I am a fairly new CNA, I have been working in the hospital for about 6 months now, and last night i had my first experience with post-mortem care. It was terrible. The actual passing was fine, almost beautiful actually. Her whole family was there, and it was definitely her time to go. It was peaceful. (Aside from the fact that I had NEVER seen a dead person before. I haven't even been to an open casket.)
The part I really had trouble with was the post mortem care. I had taken care of this patient for weeks, and i had put her in a bag, wheel her down to the morgue and into a giant freezer. It was borderline traumatic for me. I cried the whole time we were cleaning her up, and I talked to her like she was still there. Is that insane?
I am also starting to worry about my future in healthcare. This is part of the job, and I clearly cannot handle it. It has been about 24 hours and I haven't slept much; I had nightmares, and I'm still crying on and off. I don't know if I can ever do that again. I guess I just want to know if my reaction was normal, and if it will get any easier? I am in nursing school and I am afraid that I can't do this job.