The Patients Who Break Your Heart - page 6

From the earliest days of nursing school, when we were taught never to become "too involved" with our patients, we nurses find ourselves balancing precariously on the gossamer thread that separates caring for people and caring... Read More

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    After reading this article it instantly brought me back to the facility I work at, One resident I had bonded with when I started out in dietary, she was the nicest lady and always cheered me up when I was having the worst day. She had moved to the facility I am currently working in and lasted for about another year. The last I spoke to her, I was going in the next day for heel surgery. While I was recovering she had passed when I didn't see her name on the list. I just sat there shocked and when I went home I cried because I wasn't there to say a good bye. It is hard to watch a patient/ resident go that you care for. But somehow you just manage to pull through and move on.

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  2. 1
    Thanks for sharing this. I was very moved by your words. I don't work directly with patients, but I work directly with nurses, and you have helped me understand more about their experience.

    Wendy Leebov
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  3. 1
    Oh I about cried so many times reading these stories. I have told my story so much about the little boy I use to take care of and wrote the article My Little Mandona (translation "Bossy"). But it is so touching to read how everyone has been touched by a patient or their family. Those are the ones that will stay in your mind forever.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  4. 1
    Your story really touched my heart. You did what you could do and all you could do. You were his nurse and you helped him with compassion and caring and I bet at the end, he thought about that as well.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  5. 3
    Many patients break my heart. One especially...a middle age mute and deaf man was hit and run by a stupid car while crossing a road, came in to ICU severely injured. Surgeon, intensivist, residents, nurses, pharmacist and respiratory therapist in room trying to save his life. But his lungs collapsed and died. His wife also mute and deaf came in yell as loud as she could and banging on anything she could touch (she couldn't hear), it broke the heart of every single person on the floor. Everyone in tears including the normally cold hearted doctors. His wife later brought in their two healthy 4 and 5 years old sons, again it makes all of us cry. Second day, she called trying to thanks the nurses by tapping the phone (that's is how mute and deaf people communicate thru the phone). I can never forget that day...
  6. 0
    Quote from flightnurse2b
    the first patient to break my heart was my first pediatric code. it makes me cry to think about it. i remember her name, the date, what she was wearing, everything. i was a newly graduated medic who worked for a small county. we repeatedly visited the same address to pick up a "clumsy" 3-year-old. her mother couldnt have been older than 19, and dad didnt speak english, but he was always yelling at her in spanish. we trekked this baby girl to the ER with bruises, fractures and bloody noses atleast twice a month. i mentioned to the ED staff that maybe social services needed to be called in. that just made it worse. the mother begged with them not to do anything. she didnt want to be deported. she swore that baby girl was just a clumsy toddler and that no one was hurting her. it was out of my hands. the last time we picked up the baby girl, she wasn't breathing anymore. she had blood coming from every orifice in her body. her mother was screaming histerically in the front yard. i radioed for the police to please hurry. i picked up baby girl in my arms and rushed her to the back of my rig. i did everything i could. PALS was not enough to save her broken little body. i followed her through the ED, contuining compressions with sweat dripping down my face. after an hour of compressions, 6 shocks and 4 rounds of meds, the ED doc came up behind me and said, "allison... you need to stop now. shes gone." i just wanted to hold her and tell her how sorry i was that her life was the way it was. i just wanted to take her pain away. i was so mad at everything.. why couldnt i save her? why didnt anyone else care? she was just a baby!!!! upon autopsy, it was found that she died from a perforated bowel... the day she died, she was sodomized and beaten so badly by her father, that it took her life. i sat in the back of the ambulance that night and cried for baby girl. i prayed that her parents would be put in jail forever and never be allowed to have more children. but when i think about her now... i know that her life with god is better than any life she ever had here.

