First Death (vent) - page 2

Hey everyone, I just had to do a little venting. I have been working alot lately and have not had much time to get online with work, school, kids, and a husband. I was asked to work first... Read More

  1. by   nursenoelle
    ((((HUGS))) To all of the wonderful people here, who have the heart and courage to face everyday what many cannot.

    My first death was as a CNA, the lady was a beautiful woman ( you could tell even with the CA). She was in so much pain, had peg, on 02 for comfort, and would wimper in pain during care. I used to pray over her every morning for her suffering to end. Her baths and oral care, etc. would take me 45 min., I always did her last so I could spend the time with her. One morning, I went in there and she was dead. I had never seen or touched a dead body. My charge nurse saw that I was distraught, grabbed my hand, and helped me with postmortem care. I will never forget that pt. or nurse. I have seen quite a few deaths since them, but the first, I believe, stays with you.

    We say that death comes in threes too. You will be able to sleep better soon. You are part of a very important event in that pt. life. That is a blessed thing. I hope you are feeling better. I don't think that you ever get used to it, but you coping skills improve.

    Tweety- I am so sorry to hear that. Suicide to me is the most tragic. :kiss
  2. by   Nurse_RaRa
    So sorry - the first death can be/is upsetting. I kinda learned about death early out on the farm (tried to save the bum lambs)

    but got my first person death with my grandpa with CA when I was 15, with a gal in the class above mine with CA, (we drove her to her treatments and I had to listen to her scream as I waited in the lobby), classmate killed by drunk driver and my own newborn's death. You never forget, you learn, you cry, you know that it's all a part of the circle of life and that just maybe - you made that person's last days as comfortable as possible. This isn't Disney World - it's real life and these things are going to happen. Nurses are angels sent from GOD to bring in the new (babies) and release the old with as much Love, compassion, training and time that they can muster.:angel2:
  3. by   I_Love_Donuts
    Thank you for sharing those beautiful words...HUGS
  4. by   Disablednurse
    Gastudent, you gave this patient the okay to go on. I believe that she was just holding on until someone gave her the okay. She trusted you and knew that you would be there for her. What a blessing for her. I think that is wonderful. Keep up the great job.
  5. by   debralynn
    My first patient that sticks with me really didn't die on me, but he died later when discharged back to NH. He had so much saddness in his eyes. I never saw any family members come to see him. He was aspiration precautions. I was a student/tech. There was this one tech who said when he would start choking she would just stop feeding him. When I had him as a pt. I found if you would take the time to feed him, and sometimes massage his throat, he very seldom choke. He ate really good for me. He always seemed to be thirsty too, so I also gave him thick. water. I use to lay in bed wondering if he was getting enough to eat and drink when I wasn't there. He had no quality of life. I cried when I heard he passed, but also thanked God. I can still see his face, and still cry just thinking about him. I pray someone from the NH was with him when he passed. I hate the thought of someone dying alone. I think everyone should have at least someone there to hold their hand.
  6. by   iliel
    My first death was when I was a CNA at a post surg/short term ward in a LTC. We had a woman who had recently been admitted for seizures, I'm not sure I remember what was the real problem was. But the day she was to be discharged, a man that looked like a Hell's Angels came in and she introduced me to him and said he was her neighbor in her apartment building and he was taking care of her cat. He looked like the kind of guy you wouldn't expect her to be friends with. After he left, she came down with a very high fever and died suddenly.
    When I think back to it, I realized that no one but this man visited her, when he came back the next day, he said she had no family that he knew of. He was crying, it still to this day breaks my heart. Ever since this I try very hard not to judge people by the way they look.
  7. by   GAstudent
    Thank you all for the kind words and great stories. I got me some sleep and I am starting to feel better. I cut out her paper cliping to keep it. This has been hard to deal with but I know and I am learning that it is a part of life.

    I have been told that maybe all she needed was someone to tell her that it was ok and would be over soon. I just would have never thought of her meaning it in that way. I have been told that I was lucky and should be proud to be the last to talk with her. Everyday at lunch and breakfest I would trick her and tell her after she ate that I would give her a milkshake if she would eat. Well she never ate good, so when I would give her a Resource drink, I would put it in a cup, cut a whole in a lid and put a straw in it, and some crushed ice, so that she would think it was a milkshake, but that day I made her a real milkshake with her resourse and ice cream. I was happy that I finally gave her a "real" one.
  8. by   AHarri66
    Originally posted by maureeno
    ...there are many stories about pts hanging on until someone gives them [verbal or nonverbal] permission to go....
    The first time one of "my" patients died I was only about 6 months out of school working in LTC. "Mary" had been unresponsive for 2 or 3 days already, and in renal failure.
    Before I left on Monday I went to say good-bye to her and without thinking said "I'll see you on Friday, Mary." I fully expected her to die the next day, but lo and behold, when I came back Friday she was still alive! Still unresponsive, in total failure, but still there.

    I went to her first, sat down with her and held her hand. I said, "I'm back, Mary. It's okay now, you can rest." About 5 minutes later I was called out of the room for something that needed my immediate attention. Not 5 more minutes went by before the LPN working with me said, "You'd better come, Mary's gone to a better place." I couldn't believe it...

    I felt guilty for a while there, like I somehow kept her from dying when she should have by promising to see her 4 days later, and not only that, but by leaving the room when she did pass...

    The first does stay with you, I think. I try now to stay with any patient that I think is imminent...I hold their hand, stroke their head, and talk to them the whole time. That's what I would want, to go out hearing a caring voice and having human contact.
  9. by   Nurse_RaRa
    That was so sweet! - I hope I get a chocolate one right before I go!:chuckle
    Actually - I did cry and need to talk to some EMS partners when my first pt died. He was fine when I put him on the plane. It hurt because I had talked with him about his horses and the stream they had just made wider...and he was so calm and nice. He was a veteran EMS-er and knew he was going, I guess. It helps to have a CISD even if it's HERE on the BB.
  10. by   angelbear
    I was in nursing school when my best friend who had just graduated 6mos earlier passed away unexpectedly. I had been at her house just 2 days before and she was sick and had been for awhile. She was morbidly obese. Because of this the dr who saw her that day attributed her sob to her weight. When I left her that day she promised she would try to get in with her reg Md the next day only he was on vacation. She went back in anyway and she was so sob and miserable that he decided maybe she needed to be in the hosp with some breathing tx and ATB. They never did any tests simply went on the assumption that her athsma was worsened by a cold. She called me from the hosp that Sat night to tell me not to come see her as she was to be discharged home the next day and I could come see her there. Sun morning her daugther said she had not yet been DC to home so I called the hosp to see if she was up to visitors they told me to come right in and to stop at the nurses station first. I was in the gift shop buying her a clown when I heard the code to her room. They worked on her for 45 min but could not bring her back. The MD that came out to talk to us was the one that said it was all her weight I went off on him He thought I was her sister so he took me back to see her. It was awful all the tubes and things were still in place and it was terrifying to me. I said all that to say this The lesson I learned from that is that the care I give to my pts may be the final care they get so I try to make it my best. I also consider it a privelege to do postmortum care. It makes me feel good to make them look the best I can before their loved ones see them. BTW my friend died of a pulmonary embolism. Which according to her reg MD could have been prevented. He definately had a long talk with his partner. Dang that was long I am going to have to work on that.
  11. by   GAstudent
  12. by   I_Love_Donuts
    I'm so sorry Angelbear...It must have been hard on you... :kiss