First time.....

Students General Students


:o I just did something in clinicals that I have never experienced before....... I sat with someone in their last moments.... the death rattle... all of it. I'm not sure if I did what I should. I held the persons hand, let them know they were not alone, I said a few prayers.....I just worry I could have done something more......

Could I have? Any ideas? I think I did what was right, but did I?

medicrnohio, RN

508 Posts

Specializes in Tele, Home Health, MICU, CTICU, LTC.

I think you did the best you could possibly do. People are going to die and many don't want to die alone. For you to sit there and hold the persons hand was a great thing to do.

NICU Newbie

19 Posts

What you did was wonderful. I am sure your prayers and touch were the comfort that person needed to die peacefully. Nurses like you are a gift to our profession.


118 Posts

This was one of those situations where the art of nursing really comes into play. Sounds like you followed your instincts and did what came naturally. Sounds like you did great. All you can do is your best, and to learn what you can from this situation so that you can do it even better next time. Well done. -Lorus


1,078 Posts

Specializes in Trauma ICU, MICU/SICU.

The night my Grandma died, a doctor who didn't know her (we were in a terrible car accident far from home) stayed with her all night and held her hand.

She suffered from senile dementia and was like a small, frightened child.

I am forever in that man's debt.

You did a wonderful, beautiful thing.


50 Posts

Thank you all for your comments. I really do feel I did the best I could and did what was right. But, not having any guidelines to follow and going with my heart was a little scary! The stangest thing about this though, is that night, I had this dream that she knew I was there and was comforted by my touch and prayers. Maybe I was telling myself what you all have said, I did good?!

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,856 Posts

Specializes in ER.

When patients die our hospital has cards on the unit for the nurses to sign if they like. I've gotten some nice letters from family when I let them know that their loved on died peacefully, or that someone was with them when they died. Confused patients sometimes say something endearing about family members in their last moments, and I think people treasure that type of information.

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