Mario experiences PT death for first time - page 4

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

  1. by   semstr
    Mario, the only thing I can say here:
    you are never "just" the nurse, first of all you always are a Mensch.
    ((((((((Mario)))))))))))
  2. by   Mattigan
    Mario- I've went to several funerals of patients and glad I did. There was a little girl who was in & out of our unit with illness for about 3 years who died at age 7. I took her balloons to the funeral home the night before but was unable to attend the funeral. Her mother came to my office a few weeks later and shared a poem she had written about me and the hospital experience that she had published in an anthology of creative writing at the university. She said she looked for all of us at the funeral but didn't see me and wanted me to know she would never forget what the nurses had given to her family.

    I don't go to all funerals- but there just are patients and families that I become closer to and it just seems to make sense to me to be there.

    Some nurses on the unit don't feel that way and will not go to services and that's okay, too. It's a very personal decision.
  3. by   mario_ragucci
    Now I should start looking in the paper or online to at least show my face and complete my concern and care. But (blah, blah, blah) work everyday and am getting ready for school. She would understand, but I need to understand too. If there was a funeral with a wake, it would be hard for me to see her beautiful at death. Because of my visual nature, the image would be associated with her, and i have all i need to complete a beautiful memory of a wonderful person in reality andin my imagination. Seeing a PT dead, even in respect, would corrupt other data in my brain and bomb my limbic, which is fine, but my imagination works.
    I will make an attempt to search on internet or something. No one at work talks about her to me; we're always buzy and you know. I did talk to the nurse who cared for her, with me, on the shift the day she died. I could tell she, like me, felt sorrow. Okay.
  4. by   micro
    Originally posted by SuperMan!
    Wow! This really is a good place (website) for a nurse ! Where else can you find people who truely understands to it's depth what we come face to face everyday! Thanks Mario for sharing your heart and trusting us with it.
    what a super thing to say.....

    To a ? a few posts back.....

    Do I go to funerals of patients, etc.
    Only to one related to a patient/resident.....for some reason felt drawn to....never sorry I went.....
    But generally I don't......
    I have to draw the detachment line somewhere for myself.....because I care so deeply..........

    but sometimes seeing so much suffering and death does get to even the toughest skinned nurse(of which i am not)

    later and off to another eight of this thing I call nursing.........

    micro
  5. by   stevierae
    Originally posted by mario_ragucci
    Has anyone ever went to the funeral of a PT, or looked in the
    o*****uaries for PT's they were friends with and then died?

    Perhaps going to a funeral would be too much, if I saw Mr. U, we
    certainly would cry. (sad smile)


    Mario, nothing wrong with crying; nothing wrong with going to the funeral, either. I am sure the family would be very touched that you cared enough.

    When I was a younger nurse, in the '80s, they always told us, and the surgeons, that it was "inappropriate" to go to patients' funerals. I never did see WHY it was inappropriate, but I figured they were more experienced and smarter than I was. Now, I wish I had gone. I think anyone should go with their gut instinct in this matter, and disregard others' ideas of "appropriateness."

    I, too, remember my first patient death, VERY vividly, patient's face, name, everything.

    I was called in as the scrub nurse on a trauma; a car crash. Walked through ER on way to OR and stopped in to trauma room to speak to patient briefly and introduce myself. I was a fairly new grad, working in the OR.

    Patient was awake and talking; did not seem that bad; neck and chest lacerations seemed superficial. He had fluid running, and his pressure was WNL, at least at that moment.

    He said he fell asleep at the steering wheel, and crashed into a tree, and the spokes from his steering wheel made the lacerations and punctures on his neck and chest, upon impact.

    He also said, "I'm so afraid I'm going to die!"

    I, foolishly, but sincerely, said, "We won't let you die."

    Well, you can guess what happened. He died, sure enough, on the OR table.

    Worst part is, he went to his death without telling the whole truth about his injuries. It was a HOMICIDE.

    Yes, he DID crash, after losing consciousness at the wheel. He didn't fall asleep--he apparently briefly lost consciousness from a chest wound, made by a KNIFE, BEFORE he started driving. This particular laceration severed a major vessel. All the bleeding was internal, and apparently slow. He apparently was protecting someone, or was scared to tell.

    Had he told the ER crew he had been stabbed, he would have been transfused and had big lines inserted in the ER, and the surgeons would have done a thoracotomy; he certainly would have gone to the OR IMMEDIATELY, without the wasted time in ER. He might have even had his chest cracked in the ER. They would have probably hooked him up to some sort of autotransfuser, like the CellSaver, while in the ER.

    Instead, we wasted a lot of time exploring and suturing all the external lacerations, believed to have been caused by the steering wheel.

