Dead bodies?

  1. Last night we had four codes. All of them ended badly (Patients died). One of my functions is to bring the bodies to the morgue, and this was my first time handling a dead person. I had to tag them and put them in a bag etc. I'll be honest, it gave me the creeps. I was acting like it didn't bother me, but on the inside I was a wreck. I hate to say it but the more people that died last night, the easier the job became. The real hospital is nothing like Grey's Anatomy makes it seem lol
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  2. 57 Comments

  3. by   Biffbradford
    Sad to say, but TV can't touch real live and death.
  4. by   healthstar
    Wow!So sad and scary, I don't think I could sleep. Do you work in ICU?
  5. by   DixieRedHead
    Welcome to the Bigs.
  6. by   oklahomagal
    I know this is totally insensitive... but when I saw the title... I thought about this song.. " Let the bodies hit the floor....."
    Last edit by oklahomagal on Nov 19, '11
  7. by   mustlovepoodles
    Handling dead bodies doesn't creep me out, but I have to admit if i had to do it 4 times in one night I would be a little squicked. TV hospitals can't hold a candle to what happens in a real hospital. I can't think of any code I've ever been in that went from pre-cordial thump(cuz you know they have to pound someone's chest!) to awake, smiling, and ready for lunch just before commercial break. Hope you have a better night coming up
  8. by   kirbycruiser
    Wow. I had no idea nurses were responsible for transporting the dead to the morgue. Not something I will be looking forward to.
  9. by   carolmaccas66
    It's not bad or anything that you got used to doing this.
    It's your brain's way of keeping you sane. And sweetie, the dead cannot hurt you. Their troubles are over.
    When I help out with the dead (I'm agency so haven't been down to a morgue in a long time - orderlies do that), I touch their hand & say a quick prayer. I say a prayer with the family if they are religious. Then I sing a happy tune in my head to get me thru the ordeal.
    And mate, dealing with the living is FAR MORE HORRENDOUS than dealing with dead people.
  10. by   xtxrn
    Quote from kirbycruiser
    Wow. I had no idea nurses were responsible for transporting the dead to the morgue. Not something I will be looking forward to.
    Yeppers. If you're the one that can most safely leave the floor, it's you, usually someone else to help with the stretcher, and the body.

    I never minded dead folks. They weren't in there anymore. I DID mind when whoever did post-mortem care didn't lay the bed flat, and for whatever reason it took time to get a chance to move them to the morgue- and they were still at whatever angle the bed was..... like THAT is something you can camouflage going down the hall.

    My max in one night was 3 at a LTC....two were expected, the third was just tired of being old, I guess. Back then, I had to call the medical examiner to release the body (Illinois). He'd ask if it was expected, if anything was unusual. The first one- ok .....second one- well, OK .... third one- "What in the world are you people doing over there tonight?"
  11. by   Anisettes
    If it helps, don't think of them as dead bodies (if you can). Think of them as sleeping if it helps. That's about the only the thing I can think of to help you. The dead don't bother me, never have, even as a kid. And I've certainly seen enough bodies in my career to take any fear away if it had existed.

    On a farm animals die all the time, so maybe I was desensitized early on. But then I've also never been afraid of dying either (only dying in pain), so maybe that's another reason I can't empathize. I'm more afraid of the living and what they get up to than any dead body.

    CS Lewis wrote "You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” The dead are just our empty containers, something no longer of any use. Try to think of them like that, as packaging that's no longer needed, it might help.
    Last edit by Anisettes on Nov 19, '11 : Reason: spelling
  12. by   Anisettes
    Quote from kirbycruiser
    Wow. I had no idea nurses were responsible for transporting the dead to the morgue. Not something I will be looking forward to.
    I think it depends on where you are. When I lived in NYC, the nurses did post-mortem care and transported bodies down to the morgue. But when I lived in Las Vegas, we still did post-mortem care, but either the ME's office or the funeral parlor came round to collect the body directly from the unit. I don't even know if UMC had a morgue. If they did, I never saw it.
  13. by   umcRN
    Quote from kirbycruiser
    Wow. I had no idea nurses were responsible for transporting the dead to the morgue. Not something I will be looking forward to.
    I work NICU and pediatric cardiac ICU. Any body that is small enough to be swaddled and carried to the morgue I will do so for, I find it's a small comfort to the family for them to know their child won't be "left alone" as soon as they leave.
  14. by   CapeCodMermaid
    First job out of school working at the local hospital. A patient died. The supervisor asked me to go to the morgue with the orderly. Being my usual fresh self, I asked if he was afraid to take the body by himself. She said it was hospital policy since the. Dead person was female and they wanted to make sure the body wasn't 'violated'. Eeewwww. That thought was worse than going to the morgue.

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