Therapeutic Neglect

Lorena Webber R.N.

I learned a new word phrase today. It’s actually a nursing intervention.  The intervention is titled “therapeutic neglect”.

I also learned that perhaps I shouldn’t work on the oncology floor, or as a hospice nurse. Perhaps the O.R. or the E.R. is a better place for you, because then you won’t get too attached. You won’t carry the patient’s pain around with you, as though it’s your own. 

The words above came from a concerned and honest heart.

The words came from my clinical instructor, after hearing me give report on my patient. While we talked, she took note of my red eyes and rosy cheeks. She heard the sadness in my voice, and the empathy that rang so loudly from my heart. She watched me stand paralyzed (and unproductive) in the hall, in front of my portable rolling computer. I wasn’t completely unproductive though because in my head….in my thoughts, I was working…

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