Beyond theory!

  1. I just had to mention this, thought it was curious. I saw in a nursing journal (UK) recently, a newly qualified nurse complaining that she had not been 'trained' to deal with passing on bad news to families or to deal with the death of her patient. I had a silent chuckle at this - no I laughed out loud . I do not believe we can ever be trained to accept death, it is a very individual thing. I know nurses who hate the thought of entering the room of a dying resident never mind a deceased one. We all have our own views on death, how can that be taught? With regards to passing on bad news, again I believe everyone is individual, the appropriate way to pass on information to Mrs X is not the same as to Mr Y etc.
    I think sometimes we cope better with death in LTC because we know our residents and their families, we know when they know that mum's time is up. Although it can be sad because unlike in an acute facility, we have that relationship with our resident - we miss them.
    Lots of books of death and dying, I even went to a seminar conducted by a local funeral home, but until you face it, until Mr R dies in your presence - you just don't know how you will react.
    On a broader note this opens the whole idea of integrating theory into practice. Not everything can be taught!
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  2. Visit marjoriemac profile page

    About marjoriemac

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 231; Likes: 21
    Nurse
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in nursing home care

    3 Comments

  3. by   snowfreeze
    Death and dying are difficult to deal with, Death is final, the dying process starts at birth. Patients at end of life seem to take their good old time getting things over with and families have never ending questions about death that no one really has the answers to. How much longer till mom dies, how do you know it is soon? From your experience what do you think I should do, go eat lunch or sit with her? DNR patients near death are so time consuming, you have to meet the needs of the family plus care for someone who may be suffering. How do we know when they no longer feel pain? How do we know when they no longer hear us?
  4. by   marjoriemac
    I always make sure a resident who is dying has someone with them. If family are present, we also offer a sitter so they can have a coffee break. I would not like to die alone! I also think we should communicate until the last breath is drawn as we don't know how much is heard or what happens afterwards. I actually find myself talking to people after they have died, although I think thats nerves!
  5. by   thsnursluvsgeriatric
    Quote from marjoriemac
    I always make sure a resident who is dying has someone with them. If family are present, we also offer a sitter so they can have a coffee break. I would not like to die alone! I also think we should communicate until the last breath is drawn as we don't know how much is heard or what happens afterwards. I actually find myself talking to people after they have died, although I think thats nerves!
    That's cool, I do think that saying goodbye to a deceased resident is as healing as anything. I do the same thing. I sometimes feel their presence.

    When I was 18 years of age I watched my first resident die, it was a terrible struggle for her and the RN brought her back twice through CPR. It was horrifying to say the least. All I could see was my mother. I went home made peace with my mom ( I was still in my teens ).

    After having dealt with my own past and asking forgiveness from my mother
    the death of residents were never the same. I felt nothing but the tenderness and compassion of a caregiver. I have many times when someone was struggling encouraged them by saying (while stroking there forehead) 'It's okay to let go'. I have found that in all cases they were less stressed. Possible because of the tender affection?

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