Saturday, June 27, 2009

what a night...

last night was rough.

a 36 year old man died early this morning despite all our efforts.


i turn 35 this year.

no one else seemed bothered by this turn of events.

the staff were casual.

cavalier, even.



in his room as he was taking his last breaths and beating his last beats.

we all deal with death differently. in my course of nursing over the last 15 years, i have been at the bedside of more people than i can remember as they breathe their last.

or maybe they breathed their last 20 minutes prior and we have just been their breath and heart beat as we try to bring them back.

however you want to look at it.

i cannot remember all their faces. or their names. just that i have seen a lot of people die.

some deaths are peaceful. like Mr Q who sat up in bed after days of being comatose and reached up him arms to heaven and smiled. i still get chills remembering than one.

or nancy. she suffered a long time with myeloma, only to succumb in a hospital room surrounded by family, and me. i count myself very privileged to have been in that room holding her hand with my right and linking with all of her children to form a circle as she went to see Jesus.

some deaths are torturous. they linger on your mind and spirit because they are filled with angst. i imagine that their meeting with our Maker is of a different kind.

this morning, i should have spoken up. please forgive me, Mr S.

i should not have let them speak those things in your room.

i needed their help, not their sarcasm.

but, again. everyone deals with death differently.

once you stop caring about the life that is lost before your very eyes, though....

well, it is time for a new job. nursing is no longer your calling.


Help Meet in the Making said...

I agree..I have seen this happen far too often. It also irritates me when people joke or talk bad about the patient right in front of them (when they're nonverbal, or even HOH).
Even if the patient is comatose or nonverbal, I still talk to them. They say that hearing is the last things that even if they can't respond, they may hear what you're saying.

Giovanna said...

I agree as well. My mother in law has been in nursing all her life. She is now the dean of a nursing university and tries her best to show them that everything they do and don't do makes an impact on the patient, their families, and even other patients. She requires them to spend a certain amount of days in a hospital bed, hooked up to an iv, getting their vitals and weight taken , etc. ,etc. everything that a patient would have to go through. With my husband having been in the hospital for so long last year, you definitely see how it takes a toll on the nurses and how they desensitize to death and common courtesy sometimes goes out the window.
If seeing someone die does nothing to a nurse, they should look for a different job. To me, the simple definition of a nurse, is to care for people.