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Specializes in Long term care.

This is just me venting. I work 12 hour shifts in Ltc, a hospice pt passed away 30 min into my shift this morning, I can't help mourning over residents I take care of 40+ hours a week. I know it's part of the medical field, dealing with death but I can't help wondering, did I do everything I could to make residents comfortable in there ending days? When I'm the only charge nurse over 70 residents usually working short staffed on cnas, doing more paperwork then pt care. What kind of quality of life did they have when I was there nurse? Sorry this is sappy. I've been out of nursing school 1 year and still struggle with these things, I hate calling family members and telling them someone passed away. I hate the political side of nursing. I'm in school working on my rn now wondering if this is what I want to do the rest of my life. Thanks to anyone taking the time to read.

It's okay to mourn. You are still a human being at the end of the day. Just make sure you find a healthy way to deal with these losses. Venting is a great start...*hugs*

We often wonder if we really dud all that we could or our patients. Just remember to tell yourself that you did the best that you could and tried to provide the best care to all of your many patients.

There are many positions and places you could work as an RN. Maybe hospice isn't your niche, but, that doesn't mean nursing as a hole isn't for you. Of course, we all deal with death, but, certainly more than others (hospice). Politics, well, what job doesn't have politics?

Of course only you know what is right for you. Remember that you are human and it is okay to mourn but it is also good to find a nice outlet for yourself. Best wishes.


Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 45 years experience.

You've been out of nursing school for a year. People always say that the learning starts after graduation, which has some truth. The "emotional" learning takes place after graduation, too. There are lots of emotional "firsts".

It's part of growing into your role. I wouldn't think about throwing in the towel just because you wonder if there was something you could have done but didn't, unless you do it as a practical self-analysis for what to change or improve on the next patient who presents those challenges.

I started in peds a long time ago, and there are a handful of deaths that my eyes still fill with tears on remembering them. We're human. ((hugs))


Specializes in Long term care.

Thank you for your replies and words of encouragement. I know I want to do nursing as a career. Just has it's bad days, also has some amazing moments where I think to myself, this is why I became a nurse . I need better stress outlets. Then my poor husbands ears :/


Specializes in None yet..

Your feelings are your gifts because they reveal your values and what matters to you as a human being. I'm guessing there's compassion, support, equality, all manner of noble values beneath your sadness.

That said, there's always a temptation to compare what we can or did do to some theoretical "perfect" action. I'm just starting out, too, but I'm guessing we're both on a long path where we're learning about "good enough." Compare what happened to what might have happened without you, not what might have happened if you were some mythic perfect being in mythic perfect circumstances. As others have said, we're human. Or as a friend said to me, "Take off the God suit!"

We do need stress outlets and we also can't push our feelings away. Find your outlets to direct them, but don't try to stop your flow of emotions. Have a good cry and then a good workout (or massage or...), connect with gratitude for this life we're given and then lather, rinse, repeat. (I still cry sometimes remembering my father who died a year and a half ago.)

And yes, yes, yes about finding the better outlet(s)! I truly believe that most straight men are wired differently than most straight women. They are focused on problem-solving and protecting and can get bent into agony listening to "their" women talk about feelings. I've learned that I need to limit the quantity of time I spend doing this with my hubby (admittedly, I need more progress in this area!) and to pepper my talk with reassurances that he's helping me, solving my problem by listening, is a great listener, etc.

If anyone ever tells you not to feel or have emotions about the people you put your life on the line for, just walk away. They are not worth the energy to formulate a response.

tnbutterfly - Mary, BSN, RN

Specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

I totally understand...... Being a new nurse is hard. Experiencing death is something that should always cause a sense of grief.....whether you have been a nurse for 1 year or 30 years. The moment you stop feeling is the moment when you should consider another career. Although you may still feel that sadness and grief, you will learn how to work through it.

For some help and understanding......and to know that you aren't alone in feeling how you do, please read When Nurses Cry.


Has 10+ years experience.

I would hate to know my caregivers DIDN'T mourn my passing after I'm gone... Every human life is precious and deserves to be mourned. You wouldn't be a compassionate nurse if you didn't mourn a death even just a lil bit.