Mario experiences PT death for first time - page 5
Today when I was in report, waiting for rm #'s and nursing assignments, about the 3rd thing the charge nurse said was that Mrs. U passed away over the night. My reaction was instant, and i flinched... Read More
Aug 11, '02Joined: May '01; Posts: 12,088; Likes: 15,955I've learned a great deal about life . . . and death. . . from patients and their family. Valuable lessons, they were. . .
Yep, Mario. . . . You'll make a great nurse. Compassionate, you are. . . .
Cheers to you!
TedLast edit by Ted on Aug 11, '02
Aug 11, '02Occupation: CCU Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 572; Likes: 6Mario, I just read this thread...Im' 48 a male nurse and I empathize ..deeply. Nursing can be very hard on you emotionally, tears still come to my eyes when I remember Mr McCall 27 years ago! You are a first rate nurse...keep it up.
It's good to talk about it and that's about the best solution there is...and time. That is exactly why my handle on this site is
Aug 11, '02Joined: Jan '02; Posts: 1,614; Likes: 2Hello everybody again. It is so great to go through all your messages and feel love shared by caring for someone. Death will never get the better of me, or the worst. I have come full cirlce with my emotions, the hardest being the realization of the PT dying in a bad condition, and me having life so easy. I'm not clinically or mildly depressed from this, and will not develop any depresion because of my mouthpiece/saying whats on my mind constructively. Thank you so much for letting me know I am not alone! Love, Mario
Aug 12, '02Occupation: Registered Nurse Joined: Sep '01; Posts: 27; Likes: 1Mario, You sound like such a sweet & caring person, especially to your patients. We need more of you in our profession..Death is a part of nursing but it you ever reach a point where it does not affect you in some way, it's time to leave..Are you a CNA?? If so, you need to continue your education and become a nurse, you owe it to yourself and all your future patients in your care..
Aug 16, '02Occupation: Licensed Practical Nurse Joined: Jun '01; Posts: 26Please don't anyone take their own bodies for granted, and please dance a step or two and think about a great lady who mario loved who would love to dance a step or two.
huggsss to you,Mario.It is always difficult to deal with death.We as nurses are supposed to prolong life,and death,well,it just isnt in our plans.
At least thats how I used to feel.Now,I look at death as part of life.Even if it is unexpected,it was just that person's time.Nothing we can do about it,no matter how hard we try.
It is still sad,tho.
I pray you will never lose the part of you that gets saddened by a patients death.It means you have a heart,and your patients are lucky to have you.
PS: Mrs U *is* dancing,carefree,pain free,and beautifully.
Aug 16, '02Occupation: RN, BSN-ER Joined: Apr '02; Posts: 152; Likes: 6WOW-- It seems every time I read this site someone touches my soft spot. I sometimes feel like a box of Kleenex should stay next to my computer. The news never covers stories like that Mario. Nursing isn't just difficult because of staffing and political issues and management...etc. It's really difficult because when you are a good nurse(and it appears you are) one really cares for and about the patient.
I came on shift Tues night after taking care of an vented pt in the ER(ICU FULL AGAIN). I'm an ER nurse not an ICU nurse and it always makes me a little nervous to care for them all night. She was 49 in chf and copd exascerbation. A very brave and sweet woman who was perhaps the calmest vented pt I'd ever cared for.Well to make a long story short we had a great night together .Tues I come in to find she'd spiked a temp of 106.8 around 10 am that morning and LOC went outt the door. A stat CT showed massive blood clots all over her brain and she was considered brain dead. I was in shock all night till the ER quieted (how lucky is that) and I went to ICU -they were keeping her alive until all the family could gather. I went up to her son and told him how I felt and offered and assistence I could give --it felt like such a shallow and tiny offering but it was all I could give. We hugged and the family asked if I would like to pray with them- what a priviledge and honor- I always feel so special when a family includes me like that.
She was allowed to pass Wednesday am and I'm not ashamed to admit I'm still grieving. I always pray for the families at times like this . yes she had been struggling with these illness for the last 10 years but she was still very active in her families lives and such a sudden death when we all thought this was just another hospital stay.-its sooo hard.
Any way I've rambled far too long--And yes I remember my first pt death like yesterday. Mario you give of yourself in nursing, it only follows when there is loss you will feel it too. Its what makes you human and a good nurse. Don't close off and remeber their are 7 stages of grieving --you are entitled to go thru all of them- you are not alone-we care and empathize with you.
Aug 16, '02Occupation: RN, BSN-ER Joined: Apr '02; Posts: 152; Likes: 6First JT --two kleenexes on that how absolutly amazing--102 years and she still thinks of her family first. How prividged to be able th hear her living history.
Mario- I have been known to go to a funeral when I really felt the need.I think its more selfish on my part -I still needed to say goodbye. I only go If my heart says too. Listen to yourself you know inside what Mario needs to get thru this. (and occaisionaly I do read the obits) I have also been known to keep the last nursing notes I jotted down on them.( not the official record) I have made a memory album to hold them and remember and celebrate their gift with me.
