Pt's Last Wish

  1. I am a senior nursing student in a BS major of Nursing program, and I had a very interesting experience that I thought I should share. My pt was very old and in the last hours of end stage cancer when I finished my clinical. I really liked the pt, and we formed a freindship, playing cards, drinking coffee and listening to stories about a full and wonderful life. He seemed to be hanging on for something (he was an in hospital hospice pt and was only on pain meds).
    I discovered that he wanted to see his wife one last time, so I had her called to the hospital while I cleaned him, shaved and dressed him and got him ready to see his special lady for what he insisted would be the last time. I left them holding hands at the bedside together when I reported off and went to school to take an exam. When I returned to the hospital after my test (with more Starbucks coffee) - I learned that he passes away a few hours after I left, holding his wifes hand - just as I left them together. I will always remember them this way - how they were smiling. This is the first pt that I have taken care of that has passeed away so close to my working with them. I will always remember how happy they seemed, and will always be proud to have been a small part of that last day by making him feel that he had what he needed to look good for his lady.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Dixielee
    These are the moments that keep you going when the rest of the world is caving around you. Thank you for doing such a loving and caring thing for this man and his family. It is nice when you can make a difference.
  4. by   kat911
    What a wonderful experience. Those kinds of Nursing situations is what makes it all worthwhile.:smilecoffeecup:
  5. by   BrnEyedGirl
    always remember how this experience has made you feel,..in the future it may just remind you why continue coming to work everyday!
    Best of Luck to You!
  6. by   weetziebat
    Yes, while not a good time, these kind of experiences are what you remember when you are seriously looking at changing jobs to become a Wal*Mart greeter.

    I work in hospice and my patients always give me far more than I can give them. You have a right to be proud of yourself. You did good! Congrats.
  7. by   clemmm78
    Working in palliative care has allowed me many special moments like that. it makes it all worthwhile.
  8. by   Simplepleasures
    This is truly what keeps many a nurse going when times get tough. Wouldnt it be wondeful if nurses had more time to interact with their patients in this manner? Maybe one day.....
  9. by   nurse_clown
    [font="comic sans ms"][color="dimgray"]that was a good experience. i work in palliative care too. death doesn't have to be a bad or a sad thing. and it's not like palliative care is slow or not challenging. sometimes we have to run to allieviate someone's suffering. sometimes we have to take on a little more emotion than we'd like and shout at the docs for not ordering the stuff patients need. but, i'm very thankful that i can do the job i do. i also appreciate working only the night shift.

    i'm glad that experience happened to you. best of luck to you. your thread came at the right time. i was feeling pretty tired and i have a night shift tonight. now, i'm a little more pumped to go :smilecoffeecup:
  10. by   ChuckieRN
    Thank you for taking the time to help this loving couple and share this wonderful story. You will be a great nurse. Best wishes.
  11. by   Princess74
    Thanks for what you did, I know it must have made a huge inpact on that sweet couple. You truely did a wonderful thing, your going to make a great nurse!
  12. by   GPatty
    What a blessing. And what a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing....
  13. by   aaa rn
    Five years ago, one of my infant patients died. I just heard (via e-mail)from this baby's mother--she wished me a Happy Thanksgiving. Five years out, and I'm still a part of her thoughts. Remember these times, cuz sometimes nursing is very hard--but the benefits outweigh the hardships.
    Good luck in your caring career.

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