Nurses are a compassionate and caring Discussion response

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Please respond to the peer discussion 300 words

Nurses are some of the most caring and compassionate people I have ever worked with. It is important for ICU and hospice nurses to protect their own psychological and emotional wellbeing. According to the article strategies of emotion management: not just on, but off the job, these nurses tend to cope in several ways. Nurses that work in the ICU were interviewed and reported engaging in a range of activities oriented to emotional recovery. Some of these activities include watching tv, listening to music, and exercising. Nurses that work on the intensive care unit and hospice nurses use friends and family as a support system. The commute home from work can serve as a way to decompress, think things through, or even cry. These nurses use each other as a support system at work by venting. Calling-in to work on days off to check up on patients and family members is another way a nurse might manage emotions (Hammonds & Cadge, 2014). At my work RN’s cope by venting both at work and outside of work. My unit even has a private ‘employee only’ Facebook page that we post to when things are going well, or not so well. Front stage behavior is used in order to conform to the expectations of being competent and caring. Back stage is necessary to express emotion that may be different than those the staff take care of and is necessary in order to display appropriate front stage behavior.

It is important to be able to maintain appropriate front stage and back stage behavior in the medical field because “front stage activities fodder for discussions and activities in the back region” and back stage allows for “maintenance of proper appearances and adherence to roles of decorum” (Cain, 2012, p. 670). Back-stage workers have the freedom to display their own beliefs, they can blow off steam, and take a break from the front stage role which can be emotionally draining. The back-stage allows workers to vent and joke around, to express their true feelings. This is very important because doing so allows for appropriate behavior of the ‘front stage employee’ the kind, compassionate employee that is competent in job tasks (the side our patients and patients family see).

Some of the consequences that occur if these performances are not maintained in the medical field included patients and their families losing trust in the profession. If the patient/family heard what staff talks about in the break room, or the elevator they may not view the professional as competent (or compassionate). If an employee(s) always must be on ‘front-stage’, or ‘on’ there is a good chance that tension will rise, and effective teamwork will suffer causing public perceptions to change. The text book gives a very good example of this by using hosts and house guests--If a house guest stays too long, they become a burden. This is because the hosts have no back stage, no where to go to escape the demands of the houseguest’s expectations, and no chance for privacy (Newman, 2017). ICU and hospice workers need to protect their own psychological and emotional wellbeing. Back and front stage behavior complements one another and is necessary for maintaining an appropriate way of acting in ones chosen profession.


Cain, C. L. (2012). Integrating dark humor and compassion: Identities and presentations of self in the front and back regions of hospice. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 41(6), 668-694.

Hammonds, C., & Cadge, W. (2014, April 29). Strategies of emotion management: not just on, but off the job. Nursing Inquiry, 21(2), 162-170.

Newman, D. M. (2017). Sociology: exploring the architecture of everyday life (11th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

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School: Cornell University



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Discussion Response

I agree with the analysis that although nurses are a compassionate and caring, these
characteristics are well protected if their psychological and emotional well-being is given equal
importance as their job. There are various activities that have been proven helpful when fueling
the psychological and emotional well-being, all of which are crucial for maintaining a balance
between the demands of the job and th...

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