1. Hello,

    I know that as a nurse I will have to deal with death or a dead patient one day. What is the extent of the nurses responsibility with a patient who has lost their lives. Please respond...:spin:
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    About Williss2

    Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 68; Likes: 71


  3. by   CHATSDALE
    call md
    may need to assist cna w/cleaning preparing body
    call family if not there
    chart any pertinent information
    check with family concerning preferred funeral home
    notify switchboard, security and others according to facility guidelines
  4. by   traumaRUs
    Many times depends on the situation. Most of my experience with death was working 10 years in a large ER - dealt with it almost every shift. Depends on the manner of death:

    if traumatic or meets coroner case criteria, not much care, just cover the body with a clean sheet and leave all tubes in

    if medical death or expected, in the ER it was automatically a coroner's case. However, once coroner had declined an autopsy (if it was an expected death), then nurse removed the tubes, washed face and made pt presentable for family.

    Really and truly, death is something that you will need to deal with in almost any setting for nurses. For me (I've been a nurse for 14 years), it has helped to have a strong religious focus and know that there is something beyond death. It is especially hard, if not impossible to understand all deaths. However, we must deal with them ourselves in order to help the families start the grieving process.

    Please take care.
  5. by   twinmommy+2
    ITA with having a strong religous focus. That has helped me greatly.

    May I add that in addition to everything stated that you may have to help staff with their feelings regarding death. Not everyone knows how they feel about death and dying and may look to you for guidence. At the very least you should know who to point them (or yourself) to for counceling in-house.
  6. by   carolCCRN
    On my unit, we try really hard to support the family members by preparing the body (Yes, sometimes a bath and linen change) and the room (removing medical equipment, placing chairs and tissue boxes) so that one who wish to can spend a few private moments with their loved one. I work in a busy ICU, but my co-workers and I always make time for this (takes us maybe 5-10 min) and it seems to comfort the family.
  7. by   snowfreeze
    When I worked LTC the RN caring for the patient or the nursing supervisor filled out and signed a portion of the death certificate stating time date and place of death. Knowing any special circumstances or requests related to the patients death is also important. A patient harmed by another persons actions with this death eventually occuring due to the initial harm must be cleared by the coroner in the county the incident originally happened and the coroner of the county the patient is currently residing in. A patient donating eyes must have the head of bed elevated and moist 4X4's placed over the eyes. I have also taken care of patients who were part of studies and at death the body needed to be sent to a specific facility for autopsy.