    I just wanted to remind everyone that most, if not all, states have mandatory reporting laws to CPS and that it is the responsibility of the person who suspects abuse to report the suspicion (not the person you hand care off to). There is no reason to feel guilty for reporting because if the family has nothing to hide then nothing further will happen and, sadly, it often takes multiple reports to get real results. This story is increadibly tragic and frustrating due to the fact that the person that wrote it could have prevented the childs death.
  7. 4
    Quote from SaraSRN
    I just wanted to remind everyone that most, if not all, states have mandatory reporting laws to CPS and that it is the responsibility of the person who suspects abuse to report the suspicion (not the person you hand care off to). There is no reason to feel guilty for reporting because if the family has nothing to hide then nothing further will happen and, sadly, it often takes multiple reports to get real results. This story is increadibly tragic and frustrating due to the fact that the person that wrote it could have prevented the childs death.
    ah, the self righteousness of youth, ....much i would like to say to you would, i am sure, be againt the TOS...
    but how could you be so unkind? have you not done your psych rotation yet? did you not see the part about her being very new to this job? did you not see the pain?
    Christy1019, ttmm2008, mmm cdiff, and 1 other like this.
  8. 2
    we don't judge here saraSRN.

    I wish this poster, and the poster who wrote about the little girl on the bus, had called CPS too, because you're right, they could have potentially made a difference in these kids lives, but for whatever reason they didn't.

    they'll probably regret not acting differently forever. I don't think they need to be told.
    Psych RN-BC and ttmm2008 like this.
  9. 1
    Wow... that's really all I can say! Thanks to all for sharing!
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  10. 1
    Love this thread, in my 2nd year of nursing training in the UK and already have a a "collection" of bittersweet memories very deep down from people I have cared for.

    I think the patient that affected me the most was a middle-aged lady on my first ever ward placement as a very new 1st year. She had a multitude of problems, including bowel issues causing weight loss & pain. The Dr's had found breast & lung mets but hadn't yet found a primary when I first met her in the middle of a heat wave - unbearable in a stuffy 6-bedded ward! One morning I went to see her and she seemed incredibly low. She had quite an anxious nature anyway, something the trained staff had been quite scathing about behind her back (to my anger), but she seemed particularly down that day. I sat down with her and chatted for a few minutes, she revealed how frightened she was that she would die, and that it would be in hospital rather than with her family. She also said that she just felt hot and sweaty and sticky and miserable and would love a shower, but her fragile state meant she had been having mobility issues and she'd been making do with the dreaded basin at the bedside, as the staff hadn't "had time" to shower her. I scurried off to check with her named nurse that it would be okay for me to give her an assisted shower, and got the thumbs-up.

    I used a commode to wheel the lady into the shower so that she didn't need to move too much, and spent 20 mins giving her a hand to get washed, dried and dressed again. I also gave her a brief scalp massage whilst shampooing her hair - I'm a trained massage therapist - and we had a good giggle the whole way through. I helped settle her back to bed, and when I came back to help her blow dry her hair she was glowing - it really moved me to see how much difference such a small act had made. She knew I was very early in my training, and heaped praise upon me, telling me what a great nurse I was going to be etc etc. I was sure she was just being kind but it was lovely to hear at the time, and I was grateful to her for boosting my non-existent confidence.

    A day or too later I saw the palliative team sitting with her, and learned that they'd found the primary Ca which was inoperable. I spent a little more time with her before she was transferred to another ward, during which time her greatest fear was still dying in the hospital. After she transferred, I seriously considered going to visit her in the other ward, but decided against it, realising it could upset her and was probably borne more of a need for my own reassurance.

    A month or so later, I read in the local paper that she had passed away very peacefully in a local hospice (which is a fantastic and highly-rated facility), surrounded by her family. I cried a little that she had gone, but felt so relieved she hadn't had to die in the hospital where some of the staff were, at best, indifferent. The hospice would have treated her properly, with dignity, respect and compassion, which sadly isn't the case in the particular hospital I was working in.

    it might not sound much, but I will never ever forget her name and the huge difference she made to me; I am a very emotional and sensitive person - something I am regularly teased about by other nurses - and my experience with her cemented my passion for caring one-on-one with patients. Yes, maybe it kills me a bit inside sometimes, but I am honoured to spend time with people at their most vulnerable and needy, and to see them for who they are, not what they have wrong with them. I cherish the fact I can, and do cry at the end of shifts sometimes. As nurses, I believe we are blessed and humbled by the humanity we care for, and I'm proud that I'll be able to call myself a registered nurse in just over a years time.
    hp79 likes this.


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