obituaries - page 3

does anyone else find themselves looking in the obits for former patients? my family thinks that i am totally bizarre, please confirm that this is yet another "nursing feature!"... Read More

  1. by   capgirl
    I always glance them over for a familiar name (I do some per diem in a nursing home) The thing that truly disturbs me is that it is only after they are dead do I learn who they were...The productive lives that they led, the effect they had on the people around them, the difference they made on the world. That to me is tragic.
  2. by   hoolahan
    Always! If I miss a day, somebody's relative dies and I don't know and ask about them the next time I see them. I always check for pt's who I have transferred to hospice.

    I was watching a talk show, and an author was on, I forget who, and she says she gets lots of her character ideas from reading the obits.

    Like someone else said, I have lived in the same city for all my life, so I want to keep up with former friends and neighbors.
    Originally posted by lindaisanurse
    I work in a small town OB dept - I don't read the obits - I read the "police and fire column" to see which of my patients have been picked up for drunk driving, shoplifting, smugglin (we're in a border city) or fights in the local bar/paking lots.
    I hear ya Linda! Our newspaper also publishes the names of people that recently applied for marriage liscenses. It's kinda funny to see how many of my patients names show up there within a couple of weeks after delivery!

    I only scan the obits. If I see anyone, it's usually one of the babies. Little angels.

    On a side note... My first ever day of clinical in nursing school. At the end of the day we had to turn in all of that endless paperwork about our patient. The next week, I got my papers back, graded, with the guys obit stapled to the front of my work. I thought that was a super nice touch for the new green nursing student

  4. by   nrw350
    that had to stink seeing that your patient was dead. How did you take it?

  5. by   whipping girl in 07
    Call me weird, but I always read the obits, even before I thought about becoming a nurse. I like reading the ones in smaller newspapers; they are longer and tell more about the deceased. The paper where my mom and dad live only gives the pertinent details (but then it covers the entire state). Our local newspaper has very interesting obits, including such statements as "she went home to meet her Lord" or "her journey on earth is through."

    Whenever I have a patient die, I always look for their obit in the paper in the next day or two. Anytime I get a paper I scan the obits, looking for people I knew or whose relatives I know. I always cry over the young ones, especially kids and people you know are young enough to still have kids at home.

    I like it when they say how the person died (although for obvious reasons, who's going to say "she committed suicide" or "he overdosed on heroin." But when they say "after a long battle with cancer" or "after a brief illness," I have to admit it satisfies my curiosity.

    I was in a very bad car accident a month ago yesterday, and by looking at my truck (which was totaled), you'd never believe I was not killed or at least very badly injured. I guess you could call me lucky, or fortunate, or watched over (my personal favorite). Last Sunday night, I was pulled to a different floor (unusual for ICU, as we are almost always shorthanded), and we got a really bad car accident admitted. 31 years old (I'm 28) and a mom (as am I) and if I hadn't been pulled I would have gotten the admit. She died the next night about 1 hour after shift change, so I didn't have much time on the unit with her there. I think it would have really bothered me to take care of her being that it could have very easily been me last month. My friend who took care of her called me the day after she died to find out what happened to her and we cried on the phone about it for awhile. It hit her pretty hard too.

    Her obituary listed three kids, ages 5, 8, and 13. The 13 year old was in the room as she died (as was I since her nurse was in the room with his other patient). It was almost more than I could bear, and I usually don't have much of a problem with death. For most of my patients, it's a welcome relief from a lot of suffering. Thankfully her family was aware of her prognosis (extremely poor, doppler pressure only on wide open levophed, dopamine and neo, passing blood as urine, liver was "mush" according to surgeon who removed kidney, brainstem contusion, etc) and agreed that she should not be coded. But to stand there and watch when a 31 year old mom flatlines has to be the most difficult thing I have ever done. I know there was nothing we could have done to fix her, and coding her would have made things so much worse, but it just seems to go against what we do in ICU. I'm just glad everyone was on the same wavelength as to when to quit.

    I helped do her post mortem care. I actually like doing post mortems, as you can usually get them cleaner and better looking than they were before. I have quickly gotten a reputation for doing a good post mortem, so I usually get grabbed to help. I tend to notice the small details, such as a bit of blood on the sheet, etc. I try to make the patient look as good as I can for the family, so at least they look like they are at peace. But try as I may the other night, I couldn't get that poor girl's tongue back in her mouth. I just wanted her to look like she wasn't suffering anymore. Lord knows she'd suffered plenty for that 24 hrs.

    This was incredibly long, and got off the subject, and I'm sorry. But once I started talking about it, I realized I NEEDED to talk about it.

    Thanks for listening.
  6. by   Tookie
    I always finish the local paper reading the 'hatch match and dispatch' columns

    - if a resident died at my old job (ie when l worked nights we would tend to ring each other (if it was unexpected) and tell each other so we wouldnt get the shock etc at handover. Anyway now l like to keep an eye on as l said the births marriages and deaths - as my childrens friends who they grew up with now fit into the 2 earlier catergories. I also like to keep up to date with my current residents - as l dont have that much hands on as l used to

    Do you ever refer to the notices as 'hatch match and dispatch' also?

    regards Tookie
  7. by   DF-LPN
    I look at the obits dad does also and he will call me up and tell me that the NH in his town and will tell me to hurry up because they are catch up with us on the death toll.....ok my family has a sick sense of humor

  8. by   night owl
    usually read the obits looking for residents who expired a day or two afterwards, but it's when I stumble upon co workers that I used to work with that really shock the h*ll out of me!
  9. by   sleepqd
    We read the police reports (who got caught) to see when some of our freq. flyers will try to get admitted so they don't have to go to court.
  10. by   shannonRN
    i have to say that i totally agree with you ernurse...."but they tend to drive me a little nuts, b/c I always want to know what they died of, especially the younger ones, and most of them don't have any clues..." they make me so curious.
  11. by   momrn50
    I read obits first thing, first to see if any of my residents have passed away and then to make sure my name isn't in there.
    Originally posted by nrw350
    that had to stink seeing that your patient was dead. How did you take it?

    Sucked big time. I had discharged him that day. Walked him out to his car with his Holter monitor. He hugged me and his wife joked that he was getting a big thrill hugging such a young girl.

    It was apparently a very big thrill.

  13. by   zudy
    I always read the obits. What never fails to amaze me ( altho it shouldn't ) is how many of our frequent fliers are murdered.