How to deal with death?

  1. So I'm a volunteer, to make this clear. I volunteered to get experience.

    At one point, I cringed when I looked at the patient board and saw there was a do not resuscitate. Thankfully, I was rotated to the MIU before any other deaths happened.

    I helped a CNA wash someone who died no more than 45 minutes later. Family was upset, and a guy walked out of their room and said, "Grandma has left the building". The memory is clear: I was walking down the hall when I heard this, and my eyes became wide with acknowledgement; immediately I walked into the nurse's station to escape, and remain stoic for the rest of the patients. Thank goodness I didn't have to help bag that one, my shift ended before that was necessary.

    Nevertheless, I helped bag three other people; not observed but actively helped. On my first time I helped the ex-patient who was limp and not rigor, and when they were rolled over I suppressed a scream because I thought they became a zombie. Blame my generation. Nevertheless, the other times the nurse gave me the person's life story, or the nurses were solemn.

    How does one deal with it? I'm still haunted, yet I am determined to be a nurse.
    Last edit by hhukill on Sep 3, '11 : Reason: Grammar nazi
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    About hhukill

    Joined: Feb '11; Posts: 1


  3. by   Hospice Nurse LPN
    Death is just a part of the circle of life. It's something we all have to do. I was upset w/ the death of my first pt, but after that not so much. I know I have given the very best care I can and that I made my pt comfortable up until the time of their death. Good luck.
  4. by   Saysfaa
    It sounds like much of the issue for you is not knowing what to expect of dead bodies. There is a lot of information out there about the psyiological changes. Looking some of that up may help you.
  5. by   tippeny
    I was fortunate enough to be with my father when he passed away 2 years ago from stage 4 melanoma. I was not only with him, but I was holding him in my arms. I feel so lucky to have been able to share such a precious moment with him. Death is something that we all have to deal with at some point in time- it is a natural result of living. I don't think that you ever truly get used to dealing with death, but over time you become better at handling it. Hang in there..... and stop watching so many zombie movies!!! ;-)