I'm taking an informal survey here. I work in critical care and I see quite a lot of death. My attitude towards death has become quite callous - when someone is sick, they should be a DNR, and when someone is really sick, they should be comfort care. I'm more relieved than upset when people die and death in general does not bother me.
My question for all of you who have had experience with dying patients is this; does touching and handling death on the job change your perspective when one of your own family members is dying? Are you more likely to make Grandma a DNR or be at peace with someone's passing?
I'm also interested in this; do you think it is normal and healthy that nurses are comfortable with death or is there something wrong with people who can joke on the way to the morgue and cry during lifetime movies?
Sep 14, '12
Well I have to say I just went through a lot with my father. He had an accident and went approx. 45 min without air or so we thought. He was taken to ER, put and a vent and sent to the ICU. My dad had all of the classic signs of a brain injury: posturing, seizures, inability to maintain appropriate temps, etc. We had recently talked about his last wishes in case something would happen, so I knew he did not want life support long term. The doctor told us to wait 48hrs before I made any decions to remove life support. I was ready after 24. It was the worst thing I had ever seen in my life. I will never forget the torture my father's body did to itself. However, my dad wake up, right around that 48hr mark. He made almost a full recovery. He "woke up" a little everyday.. It was not easy and we had many ups and downs, but after all was said and done his only realy injury was the loss of his ability to swallow.. That's it. Speech therapy was hopeful this would return. Sadly since then my father passed away from infection caused by the initial injury. So I have changed my opinion. I was always the one who judged those who kept their family members on life support.. Now I understand to a point. I would have prematurely ended my fathers life, and lost all of the time I had spent with him. I don't support leaving patients on life support forever, but I do understand the hope of a loved on waking up.. because mine did.
Last edit by xoemmylouox on Sep 14, '12
: Reason: spelling