Death- Do you ever get used to it? - page 2

by CJolin | 4,013 Views | 14 Comments

I have been working as a CNA for almost 2 months. About 2 weeks ago I had a resident die. That was the first time I accually had that happen to me on my shift. I have never seen anyone die, and only had 1 great grandma die in... Read More


  1. 0
    I have been a nurse for 36 yrs mostly in critical care so have lost many, many pts. You never get "use" to it but the one person who said you cope better is right. Someone told me when I first got into nursing that if things don't still bother you, if you never get scared, and you don't cry at times, you need to get out of nursing. I think that is true. I am glad that it is still hurts at times to loose a pt. While I view death as a miracle of life, it can still be very sad for those of us still here.

    Do find someone to talk to because that will help you a great deal.
  2. 0
    My first patient was going downhill. I said to my mother (the charge nurse, funny eh?) "I don't want to be there when she passes on, I know I can't handle it." I knew with my luck I woud be though. So I'm in there making her roomate's bed when I hear her breathing strain moreso than it had been that morning. I walk over to her and kiss her on the cheek and brush her forehead a bit to calm her down. 'You can let go if you want to Catherine, it's ok.' I swear it was only a minute later, when I finished the other bed, her breathing had stopped. The charge nurse came in, being just outside the hall, confirmed she was gone and we positioned her. I handled it better than I thought I would. A little later as I cleaned up her room, I was grabbing her comforter and I brushed her chin by mistake. The coldness grew to be something that haunted me for a few days after. So my anwser would be, no, I'll never get used to it.
  3. 0
    I think you do get used to it, but it doesn't make it much easier. In ICU, it happens a lot. Most of the time, it doesn't bother me. Sometimes, it does, and that never gets easier. When something about a patients just "gets you", all you can do is look after them and their family, then leave the room and shed a tear.

    My first experience of death was a gorgeous old lady named Lizzie at a nursing home I worked at as a nurses aide during nursing school. She was a dear old thing I got to know, and I was a blubbering mess. Sometimes I still am. Most of the time, you are glad they are not suffering anymore.
  4. 0
    my first experience in death on the job was a lady who was doing quite well, helped dress herself and was of sound mind. one morning i went in her room to help her get dressed and she had passed away sometime between last rounds and the time i went in there. it shocked me but i celebrated her life in my mind. i thought about my dad who passed away years before. he did not leave in dignity as this lady had. the other thing that helps me handle death is the fact that these people are leaving this world to be with the lord and all their loved ones who are in heaven already. i feel that they have moved on and someday we will join them.when they leave this world and have lost their dignity as my dad had due to alzeimers and dementia i feel relieved because i feel he has returned back to who he was before he became ill.
  5. 0
    I have been a CNA for many years, and worked for many good company's. The hardest of course being the one that helps people come to terms with death (I'm not sure if i can mention it by name but it may begin with an h and end with an e :chuckle) Any how i have seen many, many people pass away. And no you never get used to it AT ALL. BUT YOU DO NEED TO DEAL WITH IT OR YOU WILL BURN OUT QUICK!!!! Some of my clients have been so sweet and so NOT. i am so touched when they want me to be there for their last breath because they TRUST ME COMPLETLY. Death however never easy is sometimes traumatic for a CNA and at this point is when you need to go talk to a professional for your own sanity. Let me give you a for example.... My last case involved a women with no family that she had spoken to (including her 2 kids) in 5 years... she was miserable, nasty, bitter, angry, and BIPOLAR (yup great right). She had been transferred to our company because she had been threw ALL the Cna in ALL the other company's the longest any cna could tolerate her was 2 months... so I am known for my ability to "deal" with the hard cases and i got her. She was 60 at the time of out first day together and had advanced COPD and yes she was exactly what i had been told AND MORE. The first 2 or 3 months this woman had me in tears everyday i hated getting up and going to work. Finally 1 day she went to far and called me a stupid Yankee bi@ch. I looked at her very calmly and said her name and than said to her this time you have gone to far i will finish my shift today BUT i will NOT be returning tomorrow and there is NOBODY ELSE THAT WILL TAKE YOU THEREFOR IT WILL BE YOUR RESPONABLILTY TO REPLACE ME BECAUSE YOU BROKE THE CONTRACT WITH MY COMPANY SAY YOU WILL TREAT ME WITH RESPECT AS I WILL DO THE SAME FOR YOU..... i finished my shift and about 8:30 i got a call from her apologizing the next day i went back where i remained until 7/06 when she tragically passed away at 63 do to smoking with her oxygen... (that she was not allowed to do with me there and i really thought that she was not doing it at all) she called me before calling the ems and seeing her totally destroyed me.... I went to the er with her and that is where i new i would never do this work again because i love her so much and she really killed me......... I went to work about a month later at convenient store, chain store, restaurants etc. etc and hated it..I FELT I WAS MISSING SOMETHING BIG IN MY LIFE I FELT EMPTY HAPPY ENDING TIME i decided to get help and am dealing very well with this at the present time i started working full time as a cna again in a facility no more home care and i also go to school full time to LPN/RN courses plus juggle my 3 children very hard but i own my new career boost to my dear friend that i almost never had because i was "a stupid Yankee bi@ch" i guess what this all mean is everything happens for a reason birth and death alike you just can not have one without the other. What does not kill you does make you stronger i am proof of that.


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