Nurses and midwives are confronted by grief frequently, sometimes even daily, but we commonly believe we should be able to “keep going” and remain detached. We are experts at showing empathy but don’t overly express emotion. We may feel unsure about when and how to show or share our emotions. In most circumstances, showing that you feel loss too is generally well accepted by clients and families.
There is broad research that confirms nurses and midwives grieve and can suffer trauma related to our work. However, we may not fully understand or recognize our emotional responses, particularly if we are fatigued or stressed. Many nurses and midwives tell us they feel unprepared or unequipped to manage their reactions. It is common for nurses or midwives to not seek support and “push through” until a distressing psychological issue emerges and or until someone else notices, or intervenes.