When your patient dies, what do you say to the family? What words work for you, and them? Have you ever had a family member press you for a detailed description of their loved ones' last moments? One daughter said to me, "Did she...gasp?" How to describe agonal respirations in a kind way? I just feel I could handle this much better! But how?
Oct 18, '02
It depends on the situation: I usually tell them, if they are present and the patient has not been pronounced by the MD (as is the rule @ my hospital), I tell them I am sorry but I do not hear a heartbeat....
If the MD has pronounced-I tell them that I am sorry-I ask them if there is anyone they would like me to call, just basic comfort things.....I get them tissue, juice, coffee and I give them time to be with the patient.
I have been asked if patient "suffered"-I tell them no-our MDs are pretty good about wanting the patient to be comfortable..
hope this helps!