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Nurses - How to handle flashbacks in front of patients?




Im a nurse and have been experiencing flashbacks recently (not work related). Are there any other nurses that have advice on how to handle flashbacks in front of patients? can you still work?
Not a nurse, although I have a BSRN. Yes yes yes. Boards. They got delayed, and then some of my hard science prereqs aged out. And it's become a whole thing. Since I mostly work Disaster response, picking up my paramedic wold be faster/cheaper than post bacc'ing, although I honestly don't need either as trauma surgeons are so desperate for any hands on deck, they'll take any warm body that won't pass out or puke but can follow instruction.

POINT BEING??? (Having worked in hospitals & triage tents for years, both before/after school)


Quick blink, smile/shake myself off... and carry on.

It's like working with kids... you keep your stuff out of their sphere.

Once you know what to look for? (Depending on your specialty). You'll see about 2/3s of your colleagues (nurses, doctors, support staff) do. the. same. durn. thing.).

If you're going through a particularly difficult time? Ask to be transferred to a nursing unit (like surgical preadmit) that will give you a year or two to unf*ck your head/heart before returning to acute care.
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I think it depends on a number of things. How far are you in your healing? Are you in therapy? What kind of patients do you work with and in what setting? What kind of flashbacks are you having?

My primary flashbacks at the time were fire related, and I worked as charge nurse on a secured psych unit. The depression and suicidal thoughts were much harder for me to manage around patients than were the flashbacks. Now, had I worked on a pediatric unit and had flashbacks of the murders I witnessed? I would have had to take a leave.

RN here ( well, was, then my body decided to try and spontaneously kill itself off and that was the end of that)

Helps if you have a good team, who can hold each other up as needed, whilst still of course being able to be competent to do the job... Kind of a hard one to balance at times...

Flashbacks that have some kind of trigger, are containable, not frequent, you remain in control.
Yeah, completely. I could stick a fake smile on my face and go into 'nurse mode' , continuing to do the job at hand and take myself off to breath in the corner for a minute as soon as able.

Flashbacks where I lose who I am, my surroundings, my ability to speak. Absolutely not.

When I was working I had the former, so it was ok....at the moment mine are the latter, and there is no way I could be responsible for vulnerable people in when I get into that state.