A New Nursing Grad Witnesses a Death - page 2

Many times during my career, I'd have a flashback while I went about my daily routines. I would be right back in the classroom, hearing all over again what an instructor had to say... ... Read More

  1. Visit  MN-Nurse profile page
    1
    Quote from Trandazzo
    Very touching, thank you for being with her in her final moments, we need more just like you!

    MN-Nurse, you are entitled to your opinions but please don't speak them as fact (especially since you said "but that doesn't matter"), I'm sure you have never experienced the "afterlife" as you are speaking here today, so please show a little more tact in your posts.
    Of course I haven't experienced an "afterlife"; there isn't one. Consciousness doesn't survive without a functioning nervous system. This is not an opinion.

    And if stating an opinion about supernatural beliefs is, as you seem to imply, tactless, then please admonish all those who state beliefs on the subject either way - negatively or positively.

    The reason I pointed out that "It doesn't matter" is that we take care of patients regardless of whether we think we will meet them later in a supernatural realm.
    Orizza likes this.
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  3. Visit  Vespertinas profile page
    0
    You seem to be confusing the words "fact" and "opinion".
  4. Visit  FORTHELOVEOF!!!! profile page
    2
    MN-nurse

    I'm not saying that you cannot state your opinion but to state it as fact is TACTLESS! The afterlife is a BELIEF, not something you can explain away. In one of your posts you rediculed another nurse for not informing herself of a patients beliefs before she said it's time to meet Jesus, rightly so, she should have. My point is, the OP stated what her belief was in her post and you dismissed it as if she were foolish, that is hypocritical and tactless, I stand behind my post.
    njgrl622 and CompleteUnknown like this.
  5. Visit  CompleteUnknown profile page
    3
    Quote from ruthalittle
    It really is very sad how few people do this. Sadder still, I think, were the number of nurses & CNA's who mocked me when I did it. Several made statements in the room, with the patient, such as "Why do you always tell him what you're going to do? He can't hear you." Some laughed in front of the patient. Although it's been many years since I've experienced this, it still makes me sad to think of it.
    I was taught that sitting with a patient who is dying is part of my job, and I was also taught to talk to unconscious patients and tell them what I am about to do. I think most of us were weren't we?

    Very very sad indeed if there are some who feel it's unnecessary, I consider it an honour to be present and sitting beside the bed, holding a hand or stroking an arm, or talking softly to a patient, or just being there, when they die.
  6. Visit  wamchiong profile page
    3
    I just read the story and it is very touching. Nowadays, because of too much workload, sometimes we forget to really accompany our patients in their bedside. Just for a moment. It is wonderful that by sharing this story, I am refreshed and reminded of what our other job description is, that is, to provide spiritual care. Thanks a lot!
  7. Visit  leslie :-D profile page
    1
    i truly hope this thread doesn't become sidetracked, about whether there is an afterlife or not.
    (however, it would be an awesome subject for another thread, yes?)
    andrea, nicely done.
    it's always heartening to hear of peaceful deaths.
    i wish dying and death, was talked about more frequently and openly.
    managed correctly, there is nothing to fear.

    andrea, just something to keep in mind with future deaths.
    when you saw mildred's face relax, to me, that was indicative of her needing more pain mgmt prior to her death.
    our ideal, is to attain that *relaxed* facial expression when active dying begins.
    clearly, your heart and desire are in the right place and for a first death, you handled it exceptionally well.
    bravo to you. (i miss my balloons. )

    leslie
    Andrea K. Penney likes this.
  8. Visit  AJPV profile page
    2
    What a powerful example of the kind of nurse I want to be. I was recently really bothered by a very different example of nursing I witnessed in an ICU. The patient was a woman who spoke no english. There was no way to communicate with her verbally in any detail without using the translation phone. But it really bothered me that the nurse I observed didn't say a single word to her. The nurse simply walked in and started "doing" things to her without even a smile, a kind word, or an empathetic touch (even though she might not have understood it). The nurse was not exactly gentle either. Many hours passed during the shift with no attempt to communicate with the patient through ANY means - verbal or nonverbal. It strikes me as odd that people regularly "talk" to their dogs and cats and we all know that these animals pick up emotional meaning from this even though they don't understand the words and yet we don't think that our unconscious patients or those who speak another language need to hear our voices. Not coincidentally, this nurse later told me that the nurse's goal was to complete 2 years in the ICU to be eligible for CRNA school. That was the end-goal for this nurse, not CARING for patients.
  9. Visit  Andrea K. Penney profile page
    2
    Quote from AJPV
    What a powerful example of the kind of nurse I want to be. I was recently really bothered by a very different example of nursing I witnessed in an ICU. The patient was a woman who spoke no english. There was no way to communicate with her verbally in any detail without using the translation phone. But it really bothered me that the nurse I observed didn't say a single word to her. The nurse simply walked in and started "doing" things to her without even a smile, a kind word, or an empathetic touch (even though she might not have understood it). The nurse was not exactly gentle either. Many hours passed during the shift with no attempt to communicate with the patient through ANY means - verbal or nonverbal. It strikes me as odd that people regularly "talk" to their dogs and cats and we all know that these animals pick up emotional meaning from this even though they don't understand the words and yet we don't think that our unconscious patients or those who speak another language need to hear our voices. Not coincidentally, this nurse later told me that the nurse's goal was to complete 2 years in the ICU to be eligible for CRNA school. That was the end-goal for this nurse, not CARING for patients.

