How to Cope with Becoming Too Attached to a Patient’s Case


There is a balance in nursing that you understand all too well. The balance between caring for a patient and becoming too attached.  

You probably have a caring nature, or else you wouldn’t choose to be a nurse. It is safe to assume the majority of nurses have empathy for their patients and for humans overall. When you are able to administer care with strong knowledge, as well as a dose of empathy, you are providing exceptional care.  

The Patient Side  

When a patient feels your concern and empathy, they are more likely to trust the outcomes and treatment diagnosis. It can even help to increase positivity, which can aid in the healing process. A patient who feels well-cared-for is one who appreciates their nursing staff.  

The Professional Side  

As a healthcare professional, you are responsible for providing excellent care even if you don’t agree with the treatment plan. This can be difficult if you are too attached to the patient. Remaining objective is just as important as the care you are providing. Keep your care unbiased and as neutral as possible to give your patients the best choices for their well-being. You want them to be able to make the best decisions on their health based on what they want, not what they think you think they should do. Many times, a patient will blindly trust a doctor or nurse and regret their decision later.  

The Personal Side  

That compassionate look, or cover tucking is what your patients need. That personal touch is what sets nurses apart from other healthcare professionals. You are the one to offer that drink of water, the soothing tea, the cooling ice chips, and so many other comfort items. Nurses are infamous for knowing their patients’ needs before they even know it themselves. Your care can mean a full recovery or a longer stay, so the personal side is critical.  

Distinguishing Sides  

When you start to bring in your own ideas, opinions and beliefs to the patient, you are crossing that line. If that happens, you might need to step back and care for another patient. On the other hand, if you skip checking on a patient or feel an indifference to patients, it might be time reevaluate your career choice. It could be as simple as needing a break to deciding this isn’t the career for you. Being honest with yourself will not only help you in the long run, it will ensure that excellent care is given to your patients. Self-awareness is vital to coping with being too attached to a patient.  

Get the help and support from other nurses. Download the Nurse Backpack app to stay organized while tracking all your professional credentials and personal information. If you’re looking for a way to streamline your career, give the app a try today.  

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