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This morning I sat with a patient as he died

Yesterday in the morning I told the aides not to get a resident out of bed. He was failing and his sats were low. I put him on O2 via a face mask. We put him on comfort care.

His vitals were falliing all through my shift but his respirations were still steady and regular, albeit labored. I went in to change a bandage on his arm and his breathing was beginning to be Cheyne-Stokes. Shift change was approaching and I thought I should get moving but then thought, "He is DYING. This is more important than turning over the med cart." I sat with him and stroked his face and kissed him and said, "It's okay, R. You can go. You're not alone." He took his last breath. After two minutes without a respiration I removed the mask and turned off the O2. Got the steth and pronounced him. Then I cried.

Told the charge and she called the family. I heard her say, "He wasn't alone. A nurse was with him."

He reminded me so much of my dad.

Silverdragon102, BSN

Has 32 years experience. Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC.

((((hugs))) Sue, exactly what I would have done.

Keepstanding, ASN, RN

Has 10 years experience. Specializes in School Nursing.

sending you a big hug sue. you are a true angel sent from heaven. god bless you !

praiser :heartbeat

NurseCard, ADN

Has 13 years experience. Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health.

*HUGS* Thank you for being there with him... if he were my daddy, I would want to know that he wasn't alone and there was someone there who cared and held him...

I'm sure he knew. What a wonderful gift you gave this man. Bless you!

ShayRN

Has 18 years experience. Specializes in Corrections, Cardiac, Hospice.

OFCOURSE he knew you were there. I tell my families all the time, even if they don't understand the words you are saying, they understand the love that is given. God Bless.

LLLLiiiFFEsaveer

Specializes in Emergency Only.

comfort care. " He took his last breath

Soo touching that I wanted to share mine too

After celebrating my Fathers birthday with cake and cards that our aunts picked out for us (this was one and one-half week after them all getting here from 10+ hours away/many, many of them-family)...

I snapped my fingers twice at my older sister who was sleeping (finally), with the assertation of an imminent death, knowing that she would understand my eyes as I said "This is it Heather, its here"... Less than 5 breaths later, my mother took her last breath in... That was exactly when I wrapped my arms around her, and cried saying, "I Love You Mom, Goodbye" - as I felt her final last breath, outward, against my left cheek, my Father leaned in and hugged and cried, and my two sisters leaned in...

My Dad was now one year older, and without a Wife.

I was without a Mother

...

I sat next to a pt who died yesterday too... With his daughter. He was 92 years old when he died

This is a Sad World for those of us left behind..waiting our turn

PedsDrNurseTheo

Has 20 years experience. Specializes in Pediatric Critical Care, Cardiac, EMS.

Yesterday in the morning I told the aides not to get a resident out of bed. He was failing and his sats were low. I put him on O2 via a face mask. We put him on comfort care.

His vitals were falliing all through my shift but his respirations were still steady and regular, albeit labored. I went in to change a bandage on his arm and his breathing was beginning to be Cheyne-Stokes. Shift change was approaching and I thought I should get moving but then thought, "He is DYING. This is more important than turning over the med cart." I sat with him and stroked his face and kissed him and said, "It's okay, R. You can go. You're not alone." He took his last breath. After two minutes without a respiration I removed the mask and turned off the O2. Got the steth and pronounced him. Then I cried.

Told the charge and she called the family. I heard her say, "He wasn't alone. A nurse was with him."

He reminded me so much of my dad.

The two most important people in our lives that are seldom remembered are the ones who attend us at our entry into this world, and the ones who attend us at our exit from it. We nurses get to be those people for the world.

You were there for him when he needed you the most.

Thank you for reminding me why I do this.

Ted

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Has 14 years experience. Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful story, Sue.

Even in the face of such difficult times for a new grad such as myself, stories like this make me so proud to be able to say that I am a nurse. Thank you.

Lacie, BSN, RN

Specializes in jack of all trades.

To this day after 28 years I still remember my first memorable patients death. I assure you he knew you were there and the tenderness you gave during those last moments. I once had an instructor who was adamant that a pt could hear and knew all that was happening within those last moments even if they didnt know an hour before. She felt that as a final gift most senses are restored (hearing, feeling of touch). I do believe that as I have had pts post code who we knew were gone for that short period of time come back and tell me everything they heard and "saw" when we no doubtedly thought they were comatose. You did a very compassionate move and it's probably one that will be rewarding in itself. Bless you.

rdsxfnrn

Has 10 years experience.

i was with my dad when he passed............ i actually had my hand on his heart when it stopped beating........... we all gathered around him and hugged him and kissed him and told him we love you....... he knew.................

Elvish, BSN, DNP, RN, NP

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

Sue, I am so glad you were there when this man made his transition. I know he knew you were there. I held a baby while he died a couple weeks ago...and believe me, they know. They go faster and more peacefully when they know they're with someone who cares. No matter what age.

Chapis

Specializes in interested in NICU!!.

wow-he was lucky yo have you by his side. i am sure he felt your presence and your words gave him peace. if i am ever in a hospital bed, i hope to have a nurse like you by my side for my last breath. you're a very sweet nurse, know that your dad where ever he is, he's very proud of you♥

freefalr

Has 10 years experience.

oh sue. i know that was difficult for you.

thank you for your tenderness and gift of loving presence, so that he was not alone. i am sure he felt the love and peace you were giving as he passed.

you're in my thoughts. :heartbeat

i can hear your dad bragging to your pt...

"that was my daughter who sat with you".:redbeathe

i now know you are where you're supposed to be.

leslie

RhiaRN75, RN

Specializes in ER.

What a wonderful nurse you are, Sue! No one should die alone in the hospital- I've even clocked out and stayed w/ a pt until family could arrive.

My grandmother died alone in a hospital miles from 'home', and though I was underage and wasn't told she was that sick, that the blood transfusions had been stopped, that my dad was out of town- it just broke my heart and infuriated me when I learned the details years later. I didn't speak to my Dad for over a year. No one was there for her. She was always there for us. Excuses were made, but it was just inexcusable. Honestly, if I could change just one thing in my life, I would have stolen my Mom's car that night and drove over six hours to be there.

I can only hope she had a nurse as compassionate as you are who took the time to sit beside her and make those last few moments a little easier. She was such a wonderful and loving person- I hope the nurses taking care of her saw that through the illness and confusion. I hope they know she raised her family better than she was treated, and didn't think she somehow deserved or earned our absence in her time of need. I really hope and pray that one of the nurses looked like one of us, so maybe she didn't think we had abandoned her- unlikely as that scenario is. Or that she fell asleep peaceful- confident that one of us would arrive in time and never realized that we didn't. Thank God she never knew it took two days for the hospital to track down my father to find out which funeral home to call.

I tell you all of this because I feel compelled thank you for staying w/ your pt. "Thank you!" from the bottom of my heart- there are few things greater one human can do for another then to make the passing a little easier.

That was a beautiful story and such a selfless act. It brought tears to my eyes. You are a beutiful person! I'm sure he knew you were there.

buddiage

Has 10 years experience. Specializes in critical care transport.

God doesn't have a magic wand. He works through people like you. What a nice story.

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