows that sometimes I have a difficult job, but I think seasoned nurses have learned to leave it at the door. I work with a girl who told me that she has a ritual when she comes home. She takes her shoes off at the door and before she opens it she says- I am not bringing anything that happened at work into this household. Her children are older now and she felt it served her well when she wanted to always be "present" with her children for their childhood and not carry the stress of work home.

Best of luck in your future! I believe that even with the stress that it is SO WORTH IT to be a nurse!
Teresa
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