Good question. How does she feel at the end of her day? You can guess, but do you really know? In order to answer this question you need to put yourself in her place. I do this all of the time and even then it is only a guess and sometimes the guess is wrong. However, chances of figuring this out are greater if you do put yourself in her place.
This is a concept that I learned in grad school when I was getting my Masters. I find myself doing this all of the time. If I don’t do this, I probably respond to the other person in a way that does not show that I understand. Professionally it is absolutely necessary if I am going to function in a therapeutic manner.
I did my internship at a forensic unit. I worked with clients that had committed what most of us think of as being horrible. Several of my clients had been charged with attempted murder. Once I heard their side of the story, I needed to put myself in their place at the time that the crime happened. If I had not done that I probably would have responded as anyone does that hears about it in the news. However, it became apparent that in all of the cases the person was very psychotic and heard voices that told them to do what they had allegedly done. Then I could understand it and respond in a more understanding way.
Now let’s get back to the topic I started with. It is important to do the same thing when a family member that works in health care comes home in a “bad mood”. If you can find out what happened during her shift at work and then put yourself in her place at work, you can probably understand her mood a little better and react differently than you might otherwise. It can make quite a difference for everyone, including her and you.
This happens to me all of the time. I have someone that works in healthcare and experience this all of the time. She came home the other day and started talking about the sad day she had had. She had been in the ER when people were brought in from an accident. The mother was severely injured and did die. Her small children kept asking for her and wanted to know where she was. It definitely was a very traumatic situation for the staff as well. When you know what that person has been through during the day and when you put yourself in her place then you say to yourself, “How would I feel in this situation” Once you have done this, it makes it easier to respond in a caring, supportive way.
This is called empathy. Empathy is so important when you are talking to others. Even in your every day life, it is important. When your best friend calls and is upset about an arguement with her husband, it is much easier to respond in an understanding and caring way when you ask yourself how would you feel if it had been you and your husband.
It does not mean that you always have it right. Sometimes the other person will say that she does not feel that way at all. Then it is possible to go on and search for other feelings that she is having. You don’t always have to be right, but chances are you are. Most people have similiar feelings in a given situation.
Nurses and healthcare workers need support. So does everyone, but healthcare workers see some pretty horrible things that definitely effects them. They need to support themselves and the family needs to do the same. Empathy is important in doing this.
One time when I was threatened by a patient, and got no support from the administration, I thought that maybe it was not worth it and that I should leave and find another career. However, then I decided that I needed to be a part of the solution and find ways to change things in nursing leadership.
Recently I acted on this as started a couple of on-line businesses to hopefully acheive this. I joined Wealthy Affiliates to learn how to do this and one of the things that I learned from them was that support was available to all members and that it is available 24 hours a day. Other members know what it is like to start a business and make it work, so they can respond in a helpful way when you are frustrated or discouraged, as well as when you have a question.
Much, much more is offered for a very low monthly fee. Even hosting is included. I have another business with a different company which is hosted by another company and the amount I pay for just this one site is almost what I pay for all of the services I receive from Wealthy Affiliates. Does this make sense?
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