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my love of nursing is gone...husband died of medical mistake

California   (12,784 Views 52 Comments)

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well, i am unable to figure out what to do with my life. i am almost 50 yrs old, have worked as a paramedic and/or rn since 1978, (although not currently licensed) and need to think about returning to work. my husband died of a medical mistake, leaving me to raise my kids-they are now almost 12 and 13 yrs old. i just finished litigation (which was almost worse than his death) and will need a new career. i let my rn license lapse as i have no trust of the medical system any more--it is now driven by hmo's, bonuses for ceos and md's that forgot the hippocratic oath--do no harm, and nurses who, for whatever reason, did not do their jobs when my husband's condition was getting worse.i always thought i would be the rn who would never get burnout...but now i can't walk into a health care facility without hyperventilating and shaking.. i don't trust md or any other health care professional now...so any suggestions has to a new career for a former well educated, former compassionate rn?

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1,119 Posts; 4,852 Profile Views

My condolences to you and your family. Your grief is very evident in your post. Have you considered grief counselling or a bereavement support group in your area? I cannot emphasize enough that you need to take care of yourself first before considering a career.

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UM Review RN is a ASN, RN and specializes in Utilization Management.

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I agree with the above. If life is driven by grief, pain, and anger--even if justifiable--it's difficult to get past those emotions to a decision about how to deal with the future.

Is it possible for you to take a part-time, low responsibility job doing something that has nothing to do with healthcare while you (and your children) get help to deal with your feelings?

I'm so very sorry that this happened to you and your family.

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muffie is a RN and specializes in cardiac med-surg.

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wishing you healing on your own time

condolences

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272 Posts; 4,289 Profile Views

I am sorry about the lost of your husband. The MDs and nurses are human and nobody is perfect. I just hope you can go to grieving counseling. Good luck to you.

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87 Posts; 2,559 Profile Views

I am sorry for your loss and hope you will find healing.

I have experienced many, many losses in my life. On many occasions, when I feeling unbelievably broken, I made the decision to continue to show up and try to be a representative of what is good in this world.

Believe that you have the power to effectuate change and there are many people in healthcare doing good work. In time, when you have allowed others to help you heal from your spiritual wounds, you can think about how you can take all the goodness of what you have accomplished in your life and share it with others.

It has been my experience that we heal when we give to others what we need for ourselves. Ask God to send people into your life that will reflect what is good in this world and to provide you with the strength to move forward, one small step at a time.

Peace to you and your family.

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17 Articles; 4,167 Posts; 31,268 Profile Views

well, i am unable to figure out what to do with my life. i am almost 50 yrs old, have worked as a paramedic and/or rn since 1978, (although not currently licensed) and need to think about returning to work. my husband died of a medical mistake, leaving me to raise my kids-they are now almost 12 and 13 yrs old. i just finished litigation (which was almost worse than his death) and will need a new career. i let my rn license lapse as i have no trust of the medical system any more--it is now driven by hmo's, bonuses for ceos and md's that forgot the hippocratic oath--do no harm, and nurses who, for whatever reason, did not do their jobs when my husband's condition was getting worse.i always thought i would be the rn who would never get burnout...but now i can't walk into a health care facility without hyperventilating and shaking.. i don't trust md or any other health care professional now...so any suggestions has to a new career for a former well educated, former compassionate rn?

i am so sorry that you have suffered the loss of your husband under such tragic circumstances. no words can convey the sense of horror i feel on your behalf. that his death might have been prevented only intensifies the shock and sadness.

you have brought up several extremely important issues that are now affecting your life, and i have to believe that your expression of them means you are open to the input of caring others.

the first thing i hear--beyond just raw and simple pain--is rage at the injustice of what happened to you and your family. not just loss, but unnecessary loss. so understandable and yet, after a time, a stumbling block to living the rest of your life.

your husband is gone. tragically so. but to keep your focus on that to the exclusion of other parts of life is to lose you as well as him. nothing can bring him back, and that's a sad and lonely thought. but you are still here and you have young kids who need the only parent they have left.

please, find a counselor you can trust and let someone help you to get past (not get over) the trauma of the last few years. not only did you go through your husband's loss, you also had to relive it repeatedly during the course of the legal procedings. lawsuits, while often necessary, keep you reopening the wounds time and again and do not permit you to progress to the point of healing. maybe now that the legal matters have been resolved, you will find some peace in this area. (were you satisfied with the outcome?)

you have received a serious blow to your level of trust in the medical profession. while understandable, this is not a healthy place in which to remain. what if you or your kids need some kind of medical care? will you be able to trust enough to get help?

your perspective is skewed right now, with your perception distorted by the medical personnel who failed you and your family. this makes sense, but it's not an accurate picture. your heart can see only what was taken from you and the ones who took it. in truth, those who dropped the ball represent only a small percentage of the medical world. your head might have a suspicion that this is true, but your heart isn't ready to accept that yet.

your kids need to be able to trust the world around them enough to function in it. being paralyzed with fear or rage is not a good way to live. bad things happen to good people, but good things happen as well. you won't be able to partake of and enjoy those positive things if every experience is filtered through a warped lens.

your husband's life was tragically lost. please fight to save yours, for your own sake and for your children's.

this is the hardest thing you will ever do. it will be worth it.

feel free to pm me by clicking on my name and selecting private message from the drop down menu.

i'm so glad you found this site.

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llg is a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

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Miranda -- terrific post, as usual.

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4,177 Posts; 14,128 Profile Views

condolences

good advise from other posts

lawsuits are not the way they are by accidents,, they feel that if they give you enough grief you will sign anything to get it over with

try and find something non-stressful, sometimes work is a healing balm in itself..be the mom that your children need

see if you can reinstate your license, it will be helpful in obtaining a job that is not hospital related but it will show what you are capable of

best of luck, give your kids a hug for us

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Tweety is a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I do agree that some counseling would help.

Beautiful post Miranda.

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P_RN is a BSN, RN and specializes in ORTHOPAEDICS-CERTIFIED SINCE 89.

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Dear awsmom8, I cannot begin to imagine the agony you have been put through. I have never experienced such.

I've had friends and family die but mostly from illness that was expected to be terminal. The closest I can recall is a friend of my son's dying in a highway accident.

Your husband's life ended so very abruptly. Your life must go on. You don't want your children to remember him only as a series of lawsuits do you?

I wish you would reactivate your license as a Nurse. You wouldn't have to work in a hospital or around tragedy all the time.

There are churches that have free clinics, there are AIDS patients who need infusions, there are day care centers for homeless women. All can use a good nurse.

You and your grief can't solve this alone. You do need a third party-a counselor. I see a counselor often. She is great and incidentally she started out as an RN. My condolences upon your loss, and your children's loss. Now don't let your life become a loss.

Love to you.

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866 Posts; 13,765 Profile Views

Thank you for all your support and suggestions...I have decided to get some much needed counseling now that litigation is over. One of the things that made his death so hard is that I could not discuss it with anyone because of the litigation, but now that it is over I still can't talk about it do to a confidentiality clause in the settlement. The mentality of let's continue to hide mistakes and not discuss them so they happen again needs to stop.

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