    So sorry you had this experience. Starting in 1979, I worked 12 years full time in ICU--in charge for 6 years. Some nurses were what I called technical nurses who got more involved using the new toys which ICU had than for delivering personal, touching care. Some had a high opinion of themselves because they were ICU nurses, and a few were less than cordial to other nurses. That exists in every profession.

    I always talked to patients--especially when they coded. The team loved to tease me about this but I never stopped. In my book, I detail an event where one patient unexpectedly straightlined, He was a gruff man, not a believer in any faith. He reported "I was in this dark tunnel. Something holy was calling me but I did not want to go yet--so I kept walking in the direction of your voice. Then I found myself here back in my bed." He lived another 15 years. No one poked fun at me after that.

    So KEEP ON TALKING!! The patients hear you! I have the impression you will be a wonderful nurse.
    AJPV and liebling5 like this.
  10. Visit  Andrea K. Penney profile page
    0
    I understood what you meant. No offense taken on how you worded your remarks.
    We each have our own beliefs. Mine are unshakable. I respect every person I was priveledged to be with at the end of their life. I prayed silently for each one--but I never ever pushed my personal beliefs on them nor their families. I can not recall, in fact, that I ever prayed aloud again with a dying patient
    I did my best to support their faith --or lack of--despite my personal urges to share my thoughts. My personal observation is that those with no faith tend to be the ones who fear death the most.
  11. Visit  Andrea K. Penney profile page
    1
    Quote from applewhitern
    There is no question in my mind that there is an afterlife, either. My son died on the operating table twice. He was bleeding out. The surgeon turned grey when he was told, by my son, of the events that he experienced. My son described to him, in great detail, everything he saw and witnessed regarding the surgery, even though he was completely under. The surgeon had stopped the surgery, and closed, because my son was at "the point of no return." So he believed what my son told us, as he knew he had lost him twice.
    My mother in law shared a similar experience to your son's. She was having her kidney removed--about 1947--and could clearly hear the conversation in the O.R. She thought this was strange--then she realized she was breathing funny. She said to me 'But then I was looking down on myself to see I was not breathing but what I heard was the doctor trying to get a BP on me" Then she related that she thought about wanting to raise her 3 so she made herself get back into her body.

    She had 3 other near death experiences--a few years apart much later in her life when she coded for different reasons. Her lifelong faith was very stong but she did not report seeing anything holy or un natural in any of her events. She did describe a feeling incredible peace during one event.

    She lived until 1985 and died at age 73.
    Puddin2day likes this.
  12. Visit  Andrea K. Penney profile page
    2
    Quote from ruthalittle
    It really is very sad how few people do this. Sadder still, I think, were the number of nurses & CNA's who mocked me when I did it. Several made statements in the room, with the patient, such as "Why do you always tell him what you're going to do? He can't hear you." Some laughed in front of the patient. Although it's been many years since I've experienced this, it still makes me sad to think of it.
    Do not let anyone stop you from talking! Absolutely people hear you! Patients are in such a fog--they need to know what you are doing before you touch them.

    My first ICU lesson was sitting in the classroom with the lights out, and the instructor tape recorded all the sounds going in in the ICU. I will never forget the voices, remarks, laughter and off things I heard. Another lesson I never forgot.

    My dad was injured and comatose with a high fever in WW2. Penicillin was brand new and in very limited supply. He heard the MD telling the nurse he was unsure if he should waste the medication on him. The nurse told the mD that she saw a ltter dad had on him from my mom telling him she delivered their first child--a son. My dad said he was thinking : "You *&!*#@!, you better give me that stuff". The MD finally said--"OK one shot--if he does not respond, then let nature take it's couse"

    Were it not for that nurse, I and another brother would not be here! GO NURSES!!!!
    Puddin2day and CompleteUnknown like this.
  13. Visit  Andrea K. Penney profile page
    1
    Quote from CompleteUnknown
    I was taught that sitting with a patient who is dying is part of my job, and I was also taught to talk to unconscious patients and tell them what I am about to do. I think most of us were weren't we?

    Very very sad indeed if there are some who feel it's unnecessary, I consider it an honour to be present and sitting beside the bed, holding a hand or stroking an arm, or talking softly to a patient, or just being there, when they die.
    Thank you for your remarks. I think every nurse and MD needs to have the experience of being a really sick patient to realize how important a gentle word, explaination, and the human touch is.
    CompleteUnknown likes this.
  14. Visit  Andrea K. Penney profile page
    0
    Thank you Leslie for you remarks and advice. I do not remember Mildred's diagnosis but per my memory, there were no indications thatthat she had pain. But I could be totally incorrect.

    In the 1990's, when I worked for the VNA, I fought for appropriate patients to have ample morphine available. One MD said "I do not want her to get addicted!" I responded (I knew him well from ICU days)--she is near death--that is not the issue here. Even in her sleep her face is wincing and she is moaning in pain. When awake, she tells me 'so much pain--help me'. Perhaps her body requires a higher dosage than you prefer to give but it is WRONG to have her die like this. I got the order. She lived abut another week--without pain.

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