first patient death as a CNA, still feeling weird - page 2

by lalopop86

3,641 Views | 17 Comments

I experienced my first patient death on Sunday morning. I've only been a CNA for a few months and it was a strange experience. I did not ever have any direct interaction with this patient because she was unconscious and on... Read More


  1. 1
    You will never forget the first death you "deal with" at work. It is normal to dwell on it. sounds like this lady passed surrounded by her family, which is lovely.
    Last edit by JDZ344 on May 14, '14
    Esme12 likes this.
  2. 0
    Quote from nerdtonurse?
    You always remember the first time you take someone "downstairs." I can still see the first patient I had that died -- sweetest little thing, just a precious person. She had a gentle, peaceful passing, surrounded by her family, at the end of a long life. Much better that some of the futile situations I've been in since.
    YOu aren't alone....nor are you the only one who feels this way. Death is a part of living but if you ever stop feeling the loss. you'll need to change jobs....... with compassion like yours you'll be an excellent nurse...
  3. 0
    Quote from rockstar11
    Death is never easy, unless you are incredibly detached to the human experience... but in that case, why go into Nursing?

    hugs
    Hmmm. I understand the sentiment, but will respectfully disagree. Witnessing death is as personal as experiencing it. Death has never bothered me, and I've been around for more than a few. Part of the trauma/problem is that, as a First-World society, we have removed ourselves from illness and death to an extreme degree. Most people used to have family members die at home, sometimes traumatically, sometimes due to illness, sometimes "natural causes". Without that presence, death is something most actively put out of their minds, and it therefore becomes a traumatic event.

    What we do not prepare for, by definition, will be traumatic(and, frequently even things we do prepare for are traumatic, but those generally lack the recurrent PTSD-nature of the unplanned/unanticipated event.
  4. 0
    I've been a CNA for 3 years and death still kinda blows my mind and makes me feel all these weird emotions, although it does get less intense with every exposure. The one that sticks out the most in my mind happened when I wasn't even at work... but it broke my heart. I haven't let that happen since.
  5. 1
    My first body was 32 years ago, can still see it. OP, you are quite normal.

    Have to disagree with some here, you can get used to it. I've wrapped too many bodies, I do it with respect, but it is still only a body to me. Some deaths still get to me, some don't. Depends on circumstance, and how involved I was with the death (long code, someone I'd interacted with, or DOA) makes a difference.

    Doesn't make me "bad"nurse, or an uncaring one. Just one who has learned not to carry all the emotions with me for overlong, or be overwhelmed by what I cannot change. I fight like fury, then let go when I have to.
    Gogo Dodo likes this.
  6. 1
    :kiss Patient deaths are hard. I have seen many patients die (I was a CNA prior to being a nurse). I just had to learn to deal with those emotions differently.

    Comfort care deaths are a lot easier to handle than a young adult who came in with a broken foot and you find him dead a few hours later.


    I'll pray for you!
    Gogo Dodo likes this.
  7. 0
    My thoughts are exactly like the others. Though I have never been put in that situation as a cna. but I have to say it would be natural to feel that way. Death is permanant and we can't help but to think about us loosing a love one. I have been to a a funeral or two and didn't even know the person. I went with a friend who did know them, however, it didn't stop me from sheading tear like they were my best friend.

    We know that more than likely the person is going to be missed and we feel for the living. I think like the rest of the nurses. You did what you was suppose to do the rest is out of your hands. Start the new day ready to help some others.Take care.
  8. 0
    My first death still lives with me. No pun intended. WW2 vet... severe night terrors... may his soul rest in peace.


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