I don't know how you nurses deal with death - page 5

by Poochiewoochie 6,791 Views | 44 Comments

Today I sat and watched as my mother lay dying in her bed at the NH. Horrible-not like in the movies at all. I sort of knew what to expect but actually seeing someone die is a lot harder than most can imagine. Her lungs were so... Read More


  1. 0
    I completely echo the sentiments of WoosahRN. That is why I do what I do. Of course, the goal is to save a patient's life in my line of work (ICU), but when death is inevitable, I find comfort in knowing that I'm able to provide comfort to the patient and family during that time, and ensure that I can make them as comfortable as possible through suctioning and as needed med administration. Also advocacy for patients when I see that time approaching as they can't speak for themselves. I'm sorry for your loss.
  2. 0
    Quote from SaoirseRN
    I'm sorry! Somehow I misread that, my apologies, Poochiewoochie.
    That's okay.
  3. 0
    I work in a long-term care facility & I've watched several people die. Not everyone dies the same way. Some struggle, some fall asleep & stop breathing. I like that I can make dying people more comfortable. There are certain positions that help people breathe easier. Medications can be a great help, too. Suction can be applied for the fluid in the mouth, however it doesn't appear to ease the suffering. It's more for the family so they don't THINK they are suffering as much. Some families don't want to watch the last hours of life. In that case we try to keep someone in the room holding their hand, until they pass. Most of the residents we've known for years. They have become part of our family too, so we may cry too but in private.
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    Quote from merrywhiterose
    I work in a long-term care facility & I've watched several people die. Not everyone dies the same way. Some struggle, some fall asleep & stop breathing. I like that I can make dying people more comfortable. There are certain positions that help people breathe easier. Medications can be a great help, too. Suction can be applied for the fluid in the mouth, however it doesn't appear to ease the suffering. It's more for the family so they don't THINK they are suffering as much. Some families don't want to watch the last hours of life. In that case we try to keep someone in the room holding their hand, until they pass. Most of the residents we've known for years. They have become part of our family too, so we may cry too but in private.

    IMO I don't know how anyone can say they don't suffer when they died the way my Mom did. People who say this have never been there themselves so they really have no idea and no one has come back to say, hey, even though I looked like I suffered when I died I really didn't.
  5. 0
    Quote from Poochiewoochie

    IMO I don't know how anyone can say they don't suffer when they died the way my Mom did. People who say this have never been there themselves so they really have no idea and no one has come back to say, hey, even though I looked like I suffered when I died I really didn't.
    Many people do pass peacefully, and we know that because they are calm and exhibit all the signs of comfort. People tell us a lot without ever saying a word.

    However, there are who don't pass peacefully, whether it's because of inexperienced doctors and nurses, or sometimes, despite our best efforts they just do. My worst was a man in his forties, whose symptoms I just could not manage despite maxing out his meds and multiple calls to his physician.

    I am sorry this was the case with your mother. I would like to think the nurses did everything they could, even if it did not take away all of her pain. It is because of these people, those like your mother and the man I mentioned above, that I am taking a course next week on end of life care, so maybe I can bring back with me some new techniques and knowledge that will only benefit those for whom I care.


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