Life, Death, and the Nurse In Between - page 3
He was an elderly patient, unresponsive and on comfort measures only, when I met him at 8:00am that morning. The staff had guessed based on his current state that he would pass away that evening, or perhaps overnight. I was... Read More
- 0Oct 12, '13 by pj__Hi, I usually browse this site to look for answers to my questions, but your post has inspired me to sign up and become a member. I want to thank you for sharing this story because this is one of my fears. As a new graduate nurse and also a recent hire in a Long term care facility I know that these situations will eventually happen to me, and I fear it because I am a person who likes to look at things through others perspective and I dread the pain and sadness that I will feel when I do encounter such a situation.
Again Thank you so much and also to the other nurses who have posted advice in this thread because me reading them has also helped me as well.
- 0Oct 12, '13 by aking0716This is so beautifully written. I am currently an LPN student but have worked for the past 6 years as a CNA in various nursing homes. And although I have lost countless patients, I still get emotional for each one's passing. Just this week, I lost a woman that I have provided care to for the past 2 years and it was heartbreaking. And your instructors comment about when it doesn't affect you it's time to look for a new job is so true. I have been ridiculed and scolded for my emotional responses and it's by staff who should've left this job long ago. In my experience, the families appreciate seeing staff that have been moved by their loved one's passing. It lets them know that they were truly loved and well cared for.
- 0Oct 12, '13 by aking0716I think what you did for that man is incredible. I work as a CNA at the moment but am now an LPN student. I always make the time to sit with a patient that is at the end of life and hold their hand and talk to them. Many of my co-workers think I'm crazy and wasting my time, but honestly I feel better when I know that they aren't spending their last few moments alone. I would hope that someone would take the time for me and sit with me if I were in that bed.
- 0Oct 14, '13 by bluegraceThank you so much for posting this. You have no idea how much this just comforted me. I am a pre-nursing student volunteering at the emergency department at a local hospital. It is the only Level I Trauma Center in my state, so I knew when I was assigned there that I would be in for some crazy things. This morning, I overheard some of the patient care techs say that a patient was coding. I may not be a nurse, but I definitely know what that means. The patient had been brought in by ambulance for shortness of breath, but went into cardiac arrest as soon as they went into their room. I've never seen a code before, so when I walked near the patient's pod later on, I couldn't help but take a peek to see what was going on. The moment I entered the pod, I saw a massive group of people crowded around the patient's room; they had started doing frantic compressions. I walked out of the pod dazed, and I felt sick to my stomach. The rest of my shift, I was petrified that I would hear that they pronounced the patient (they didn't, they managed to stabilize them to start assessing). Seeing the patient's family didn't help at all; when they came in, they had no idea the patient had coded. They had no idea that their loved was one on the verge of death, but I did, and I had to fake it so that they didn't freak out in the waiting room. I felt even worse when I saw that in the midst of this, the nurses and doctors around me acted completely unemotional; some were even happy as if nothing was wrong. The emotional disconnect in some of the people terrified me. When I left the ER this morning, I thought that I was going to have to give up my heart and soul or something in order to work as a nurse. This article and the comments have made me feel so much better. I don't know quite how I will handle my patients' deaths, but I know that I am not alone in my struggles. The nurses and doctors do feel sad and aren't emotionless robots like I feared. And I shouldn't feel so sad, but more honored that I will be able to help people in their darkest hour, just like I always wanted. Thank you so much.