I feel so cold hearted about what happened this evening.

  1. First of all . . . let me explain the child labor laws here. I am 17, so that means on a 3-11 shift I can only stay til 10, and not a minute longer. As soon as it is 10:00 I am to be out of there. I don't know why this is, but it sucks.

    Anyways, there is some one who is reaching their final days in the LTC. I wouldnt be shocked if I come back tomorrow, and she wont be there.

    I went in to do lmy last rounds before leaving. and it was like 5 til 10. and she said "please don't leave me!" and I said
    "I'm right here" and I sat with her for the last 5 minutes of my shift. I explained that I had to go home. She got a deathgrip on my arm, and started crying "nooo! please stay with me." I knew that she didnt want to die alone. But I had to leave. and I promised that I would come in to see her first thing in the morning, which I am because I work the day shift tomorrow. But now I am sitting at home, crying because I had to leave her.

    I am aware that I cannot be there 24/7, and I, at times, wish that I could just get a room there so that I could check in on them whenever I wanted too.

    Did I do the right thing? I just feel that I did the most wrong thing that I could have done.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Sleepyeyes
    I had a pt. like that once. And, if I recall, I was about 18. I used to sit with her for awhile after my shift was supposed to end, sometimes up to an hour, and I still had to tear myself away. I remember that little lady; she was so full of fluids and so uncomfortable. That was back in 1972.

    Nowadays, I would sit with her while her pain or anti-anxiety (especially if she gets breathing treatments; they tend to make people really nervous) or sleeping pill took effect, and she'd be ok for me to leave in 15 minutes or so.

    If she's there in the morning and you have time, try to spend a few minutes with her and ask her about anxiety and pain at night--two things that can make someone have a real rough night alone. Maybe if you can get the nurse to talk to her and assess her levels of pain & anxiety, the nurse can get her something from the doc. Also, you might want to ask the pt if she would like to talk to a chaplain or a minister-- or Hospice--by explaining that naturally you want to do the best you can for her as a caregiver, and it seems like she needs more expert care than you can give.

    Then pop in on her as often as possible and see how she's doing--which I know you will.
  4. by   mario_ragucci
    It's ok to have a personal relationship with anyone.. The care you provide is profesional, and a part of the whole caring nature of the facility. I heard our faculty advise us [at nursing school] of a personal and seperate professional role. I'd say you can achieve both quite easily because you care and express it. It is the energy of love.
  5. by   Tweety
    Hey giving her five minutes of comfort is remarkable! A lot of people wouldn't have even given that much. It's touch when a patient begs you to stay because they don't want to be alone. Saying you will be back and then coming back as promised is sometimes the best you can do.

    Don't feel cold hearted. You're very warm hearted. Don't loose that.
  6. by   LoisJean
    Hey, Mandi! You are going to be a wonderful nurse! I hope that you are near me when it comes my time to pass over.

    Peace,
    Lois Jean
  7. by   moz
    You aren't cold hearted-your concern now shows it. I think you will make a great nurse. Just remember to listen to your heart and follow it whenever you can.
  8. by   CMERN
    Hey Mandi..... Lois jean said exactly my first thoughts... YOU are going to be a great nurse...you care. Its ok to cry ..dont beat yourself up about the time constraints you found on that night.. you showed her your care...and you abided by the rules given you to follow... yep... GOOD future Nurse
  9. by   tattooednursie
    Thank you! I feel so much better now . . . and after today (which was a woderful day at work, where everything went right for me, and not to mention my very first day shift!) She made it through the night . . . and told me "You go home now and enjoy the est of your day" when I had to leave. I feel so much better! thanks for your support!.
  10. by   emily_mom
    You are going to be a wonderful nurse! You're compassionate and think of others before yourself. I would go in a couple minutes early so you have some time to spend with her alone. It must be so frightening for her. Does she have any family?

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