I"ve been taking care of an inpatient hospice patient off and on for the last week and a half. Last night she declined rapidly, and I was surprised that she lived thru my shift. I doubt she is still alive this morning.
I spent much time in her room, because she was alone and scared. I medicated her to the gills and I think she was comfortable but she was just hanging on. She needed a hand to hold.
I have cared for this patient several times, and I really liked her. I have watched her go from self-sufficient to....this. I was emotionally wobbly all night but kept it together during my shift. Today I am still wobbly. I have never taken care of a patient as they were dying.
Is it normal for me to be all teary-eyed today? I can't put a finger on why I am so upset. I mean, I am glad the patient is likely out of pain and that I could help her last night. But it was stressful and difficult caring for my other patients as well, and i didn't get things done as efficiently as I would normally.
If this is what I am going to feel like every time a patient dies, I don't know if this is the right area of nursing for me.....
Nov 30, '07
Fearless. You accompanied your patient in her difficult journey.
It is very difficult to be scared alone, but comforting to have
loving support and care from a dedicated nurse in the journey.
Accept and acknowledge your feelings, you have given the
extra not included in the care plan- your heart.
Take time for yourself to restore your energy.
In a healthcare system which has lost its priorities,
You are the true definition of the word== Nurse
God Bless You
Last edit by jahra on Dec 1, '07