Wednesday, June 15, 2011

death x 4

People die in the ER, everybody knows that. Its never easy. Different deaths affect you differently.

Sometimes someone is a DNR and for some reason are brought into the ER. Maybe the family can't handle them dying at home. The death is expected. You feel bad because the family has lost a loved one, but at least it wasn't unexpected.

Then there is the cardiac arrest that happens outside the hospital. They are usually elderly and may come in with no heartbeat. You make an effect to resuscitate them and then it is called. It is sad to see the family sad because their loved one has passed. Their tears are hard to watch. But you tell yourself that the person was elderly, it was their time to go.

Then there are those that really affect you. The traumatic death, either accidental or intentional. Either fate has put them at the wrong place at the wrong time and they are tragically killed. Or someone intentionally killed someone. Either case it really affects you. Sometimes they are young, barely starting their lives. It is so unfair and it makes you angry. It seems so pointless. In these situations the family is in a state of shock, made worse by the randomness of these deaths or the intention of someone. These are the deaths in which people may wail, act out. It makes it even harder.

Then there is the worst death of all. Someone dies who wasn't supposed to die. They were sick on arrival but stable, but then end up dying. You try hard to bring them back but it doesn't work. The staff is in a state of shock this time, along with the family. What happened? What could we have done differently? Could I have prevented this death somehow? I should have done something differently. In this death you may never know the cause because sometimes there is no autopsy. So you are left to wonder why and how it may have turned out differently. These are the hardest cases of all.

And that's death in the emergency room. Your thoughts?


Mark p.s.2 said...

My thoughts... I think you ( Nurse, Doctor) do the best job you can.
You (Nurse, Doctor)have the most difficult job, handling peoples most valuable thing, their life.

girlvet said...


Anonymous said...

Very well categorized, & so true that the unforeseen death is the most difficult to process. It takes a toll on us & is taxing emotionally, mentally & physically. I'm sorry for your losses. Life is ver fragile.

newnurseinthehood said...

Indeed. I wish we got a coupon for counseling or something.