How Should A Nurse Behave In Extreme Situations?

How Should A Nurse Behave In Extreme Situations?Nursing is challenging work. It’s the kind of work that calls an average human being to display superhuman qualities when pushed. Qualities such as inordinate patience, even temperament, lack of bias and continual discipline. However, nurses are still human beings and extreme situations such as patient criticality, medicine overdose and night time emergencies in the absence of a doctor do occur. How should a nurse behave in such extreme situations?

When A Patient Dies

All nurses go through several patient deaths in the course of their career. Nursing being an empathetic vocation, it’s natural for nurses to bond with critically ill patients and root for their recovery. When a patient dies, the resulting trauma can leave the nurse feeling guilty, angry, depressed and pointless.

Here are few tips to handle this situation:

1. Tell yourself that you’ve done all you can to help. Leave the patient’s room if possible, and breathe out while counting to ten to calm yourself down.

2. Talk to a senior nurse or a non-gossipy friend whom you trust and unburden your feelings. It’s likely that whoever it is would have gone through similar experiences and will be able to help you cope.

3. You’re a nurse and not a miracle worker and cannot save people from death if that is their lot. Put it out your mind; don’t feel that by putting it out of your mind you’re showing yourself as a cold-hearted person. The truth is, you can survive and continue to serve the same way only by putting such fatalities out of your mind.

When A Nurse Is Blamed For Negative Patient Outcome

This happens now and then even in good hospitals. It’s possible that a patient dies or goes into critical mode owing to your oversight. It’s also possible that you’re not responsible for it.

Here are a few tips on how to handle this situation:

1. Remember not to react immediately. Ask for more information and evaluate what you’re being told.

2. If you feel you’re responsible, be truthful about it. This is where your professionalism should show.

3. If you’re not responsible, state your case clearly and explain why you’re not responsible. Your calm and professional approach to the situation will be noted and appreciated.

Handling Emotional And Aggressive Family Members Of Patients

It’s one thing to take care of your patient and quite another to handle their worried, nervous, anxious and many a belligerent families. Some nurses swear that patients are angels while their families can be the very devil. How do you handle a bunch of family members talking at the same time, asking for information and blaming the hospital for everything that goes wrong?

Here are a few tips to help you handle families:

1. The more aggressive others are, the more patient you should be. Your calm voice and manner will eventually soothe agitated family members.

2. Be firm with them; they have the right to worry or be angry based on the situation but that should not translate into abuse of you. Tell them in calm but firm tones that you would love to help them but you will not be spoken to without respect.

3. If need be, call other nurses, your senior nurse, or even a doctor to help you manage aggressive family members.

When A Nurse Is Put In Charge Of A Patient In ICU

Caring for intensive care patients is a very stressful job as the least indicator on the life support equipment can cause nervousness. Unless you’re an old ICU hand, you’ll definitely feel the stress eating at you.

Here are a few tips to handle this situation:

1. All you can do is your best. You’re not personally responsible for things that go wrong despite your care.

2. Don’t worry that you might be blamed if something goes wrong. The worry will keep you from doing your job. Make sure you’re doing everything you need to do, and do it right.

3. Follow all standard hospital doubts when it comes to intensive care. Don’t make any personal judgments outside of the rules, even if it seems right to you at the time. There’s a reason why those rules are in place.

When A Nurse Has To Handle Trauma Cases

In the case of accidents, nurses have to attend to a range of extreme situations that require medical intervention. Even though doctors and other medical professionals will be on hand, a great deal of the responsibility plus active team work falls to the nurse. Emergency nurses are usually trained to handle trauma cases; even so, this kind of situation requires special coping skills.

Here are a few tips to handle this situation:

1. Do not let the trauma and the extent of the injuries affect you. Focus on the medical personnel and follow instructions explicitly.

2. Fight down the adrenalin that courses through you, breathe out, and force yourself to stay calm. You will need the ability to think very clearly to be of any use. Your quick thinking, multi-skilled and multi-tasking abilities will be useful only if you are able to use them because of nervousness.

3. When a doctor gives an instruction, repeat it to yourself twice to make sure you don’t get it wrong. You’ll be rushed, many people will be yelling for this and that but force yourself to stay cool. Pretend that even though it’s you that’s running and doing things, one part of you is watching. This will help you gain perspective.

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