What about the body?

  1. I don't know if this is a stupid question, but I'm trying to gather as much information about hospice nursing as I can. After the nurse pronounces the patient dead, then what? Is the body prepared in some way or is it sent to the funeral home?
    Sorry if I come out sounding like a duh head!:imbar
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    About Janelle, RN

    Joined: Feb '02; Posts: 4
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  3. by   Paprikat
    Hi. I work in a nursing home. When a patient expires, we pronounce (if a natural, expected death) or call the MD to pronounce (if unexpected), we call the family or the MD does (usually they leave it to us), we call the funeral home of choice.
    The care aides will wash the body, put on a clean gown, fold the hands across the chest and place a rolled towel under the chin. They will remove false teeth and any jewelry. They cover the body up with a sheet. The nurse will write up a toe tag with DOB, DOD and PHN. We wait for the MD to pronounce (if unexpected) and then call the funeral home to pick the body up. We also will wait for the family to come (some wish to view the body). Sometimes the family requests an autopsy (this is rare, though) and if that happens, we call the coroner.
    Hope this helps answer your question.
  4. by   aimeee
    We wash the patient and prepare the body much as Paprikat stated. We don't make toe tags though. Most of the doctors don't want to be notified in the middle of the night and have agreed to be notified of the death at the start of the next business day. We call the funeral home that the family has selected and then stay with them until they arrive to pick up the body. We stay until the family seems comfortable and coping well.
  5. by   nurse T
    :kiss We spend much time teaching family what to expect and what action to take when death of loved one occurs. Family has many choices. If they are comfortable with the death, they may take time to have other family come in after pt HRC and have private family time before calling selected funeral home. We only need a notification call from family. If family is very upset and requests a nurse, we are happy to go. We provide instruction sheet also that reminds family to turn off O2, leave protective pads in place, remove pain patches etc. We do attend if pt has NG tubes, foley etc. We call only the Docs that want to know immediately, otherwise Doc gets notified next day if HRC in middle of the night. Hospice death is expected so no need to call coroner. The families in this area love the privacy and freedom allowed in the home. I have only had 2 occasions in the last several years where the family was freaking and nurse had to attend. That was due to very poor family dynamics.
  6. by   chawk
    As a Hospice nurse, we go out to the home and pronounce, call the doc, and when the family is ready, we call the funeral home. We stay with the family and clean the body, provide emotional support, and usually listen as they retell the persons life stories. Until the morticians get there
  7. by   obeyacts2
    Around here, we call the hospice nurse who comes out and she sees the pt is really passed, then she wastes the narcs and does the paperwork, time of death etc and calls the funeral home. While this goes on, we bathe, dress and change the bedding of the patient. We stay until the funeral home comes or the family tells us to go. If no family in attnedance, my supervisor calls and notifies them.