Patients are depersonalized in the AACN certification examination questions in the sense that test questions usually do not include contextual details about the patient. Personal features are removed to help the test taker focus on the pertinent clinical facts. Depersonalization makes sense when testing knowledge but not when caring for patients. In clinical practice, there is sometimes a temptation to focus on the diagnosis instead of the person to keep emotional distance between ourselves and our patients. Although compartmentalization can help nurses create healthy boundaries, too much emotional distance can prevent the human-to-human connection that facilitates compassion satisfaction. In her book In Shock, Dr Rana Awdish questions the idea that being emotionally detached helps health care providers maintain clear clinical judgment.1 She shares how her experience of being a critically ill patient changed the way she practices, and she reminds us to see patients as people instead...
Sara Knippa, MS, RN, ACCNS-AG, CCRN, PCCN, is the column’s content expert. Sara is a clinical nurse specialist/educator in the cardiac intensive care unit at University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, Colorado. She welcomes feedback from readers and practice questions from potential contributors at sara.knippa. firstname.lastname@example.org. Sara wrote the introduction.
Mary Beth Flynn Makic, PhD, RN, CCNS, CCRN-K, is an associate professor at the University of Colorado College of Nursing, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado. Mary Beth wrote the Adult CCRN review questions.
Angela Pal, PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, is the Program Director for the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Colorado College of Nursing, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado. Angela wrote the CSC review questions.
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Sara Knippa, Mary Beth Flynn Makic, Angela Pal; Personal Connection. Crit Care Nurse 1 June 2022; 42 (3): 68–73. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/ccn2022204
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