On Looseing Compassion


When I started out I did not know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I am still not sure that I am there, there is so much to see and do that limiting ones self to one thing sounds kind of silly. But, that is exactly want I have done. I have fallen into the career trap.

My career is not one that I would have chosen for myself. I was working in a fast food job, saw an add in the paper, and as the one being advertised paid more than what I was making I applied for it, and there was  on the job training. This job was to have been just that a job, not a career. Then life sent in a curve ball that I would not change for the world, and I had to work at what I knew to take care of myself and a kid. So I stayed. I did try to get out a few times but the pay was to good. That is not the only reason. I loved the learning that my job gives to me. There is something new every day. If it is not a new regulation, or a new disease, it is learning something about a person.

I found in this job that there are people out there who are so strong it is amazing what they go through, and all without help unless it is absolutely necessary. They have had to become strong or not make it in this world. I have meet people with out coping skills who I wonder how they survive a trip to the gas station. Everyone, and thing has taught me something. I have learned that the greatest satisfaction is at the end of the day hearing, “I am thankful that you are here.” More than “how much did you get”.

I am loosing it. I am getting angry at people who ask me what their blood pressure is, then when I tell them the number mean nothing. The conversations goes like this.

“What it my blood pressure?”

“125 over 75.”

“Is that good?”

I want to say to them “Why do you ask if the numbers mean nothing to you?” I cannot as that is rude, and not accepted at my job. In the last year I have lost my compassion and I do not think I am going to get it back. To be honest I do not think I want to get it back. How I lost my compassion is not an easy thing to figure out, and I did not even know that it was gone. I knew something was missing but I was not sure what it was until just a few days ago. I was at the craft store and a young health looking person approached me asking if I would help them get some food. My first thought was leave me along, my next was get a life. This is not me not who I am. So I decided to sit down and figure out how I lost my compassion. This is what I came up with.

My job: If I am ill, or in need of help I only have 3 days that I am allowed to take off as sick days. Many of the nursing staff this time of year have colds or kids with colds. Yet, we are required to come into work ill to take care of people.

My Patients: Yes, a lot of them are there because they need us. They have to have surgery or are on iv antibiotics. Then there are the ones that are there because of life choices. The 650lb person who refuses to admit they are a diabetic, and because of that they are going to have to have a foot amputated. I have to try to move this person, to get them to turn in the bed. The person who decided that after partying hard drove home, or attempted to drive home. I have to take care of them the same way I have to care for everyone else. Even though I know the reason the cop is outside that persons door, is because they killed a 5 year old child who was in the other car.

The News: need I say more.

Social Media: This is one that is such a part of everyone’s lives. All of the posts about repost or reblog as someone is missing or “I know you like me is you repost this”. The posts for help, the posts for “I need”.

My job does not offer mental health care for their staff. I think that should be a requirement in health care, I think there should be days where staff are allowed days to know or be recognized that they too are human. I have lost my compassion and I do not care. I will do my job to the best of my training, but I no longer care about your stories. That your cat died, that you grandchild got an A in math class. I no longer want nor will accept your emotional or mental burdens. You are just a warm body that I must keep breathing. If you want compassion, do not look to me. I have lost mine.


2 thoughts on “On Looseing Compassion

  1. This is something I just experienced from the other side having recently spent 5 days in the hospital after a ruptured appendix. I couldn’t believe what nurses and techs have to do. I think I would have quit after one day if another patient pushed that call button one more time. I am not sure how you folks keep up your spirits day after day, patient after patient, drain flush after drain flush, vital sign after vital sign. Especially when, after you have done a great job and the patient gets to leave, you get no credit or even get to see the results of your labors. They walk back into their lives and you deal with the next person in the bed. I was blessed with truly wonderful medical staff, not all whom I would say were compassionate, but they were all certainly competent. And I suppose that is all a patient should expect.

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