Hearts of steel

  1. I recently encountered the worst of the worst with a group of RN's I don't usually work with.A patient expired right at shift change!I said to the nurse who had him all day..."Why don't you finish off your paper work and go get the family,I'll do the TLC."After she went to get them,she proceeded to call the DR.,nursing supervisor and everyone else she could loudly pronounce it to (in close proximity to the family) "L" bed is dying.Yep,he's definiely on his way now "....you get the picture.I had put down the siderails and held the man's hand opposite his son on the other side.Then,the RN in charge pushed the son aside and shut off the vent and cardiac monitor! I struggled to keep the family occupied and talking so they wouldn't notice this heartless,disgusting behavior!!!I fail to see what they thought they were accomplishing.I felt it was inappropriate to discuss it at the time.Then,while the family were still there,the charge nurse started pressuring me to get him to the morgue,there's a patient waiting downstairs!(Loudly again!)I went aboard her then and said...I will not push this family out of here until they are god damned good and ready!There wouldn't have been a bed if this hadn't happened...so drift!!!(out of earshot)I was devastated that these "ladies" could be so heartless!I spoke with the proper channels,but nothing is happening.So sad that RN's forget that these are humans,not cattle!I think there should be more "sensitivity" training.Any ideas?Similar experience?(I hope not)Thanks in advance!
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   JennieBSN
    You bet your b*** I've had a similar experience. Not death, but just as heart-wrenching. While working in the NICU, close to shift change, I was with a first time mom (a young mom) who was tearfully putting her 31 week baby back into the isolette. She was being discharged from pp that day, going home without her baby, and very upset. It was very hard for her to be a young, single mom who had to leave her fragile little baby hooked up to every monitor in the world. My EVIL charge witch comes stomping over, says very rudely and abruptly to the mother, 'You need to leave now. It's change of shift!' I was so flabbergasted and horrified, nothing came out of my mouth in defense of this poor mother. Instead, I held her hand and walked her out of the unit.

    THAT, my dears, is one of the MANY reasons I left NICU. People often ask me why I left...I always tell them, 'loved the work, loved the patients, HATED the staff.' It just wasn't worth it to me to work with a bunch of heartless, cold, b****es.

    Lynn, you seem like such a good nurse. It truly sucks that that whole scene happened to you. You should be proud of yourself, though, for sticking up for your patient's family. I wish I had.
  4. by   MollyJ
    I can confess to a flash of irritability when I would realize that a patient would die at shift change, but you just have to relax into it. Realize it is your day for OT and take care of family. I think taking care of people at the moment of death is a true privelege in our profession. So what do you think? You don't know these folks. Were they just having a bad day or were they upset that the schedule god was being disrupted. How 'bout death? I think some nurses can have some of that medical model fever and be a little offended by death: We should ALWAYS be able to vanguish death. (Wrong!) I always believe that the family should get as much visitation as they need before you see them go out of the door. Tough to be in this situation with folks you don't really know and really hard to assert yourself.
  5. by   prmenrs
    Hey, Kday, you come work in MY NICU any time!! Of course, you'll have a heck of a commute, cuz it's in SoCal, but, you'd be welcome!!

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Hearts of steel