Nursing Voices

Monday, September 04, 2006

Falling in Love with Patients

I guess it’s an occupational hazard. Throughout my years as a nurse, I’ve known several nurses who have fallen in love with a patient. One nurse I recall fell for a young, handsome man that had come to the hospital to have surgery on a knee that he had injured while playing touch football with his buddies. This happened before there was same day surgery, and during a time when patients spent WEEKS in the hospital recovering from surgery. I remember him well, and yes, he was a hunk. They married about a year later, and lived happily ever after. I wonder if they would have hooked up if HMOs had been around back then. I guess if a nurse is going to fall for a patient these days, it has to be love at first sight.

And of course they are tons of cheesy romance novels about doctors falling in love with their patients.

Daybreak by Frank G. Slaughter is a great example. The book was published in 1959 is about a super doc that finds a cure for Schizophrenia in six weeks, while saving a woman he falls in love with from a court ordered frontal lobotomy.

“The operation is simple: It’s called a frontal lobotomy, and it’s purpose is to pacify the violently insane. But by no means can it be called a sure cure. It may merely reduce the patient to a willing, thoughtless robot who will do anything he is told.

As a state-employed doctor, young Jim Corwin was forced to use this technique. But he drew the line with Lynn. She was young and beautiful, and she was a born artist. He would resign as a doctor before he took her wonderful talents away from her with a scalpel.

But he only had six weeks to find another way to save her. And despite the scoffing of his fellow doctors, those six weeks of continual unrelenting effort to reach an abandoned soul paid Jim Corwin back a millionfold.”

I told you he was a super doc! And look at Lynn, she beautiful and she doesn’t look hopelessly insane to me. No wonder he wanted to find a cure for Schizophrenia.

Have you known anyone to fall in love with a patient?


Blogger RX850 said...

I do know someone. An ALS patient and a fellow nurse fell in love years ago. He was an awesome man and had been a speechwriter for a former president. We had a great connection and talked everyday through his communication tool that he could control by a tiny move of his head. My friend and he were both married but what they shared was purely spiritual ~ no that is not right ~ it was both spiritual and sexual. I never asked and never peered behind the door and NEVER entered when they were in there together and the door was closed. He died and she left her husband. I was happy that they both found some peace in all of it.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

My specialty, nephrology, is known for being rather incestuous. I know a doctor who recently married one of her patients. I also know a social worker who dated and had a child by one of her patients. It is very common for staff and patients to become involved. I also know of many couples who met while they were working in the same unit. This is frowned upon by the powers that be, but it happens often.

11:43 PM  
Anonymous kim said...

No, never had the experience of knowing any nurses who fell in love with their patients.

But then I never took care of Harrison Ford, either.

And that shot is from "Farewell to Arms"? Doesn't look like anyone is saying farewell to anything! LOLOL

12:00 PM  
Anonymous marachne said...

I just found out that two of my co-workers, one an RN, one a CNA married patients. We work in a skilled care facility -- that means patients are there for a long time.

Both of these ex-patients are now having (more) major health problems and it is clear it's quite the strain on these folks.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Pennsylvania Progressive said...

While he is looking for a cure for Schizopheria, could he find one for Bipolar Disorder type one?

6:03 PM  
Blogger kt said...

i haven't! but i have known patient's sons to take a liking to a few nurses in my day. that can be awkward also..for our patients stay around sometimes for 2 months.

9:03 PM  
Blogger NeoNurseChic said...

Hmmm...I have a few patients that I'm in love with....does it matter that they're perhaps only 1 to 5 pounds, bald, scrawny, and cry a lot?

Oh I know I'm cheesy.....but I do love them! ;)

12:44 AM  
Anonymous Jen said...

I did with one of my patients: but she was only 3. Still have a picture of her. Her mother found out about her cancer dx and visited maybe once every 10 days or so...poor sick little girl in the hospital for about 4 months. In and out of the PICU, had 3/4 of her liver removed, etc. Miss her deeply.

1:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:55 AM  
Blogger Aceworks said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Aceworks said...

When i was 15 i was lucky enough to experience true love. It was not a physical relationship by any means, although i never even held her hand, i have never been so close to someones heart, and felt the ultimate peace, euphoria and mystery. She had something to do with my soul, I am now 27 and am still looking for her, i do still think about her and want to know if she remembers me too. Her name was Anne Marie, but i called her Marie, she had brown curly hair, a softly spoken Irish accent and she worked in St. Heliers Hospital, Carshalton, London UK in late November 1995. She talked about possibly moving to Australia at the time...I just wanted to say thankyou to her. If anyone comes across this who might be able to help me, please please do.

6:48 PM  
Blogger xnp said...

XNP here, Greetings.
I fell in love with a patient, nearly five years ago. I quit my practice nine months ago, surrendered my license four months ago. Don't ever, fall in love with a patient.

2:27 PM  

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