How to deal with death?

  1. 0
    So I'm a volunteer, to make this clear. I volunteered to get experience.

    At one point, I cringed when I looked at the patient board and saw there was a do not resuscitate. Thankfully, I was rotated to the MIU before any other deaths happened.

    I helped a CNA wash someone who died no more than 45 minutes later. Family was upset, and a guy walked out of their room and said, "Grandma has left the building". The memory is clear: I was walking down the hall when I heard this, and my eyes became wide with acknowledgement; immediately I walked into the nurse's station to escape, and remain stoic for the rest of the patients. Thank goodness I didn't have to help bag that one, my shift ended before that was necessary.

    Nevertheless, I helped bag three other people; not observed but actively helped. On my first time I helped the ex-patient who was limp and not rigor, and when they were rolled over I suppressed a scream because I thought they became a zombie. Blame my generation. Nevertheless, the other times the nurse gave me the person's life story, or the nurses were solemn.

    How does one deal with it? I'm still haunted, yet I am determined to be a nurse.
    Last edit by hhukill on Sep 3, '11 : Reason: Grammar nazi
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  4. 3 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    Death is just a part of the circle of life. It's something we all have to do. I was upset w/ the death of my first pt, but after that not so much. I know I have given the very best care I can and that I made my pt comfortable up until the time of their death. Good luck.
  6. 0
    It sounds like much of the issue for you is not knowing what to expect of dead bodies. There is a lot of information out there about the psyiological changes. Looking some of that up may help you.
  7. 1
    I was fortunate enough to be with my father when he passed away 2 years ago from stage 4 melanoma. I was not only with him, but I was holding him in my arms. I feel so lucky to have been able to share such a precious moment with him. Death is something that we all have to deal with at some point in time- it is a natural result of living. I don't think that you ever truly get used to dealing with death, but over time you become better at handling it. Hang in there..... and stop watching so many zombie movies!!! ;-)
    Hospice Nurse LPN likes this.


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