Aug 16, '02Occupation: LPN charge nurse Joined: Jan '02; Posts: 166Huggss to you Mario. I can tell you that you always remember the special pts you will encounter. It is very different when you are caring for them and they pass. The thing I always try to do is make the end as comfortable for them , I try not to leave them a lone for long, and I always leave a light on and I always speak them as if they were alert when I go into their room to do or give them anything. I feel this is the last kindness they will have on this earth. And I try to help any family that is with them in their difficult time. And you are allowed to cry, you are human.
Aug 16, '02Occupation: RN Specialty: correctional, psych, ICU, CCU, ER ; Joined: Jun '02; Posts: 620; Likes: 85((((((((((HUGS)))))))) Mario, compassion is one of those things that you either have or don't . You have it. congratulations!! but it also hurts. When I was a student, in 1971, the first pt one of us lost,(that was in the days when you went to a hospital run nursing school for 3 years, lived in dorms, etc) and his nurse cried like a baby. THe pts. MD came in, looked at her and all of us trying to comfort her and said "Better toughen up, kid." That sent her crying again-just wanted to belt the doctor. couldn't think of a quick comeback, so just stuck out my tongue at him as he walked out of the room. Very mature,,I know, but it made everybody feel better.(esp since all the others followed suit) ''This will get easier for you, but in the meantime, keep up the good work, we need more nurses like you. It would be a privelege to have nurses like you care for my parents.
Aug 16, '02Occupation: RN student wife mother Joined: May '01; Posts: 59; Likes: 1Originally posted by adrienurse
This is another rite of passage as a nurse. The next part is learning to let go of patients who are welcoming death. These are the things that make you see life differently. There's nothing wrong with having this stay with you.
You said this very well. I too, have a strongly developed sense of whatever comes after death, I think as nurses this helps us define and come to terms with it. 18 years ago I remember my first encounter with a patient death very well. An elderly gentleman was due to be discharged the following day. A bit confused, he looked at his wife & said-honey I'm giong home. She patted his arm & said-yes dear I know. 5 minutes later he died, very quietly. Did he "see" something? My best guess is that he did. Over time we learn how to deal with our own feelings about patient deaths, which are influenced by many factors. It is common to become attached to families, and in the small town I am in, it is common indeed possible be friends as well. It's OK to cry with them too. It's when we don't feel anything at all that we have a problem.
Aug 16, '02Occupation: RN student wife mother Joined: May '01; Posts: 59; Likes: 1Wow, what a thread you started Mario.
Go to funerals?? Absolutely. Years ago when my son died at age 4 months, I was so wrapped up in my own grief, I paid little attention to those around me. I was so shocked to see former teachers and hospital personell come out of the church in tears. Some of those nurses related years later to me what an impact that awful morning had on them. And altho some of the events of those days are still a bit foggy, I still remember those I came into contact with. So I am never distant with those in the dying process, it may be just a touch or a word they remember but that may bring a little peace. One story--a friend recently went through her mother's death. She was the one who carried my son up the elevator the morning we took him in. She was at her mom's bedside all day and had not left. I called my husband & had him bring up stuff from my kitchen so we made sure her family ate. Darcy was very grateful, & I told her-no need, just payback, She looked at me quizically & I related the story about her carrying Robby up the elevator. She was dumbfounded and had no reply. So it really is the little things.
My husband also lost a daughter at age 1 1/2. She had been in & out of hospitals since birth and became close to all her caregivers, & 6 of her doctors acted as pallbearers. Imagine that! One of those docs, Dr Deering in Wisconsin, he still talks about, had a profound impact upon him. When I did a genetic course, I contacted Dr. Deering and believe it or not, he still remembered Mindy's case and was able to answer my questions without hesitiation. Must have made an impact on him too.
Aug 16, '02Occupation: student Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 2Dear Mario,
I am a student and during clinical rotations last semester, I experienced the death of one of my pts. I knew she was on the brink of death when I first took care of her. She was already unresponsive and was classified DNR. She had a G-tube and was hyponatremic and was very unresponsive to touch or verbal communication. I continued to talk to her that day as I gave her a bed bath and I found myself fighting back the tears as I attended to various decubiti on her fragile body. All that I could think about was that she was someone's mother, daughter, sister, and friend and she was all alone to die in that room. We were only doing one day a week clinicals that semester and the next week she was the first person that I wanted to see. But she had passed over that weekend. It was very traumatic to me. I think that will be something that I will have to learn to adjust to -- the death of a pt. It is so amazing that after spending such a short time with a pt. you can become attached. Even when they say nothing! But I find peace in knowing that there was something that I could do for her in her last days. God bless.:roll
Aug 16, '02Occupation: ER RN Joined: Mar '02; Posts: 183; Likes: 3Death is a part of nursing life. I did oncology long enough to know that it is our duty to ease the end of life for our patients (I don't mean cause it), as it is to help them get well. I guess what I am having trouble putting into words is that people today have been fooled into believing that there is no end to life. When it comes everyone is shocked.
My very first death was a lady who had end-stage CA of the lung. She couldn't breath, hadn't been alert for months, and was considered at "the end" for about two weeks. It was no shock to the nurses when the lady passed. But the Daughter said it was such a shock to her. Had I been a nurse for a longer period of time, I may have been able to ease the transition for this family member.
Mario, learn from this experience. They don't all make it, and you are allowed to have feelings about it. That is why you are a nurse, because you care.