Hardest thing I've ever done.... - page 2

As some of you know, I am a new nurse. I got my license this past September. I had my first resident "expire" today. I've dealt with residents dying before- as an STNA. I've done post-mortum care... Read More

  1. by   zambezi
    I had a similar situation recently, came on at the start of shift, patient was purple....was on lots of levophed, dopamine, epi, etc etc....etoh, hx of iv drug use...hct had dropped from 40 to 18 in since her admit 12 hours before, though that she might have had hemorrhagic pancreatitis...truth is i don't think that the docs really knew what was going on...at the start of shift, she was a full code, doc didn't think that she was going to make it but couldn't get ahold of the family to change code status...an hour into my shift, as the patient's condition continued to decrease....patients mother calls and asks how she is doing...i was honest, told her very critical, not well at alll and that the doc wanted to speak to her...i dont think that she got the picture and was hanging on to all the hope she could...anyway code status was changed and about an hour later, the patient died. Im on the phone with the doc, thinking that she is going to call the family but she wants me to do it, says if the family has questions to call her back... so i call, i was in the same situtition as original poster...the call was a first for me...cant say that it was at the top of my list of things that i want to do alot...i know that it was a call that the family will remember for the rest of their lives...as one would expect, they didnt take the news well, especially since she had been admitted only about 16 hours before...as somoeone else said i tried to say it honestly and with compassion but in a way that i would want someone to tell me if it were my family...i did ok with the patient, but it was sure tough to see that family break down...that is one of the harderst parts for me...
  2. by   CATHYW
    It never gets easier, and you never get used to it. You do become a little more accustomed to the feeling of loss, in spite of all that you (and others) may have tried to do, but each death is a new experience. You learn some comforting words to say, but your presence, gentleness, kindness, and honesty about what happened (as much as your facility permits, and that the family can handle) is what will be remembered.
    Take care, and God bless!

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