Howdy ya'll...gotta vent or else I may just make some stupid decision like quit nursing and run a bar for nurses, LOL!
I work in a busy central ICU..this means that we do all MICU, SICU, CCU, Neuro, etc. In the last 7 shifts ( 5 of them together), I have ran about 6 code blues on patients that were kept lingering with up to 5 cardiac drips, vents, PEG's and multiple lines because family members were not given good direct information about the very real possibility that we are just making their loved one suffer. Now I know that there are modern day drugs and miracles happen all the time, however, when the poor 80lb 80yo male is having chest compressions for the 4th time that day and has been burned twice by the defibrillator, IN FRONT OF THE FAMILY and they ask why he is "crunching" when we do compressions....I get a little angry. These people have been told he is not going to get better and that we are now making him suffer and that it is inhumane to keep doing this to him. I was able to get DNR's for 2 people who were anoxic brains and the family asked for the code to be stopped because I gave them the truth and let them know that it is ok to let your loved one die with dignity and not suffer.
How come we as a people will take our dogs who have been run over and irreperably damaged to the vet to die in peace and yet we will make a family member suffer so? :angryfire I came home yesterday from the run of 12's and cried for over an hour, and I normally don't cry unless I am really mad. I know I can't change how people treat the death of a family member however I am willing to give full disclosure and trust to the person who is making decisions about their loved ones, so that they can know it is ok to let go when the time is right. I think a lot of nurses are scared of DNR's and scared to take responsibilty to talk to the family. This is sad.
My grandparents decided to have out of hospital DNR's when they had terminal illnesses and they both died at home peacefully with family around them and I was able to care for them until the end.
I guess I just got overwhelmed with the multiple codes on patients with little chance to recover at all......Thanks for listening to this ramble.