death

  1. Hello,

    i am also wondering how much post-mortem care is a part of the work, not sure i would deal well with that

    thanks - jason
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   rebelette10
    yeah, me too. only i know i could handle that well because it's something i've always wanted to do! could anyone tell us please? thanks. konnie
  4. by   KellNY
    Everywhere I've worked, it was the LPNs, if not the RNs who perform post mortem care. Other than stripping and cleaning the beds afterwards (which can get...um, messy).

    Also if the Pt is very large and/or obese, the nurses may request help in turning the patient to get him/her into the body bag.

    But IME, it's mostly the nursing staff or even coroners office that handles PostMortem care. And people in nursing homes don't die *as* frequently as you might think. Many live there for 3,5, 10+ years before they pass away. And often, as their health really begins to fail, they are transferred to the hospital anyway.
  5. by   rebelette10
    thanks for the reply kellny. i am planning on taking the test to become a cna and then eventually work my way on up to an rn. i didn't mean it like it sounded in that post.....like i liked working with the dead!!! hope you didn't take it like that....what i meant was i've always wanted to be a nurse. this board is very helpful and i'm so glad i came upon it!! thanks again for the info!! konnie
  6. by   midcom
    You will be taught in your CNA classes what is expected of the CNA as far as postmortum care is concerned. We were told that we would be the ones to bathe & change th egown for the person, and basically get him ready for the mortician to pick up, crossing the arms across the chest, laying him flat if he is in Fowlers position, etc.
    I haven't had to deal with that aspect as a nurse yet ( just a 2nd term student) but I've had may share of experience with bodies. I helped the CNA to arrange my mother's body after she expired because I didn't want my sister to see her looking the way she did right after her death.
    It's a sad time, certainly, but nothing to be afrsid of.
    Dixie
  7. by   erin1205
    I have worked as a CNA in a hospital for almost a year, and worked in an assisted living facility for a year before that. Although I have seen a few residents/patients die, I have yet to be asked to help with any post mortem care. In my hospital, the nurse takes care of everything post mortem.
  8. by   jb2u
    I have to do post-mortem care as a pca in my hospital. After death, fluid and feces starts to leak out of various orifices and it needs to be cleaned up. The body needs to be toe tagged and the body needs to be put in a body bag with a tag on the outside of the bag. The nurse will remove all iv's, ng tubes, etc. and then I'll clean up said pt and place in bag.

    Yes, it is a sad event, but I have a different take on it. I view it as "just a body." No, not to be cruel. I believe that the soul has moved on. The body is merely a vehicle and to dust it shall return. That being said, I do believe the body should be treated with the UTMOST of respect. You are still dealing with the physical connection that the family has with this past soul. Of course, this is just MY belief and I am sure that others have their own opinions; however, this helps me and maybe it will help you.

    Sincerely,
    Jay
  9. by   KellNY
    Why would the nurses remove the IVs and NG tubes etc? Those are supposed to be left in place for the coroner/ME.
  10. by   Shadelyn
    At my hospital the nursing assistants and patient care techs do most of the post mortem care. I work in an ER so I probably do at least one a month. It doesn't really bother me, but I guess I'm the exception and not the norm.

    It always surprises me how few deaths are rules a ME or coroner's case. The ones that aren't accepted by the coroner have all lines and tubes removed before we transport them to the morgue.

    It always helps to have someone help you with post mortem care if you are weary about doing it alone. I have never been in a situation where someone wouldn't help out.
  11. by   lilypad2424
    I learned that you remove all tubes and IV's unless it was an ME case.
  12. by   casi
    I think how much post mortem care one does depends on the type of facility one works and the type of unit.

    I view it as just an act of respect.
  13. by   GLORIAmunchkin72
    It doesn't happen very often but when it does happen (where I work) CNAs who are very attached to the resident volunteer to help the nurse to clean up the deceased as a way of saying "farewell, we love you".
  14. by   jb2u
    Quote from KellNY
    Why would the nurses remove the IVs and NG tubes etc? Those are supposed to be left in place for the coroner/ME.
    Just because someone dies does not make it a ME case. We prepare the body for either a)the funeral home to come pick up the body, b)the morgue, or c) for the family to view their loved one without fluid leaking out of the body. The body relaxes after death and feces comes out as well as urine.

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