I know it has been six months since you wrote this post, but I have been dealing with the same thing. I just graduated nursing school and passed the NCLEX two weeks ago. I have been working as a camp nurse until I could find a hospital job. One of my campers unexpectedly had a gran mal seizure (he was an epileptic) followed by cardiac arrest. The camp has one nurse work at a time so it was on my shift, and I was the only nurse there. We initiated CPR but even as I lowered him to the floor I thought, only a small percentage of CPR attempts are successful. Thankfully the lifeguard working was formally an EMT and had more experience with doing CPR than I have. So I feel confident that we couldn't have done anything differently that woudl have saved his life. But I still have weird feelings of guilt and sadness when I think about what happened. I go over every detail in my mind, every interaction I ever had with him, and I can find things I could have done better, but nothing significant enough to save his life.
I guess my question is, how are you feeling 6 months later? Because I am so ready to not be upset about this anymore. I find myself crying at random instances, when I'm driving and something reminds me of him or someone starts talking about the incident. Its especially hard for me I think because I was solely responsible for his medical care when it happened. There was no other healthcare providers there when it happened. I guess I just feel such weight. I don't know if its something that nurses just get used to, something you learn to live with because of the nature of this profession.
I just want to know what I should do next. When will I feel better?