Mario experiences PT death for first time - page 2
Today when I was in report, waiting for rm #'s and nursing assignments, about the 3rd thing the charge nurse said was that Mrs. U passed away over the night. My reaction was instant, and i flinched... Read More
Aug 7, '02(((((((Mario)))))))
Doesn't this sort of thing always make you turn back to all those other deaths in your life. My RN program had a palliative care componant, and even though one of the favorite parts of my job is caring for the dying, I had a REALLY hard time letting my first patient go (figuratively and mentally). What helped for me was making myself work through all the pain from the deaths of those close to me.
My friend Aditi passed away from complicatiions from Hep C when she was 20 years old. She was a friend of mine from the dorm and we were really close. She died unexpectedly after spending a week in the hospital. She was so proud, that she refused to let me visit her in the hospital. That was a VERY difficult time in my life. It's also taught me so much, and I really draw on those feelings when I am working through grief with resident's family members.
Take Care. Don't be afraid to let it out.
Aug 7, '02It is a rude awakening to realize that the work we do is not just a puzzle of trying to fit treatments, meds, etc into their respective slots during the day's work, and then check out after shift's end. We are not in the business of manufacturing widgets; --- we deal with PEOPLE, real, flawed, finite, broken, living beings. And as such, even tho' we may not like to admit it, there is only so much we can do for them; A LOT is out of our control. But the little we CAN do for them, even in their most helpless condition (as was your Mrs. U), we do, as you did. THAT makes the difference. It obviously made the difference to Mrs. U. Unless we are a block cement wall, we as nurses ARE affected by the lives we touch and, in turn, those who touch ours with their courage and peace in what appears to us to be their darkest hour. We sometimes underestimate the effect of the smallest things we do for our patients. Some pts. won't see it, don't get it. WE know we did all we could for that pt and as stated above, the rest is out of our hands. One can't/You can't berate one's self for having participated (in a positive way) in another's flow of life.
Peace to you, Mario of the kind heart. As others have posted, we've all been there (more than once) . . .
Aug 7, '02Wow....((((((((((((Mario)))))))))))) Your post is, and was one of the most awesome posts I have ever read on this BB! You spoke sooo eloquently about your pt., who has now passed. I believe you are one of those, who made it possible for her to continue to smile. What a wonderful testiment that is to your caring nature! My heart goes out to you, and there is more depth, and breath in your spirit, than...I could have possibly grasped in your past posts!
I can still remember my first death...and it was twins on vents in the NICU. I can remember experienced nurses crying openly. So touched by their passing......that one had to be sent home. She had taken care of them for most of their short lives. She wanted desperately for them to live! She felt she had failed them, but she didn't. Never doubt your professionalism....just because you have a heart..
Aug 7, '02((((Mario)))) You will always remember her and miss her because each time you care for someone you give them a peice of yourself, your giving a part of your life to make theirs better. Dont feel guilty about being healthy and able bodied, it means you can help sooo many others...and maybe your kind and gentle caring spirit helped heal her soul. You are in our hearts, our dear friend.
Aug 8, '02((((Mario))))
I think one of the most difficult things we have to do as nurses is to deal with death. When you have been involved with a patient and their family, sometimes you realize that all you can do is try to maximize the quality of the time they have left. In the case of someone who is "dying by millimeters", as we so often see with people who have multi-organ system disease, the focus of the care is not necessarily on curing the disease, but on controlling the symptoms so that they can have a decent quality of life.
Your care and your ability to provide as positive an environment as possible for your patient and her husband are the things that will be remembered as her husband grieves his loss. For us, as healthcare providers, we are left with the task of putting the death in perspective when we have done all we can do. Sometimes it is made more difficult by our personal experiences with death--especially when we can identify with the patient and the family on a very personal level. Just know that, even for us veterans, it is never an easy thing to do. I still cry with families of patients that I've gotten close to when the patient dies--it isn't like we can turn off our emotions like a switch and flip into "ultra-professional" mode!
I am so sorry to hear about your parents......that has to be incredibly tough for you. ((((((((BIG HUG)))))))))
Aug 8, '02There is nothing wrong with feeling for your patients or greiving over their loss. Patients touch our lives as much as we thouch theirs.
Sometimes I think careing for patients does me more good then it does them. We do have to maintain some degree of emotional attachment but that just means you dont let it ruin your life or stop you from doing your job. If you could be completly detatched and not experince any emotion then you wouldent be as good at what you do Mario.
I remember many patients I have lost. I tuck them away in my heart and think about them sometimes. I am happy that I was able to make their last days a littel more comfortable and happy. I am thankful I was able to know them and share with them.
Keep your chin up ...its hard the first few times especialy when it was someone that young. I wish I could say it gets easier but all I can say is that over time you will learn how to deal with it.
Aug 8, '02(((Mario))), thank you for making me cry...sometimes in the midst of documentation reviews and meetings and those things that pull me away from the reason I became I nurse, I'm very grateful to be pulled back and reminded of why I chose this profession. I've never met you, Mario, but I love you. I look for your posts, and I enjoy seeing you flower and develop. You are doing special things for your patients and for healthcare as a whole. You will never reach the point where you won't feel pain when a patient dies, Mario, and that is a gift; both to you, to your patients, and to those of us whose lives you have touched. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and feelings here. We need you. Jeannie
Aug 8, '02Mario- your patients are lucky to have you. I worked as a nurse aide for years before I got to be RN and I still remember my very first patient who died like it was yesterday ( it was 1975). I've been through a lot of deaths since and felt pain at all of them but somehow that first time was the worse.
Thank you for making me remember that special lady and reminding me of the reasons I am a nurse.
I hope your nursing journey is all you could wish for.
Aug 8, '02Somewhere along the line we nurses got the notion that we're supposed to be above feeling and caring deeply for our patients. The real truth is when we stop caring, when we no longer feel any pain with them and their families it's time to stop out and regroup.
These posts have taken me back to the ones I cared about, the ones whose deaths I witnessed, those I missed, those I don't know about but who after all these years are surely gone.
Birth and death, and all that's inbetween. We nurses see it all, experience it all, hold it safe in our hearts. We are privileged to be the witnesses of life in its most elemental aspects. It is a holy thing we do.
Because it's drumming through my head:
All that we have and all that we offer
Comes from a heart both frightened and free
Take what we bring now and give what we need
All done in his name.
Aug 8, '02(((((((Mario))))))))) I remember the first patient death that I was there for and it was back in 1973. She was a nun that I had been taking care of off and on for about 8 months. In one way it was really shocking for me but the rest of the nuns in the hospital (it was a Catholic hospital) came down and sang around her bedside and it was soooooo beautiful. All the nuns could tell that I was upset and they told me that it is a joyous celebration cause the sister was going for her just reward and she would have no more days of suffering. I remember that everytime that someone dies and with the 30+ years of nursing that I have done it comes in handy.
I remember that also when my parents died and it was good for me to remember that cause they both suffered a lot in the last few months of thier lifes cause they died of cancer. But if you can remember that the are going to a better place and they are not suffering anymore it helps greatly. I read your posts and cried knowing that I knew how your felt. Keep up the good work and make each day a better one for your patients.
Aug 8, '02Mario,
Very eloquently spoken and feel good about the "good" that you did for this fine lady and her husband.
It does hurt sometimes to be a nurse, but to not care.....doesn't make a good nurse. Of which you are already so much a part of.
It is where science meets caring that makes the difference and you have both. Never let your dream die of becoming one of the best nurses to ever work in this field.
Your friend, micro is not full of words this morning, but wanted to publicly say hi, and "it is okay to bring the job home". It is okay to care.....don't ever lose that.