    I have dreams about this patient to this day. I wish I had gone to the funeral and at least said a word or two to his family.
    Last edit by stevierae on Aug 9, '02
  6. by   hapeewendy
    Mario one of the many reasons I like you so much is because of your huge heart and compassion for others.
    we all deal with death differently , I used to deal particularly badly with death having lost quite a few important people in my life before the age of 20, since becoming a nurse I have witnessed death in all its forms - peaceful, traumatic,untimely and yes even beautiful.
    however hard it is - and it IS terribly hard to deal with the death of our patients, you , on that day, were part of something..... you were there for someone when they needed you most. You had a very significant role in this womans life.
    We are human beings, love it or hate it we fill up with emotions that range from anger, hurt, love , sadness and happiness...this is what makes you who you are.
    I like many of the other posters here can feel your pain and send you hugs and support thru the modem lines, I have no incredible words of wisdom to offer ...but then again, on the subject of the loss of someone we care about , who does?
  7. by   2amigos
    I want to thank all the the people that aren't afraid to show that they care about a pt. My father died from cancer on Christmas Eve in 1990. He was diagnosed a year before he died and thankfully he wasn't "sick" until about a week before he died. His intestines blocked and the cancer had metastised (sp) and we knew that this would be "it". I will never forget the personell that came into his room. They always spoke to my father with respect and kindness......not pity..... My father was Air Force all his life and he died at an AF hospital. The people always referred to his rank, even though he was retired military. My father was in a coma the last 24 hours or so and still the respect was shown to him and our family. When my father did die, it was so peaceful and such a release for him. I was moved and touched that the people that had taken such wonderful care for him cried openly with us. I told one of them how much it meant to us that my father wasn't "just a person in a bed to them", that he meant something to everyone that came in contact with him. The medical personnel made a difference to ALL of us when it mattered so very much. I was amazed that some of them even came to his funeral....two days after Christmas. What a tribute to my father AND to the people that cared for him in the hospital. I have never forgotten that and I can only hope and pray that I can be that kind of nurse once I get through the schooling. To all of you that are doing the job now, I salute you and thank you. You make such a difference. Thank you!!!!!!!
  8. by   Tookie
    Mario
    what a wonderful thread - l know this started with great sadness for you- however out of this has been so many great expressions of what in many ways nursing is about.
    Like many l remember my first - and may others - some l go some of their funerals - most l dont - l dont want to intrude unless l feel really close and that l wont intrude

    However just as a side issue l would like to comment that my daughter said to me a few days ago Her flatmate is astonished at her attitude to death (my daughter is 20 she would come into work and help out with the residents from a very young age - ie fetes etc) ) She beleives that death is part of life - and that it is part of a cycle and that we have to accept that people die and we need to make the most of where we are nowand with the person who is dying to accept that death will eventually happen to all of us) because l would come home from work and say to the family that so and so is dead- She would have meet them and realise that life goes on. - Many young people are not always exposed to death - l think we should express our sadness/ surprise and or anger - what ever the feeling - so that we learn to 'cope'

    Mario - getting back to your post - Thank you - this is in so many ways what nursing is about - getting close, giving a bit of yourself and caring - --However now, you must take the next step to learn to accept that death is part of it , you contribute with your care - you are there to care - and accepting that death is part of what we do is so important to being a nurse without becoming blase.

    Good luck - you are well on to your way of making an excellent caring nurse.

    Tookie


    -
  9. by   purplemania
    I hope you never get "used" to people dying. This shows you are a caring person. Does your facility have a chaplain? Ours is of a different denomination than I but he has had training in counseling the bereaved (you). He has helped me. I work in pedi's and sometimes death is a blessing, but it is never what we want. Reaching out to us was the right thing to do. Death, like life, has more value when shared.
  10. by   mario_ragucci
    Thank you all so very much from the bottom of my heart. I still think about Mrs. U, and almost experienced limbic overload during my first dance session after her death. I kept thinking about the fact she could not dance, yet smiled and gave me twinkle eyes despite not being able to dance. I guess its normal, but I felt so guilty for dancing now.
    There ar many people I care for who have no legs, but yet are the center of my attention for 8 hours at a time. They are some brave people to be holding on because I can't imagine not having my legs, or the ability to eat whatever and whenever I want. I love those folks for inspiring me to do anything physical.
    Now I know I'm getting older, because of the way i feel about this, thanks to you all for helping me.
    I still think our lives and deaths are pretty much happening the way they appear...a start and an end. It's all the inbetwen that we love to enjoy. All the heart beats...all the breaths...all the meals...and all the dancing and thinking.
    I love that woman for turning me on to life like I have not been turned on to life before.
    I'm sorry to ramble on :-(
  11. by   micro
    Originally posted by mario_ragucci
    Thank you all so very much from the bottom of my heart. I still think about Mrs. U, and almost experienced limbic overload during my first dance session after her death. I kept thinking about the fact she could not dance, yet smiled and gave me twinkle eyes despite not being able to dance. I guess its normal, but I felt so guilty for dancing now.....................................
    I still think our lives and deaths are pretty much happening the way they appear...a start and an end. It's all the inbetwen that we love to enjoy. All the heart beats...all the breaths...all the meals...and all the dancing and thinking.
    I love that woman for turning me on to life like I have not been turned on to life before.
    I'm sorry to ramble on :-(
    Mario,
    What a great nurse you will be. Already great in the care that you give. Mr. and Mrs. U saw this in you. Don't feel guilty about dancing, because she could not.
    There are different ways to *dance*.
    Thanks for the reminder to all of us old "burned-out" nurses that we are there to do so much...........from the technical/medical to just those few extra moments of a touch and eye contact.
    Micro
  12. by   Crankyoldnurse
    Hey, Mario! Nice to see guys going into nursing!

    It never gets easy when your patient dies and you've been attached to them. You will learn over time not to let it get to you so much. It can cause depression and stuff if you hang on to it.

    If she was tired and ready, comfort was the way to go.Sounds like she had lots of problems and was tired of it. It's hard, but you'll do OK.
  13. by   micro
    Hey, Old Cranky Nurse.............

    micro here..........

    sounds a lots of experience.......that you do or not equally......share............
    hey, let us know when us has gone along..............
    into this universe is a song
    micro
    Last edit by micro on Aug 11, '02

close