A New Nursing Grad Witnesses a Death - page 2

by Andrea K. Penney

7,998 Views | 30 Comments

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… "Always talk to your patients... Read More


  1. 2
    Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing
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    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.
  3. 2
    What a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing!
  4. 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.
  5. 0
    You seem to be confusing the words "fact" and "opinion".
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.


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