In the business world there is a concept called "professional distance." This is a concept that outlines best practices for mixing your personal and professional life. Especially, the relationship between an employer and employee. Mixing your personal life and professional life (if you are a boss) with an employee can cause lots of issues. I think there is also a similar concept in the medical world as medical professionals need to keep a certain "professional distance" from their patients. I know there are very clear guidlines for Doctors and Nurses relating to relationships with patients. This is becoming a much bigger issue now, as a result of social networking as it is very easy for a patient to be facebook friends with their doctor or nurse. It is a very tricky issue.
Taking it one step further...I have thought about this lots in relation to our situation in the hospital. We have been cautioned many times not to get emotionally involved with "the kid in the next bed." This is good advice as we have had so much to deal with in our own lives...it would add so much more stress to start to worry about some of the other kids you see in the hospital and risk getting emotionally involved. This has become a big issue for us lately; as in recent weeks we have received several waves of bad news regarding some of our friends we have made in the hospital. A couple of these situations are very serious and quite troubling. It really does get you down, as it just seems like one thing after another. Then you start thinking "when is it going to be our turn."
In reality, it is very difficult not to get to know and be involved with the families and staff that you meet in the hospital. We are on a first name basis with so many people. From the Lab Techs who take Russell's blood, to people you meet in the waiting room, or families we exchange e-mails with. You can't help but develop some relationships and get attached. I think it is extremely important that you maintain perspective and ensure these are"healthy" relationships. You cannot dwell on the negatives (and there are a lot of them.) As we have become friends with many families and have gone through struggles with them...we choose to be thankful and think positively about our own situation. We have had our rough times but right now we are "OK" and we choose to live in the moment. There may be some hard times ahead (for us) but thankfully...today...things are good! This does not mean we don't empathize and feel the pain others are going through. God gave us emotions for a reason...I don't think it is wrong to use them.