It comes as no surprise that working as a healthcare provider, you will experience difficult, heart wrenching situations with your patients. Thoughts about what you could have done, should have done, would have done if only you had caught the issue sooner, or at all, can quickly lead to burnout. You might even replay the events surrounding your patient's medical crisis over and over. As many other people do, maybe you suppress these stressful feelings to continue caring for your other patients. Even though suppressing stressful feelings may help in the immediate aftermath, it can become a maladaptive coping mechanism when used continuously.
At some point, expressing your thoughts and feelings with trusted coworkers or mentors, and then coping with them in an appropriate manner should occur. And if talking to coworkers, or taking time for self-care doesn't seem to help, it's advisable to seek professional help. Most hospitals have confidential employee assistance programs staffed with trained counselors to help you deal with residual or unresolved thoughts and feelings.
What tips can you give to other healthcare professionals to deal with difficult emotions experienced on the job?