Being a nurse is both, a wound and a blessing. I say this as I bring to you an incident about one of my patients, of whom I took care of before he took his last breath, sadly just half-hour after he had taken his breakfast.
Working in Germany as a clinical nurse has given me more scope for the practical implementation of knowledge that I studied in ‘fundamentals of nursing’ in specific and other subjects in general.
I work in the medicine department attached to the geriatric station. We provide holistic care to the elderly population as well as help them to build their confidence to do the activities of daily, improve their strength and self-esteem.
He was 76 years ‘young’ patient, young because he physically looked like he was in his 60’s and he did all the ADLs ( Activities of Daily Living) by himself. He had an ever smiling face and had complete self-agency.
He had a history of myocardial infarction and a lung emboli. He had come to our station for a follow up check-up.
Following his visit, he was admitted to the geriatric unit for some regular tests. That morning, He greeted us, had his breakfast, and started to read the newspaper. One of my colleagues asked him to go downstairs for a test. While he was crossing our nurse’s station, he complained of chest pain. I was present at the station, and as soon as he told this to us, one of my senior colleagues took him to his bed and started to measure his vital signs. I had gone along with her. His blood pressure was so low that she immediately called the station doctor. In the very next second, he was unconscious and pulseless.
She activated the reanimation team and we started CPR. I could not believe that the person with whom I was speaking to a few minutes ago, was the same person I am giving chest compression right now. The reanimation team reached within 3 minutes and took over the charge. We all were speechless.
I continuously gave him chest compression’s while he was being brought in the lift from my station on the third floor to the intensive care unit on the first floor. I waited anxiously at my station to know about his well being, but a few hours later I came to know he left us for his heavenly abode.
It was difficult to believe but I also thought that he had a peaceful death. I have seen many suffering with painful diseases and death.
There are two things to notice in this incident. One is the nurses ability to observe and assess the patient round the clock and this is one of the major tool of their practice. Every nurse in her/his every shift will observe such changes and alert or inform the health team. Another is the psychological trauma they suffer and unfortunately it will affect their personality but will not be diagnosed. There is a need to record observation skills of the nurses and recognize them with additional responsibilities and scope of practice.
We continued our work after a breakfast break. Can you imagine that just an hour ago I served breakfast to him, gave chest compressions, shifted him to ICU, and lost him forever? Sad, right? Well, that why you need a strong yet gentle heart to be a nurse.
Let his soul rest in peace. His smile will always be with me.
Really heart touching…
It’s not easy to be a nurse. .needs strong will and passion
Your narration of incident is heart touching. I wish more strength to you and other colleagues in this profession.
Though you are emotional with death of one patient on your shift, you need to go with a smiling face to the next patient whom you are assigned to. This is the life of a Nurse. Need to build up more resilience.
‘Death’ is only truth of the life. It has to come one day to everyone but when n how this will come, nobody knows. If, this is the only truth which we need to know n accept throughout our lifetime then what’s the mystery in it. Accept the truth..everyone has to go one day ,no-one is immortal except nature then let it be whenever n however it be ! But the good part is..it should be peaceful which a lucky people only get.
Well, ‘Jo chale jaate h unko koi fark nhi parta lekin jo rah jaate h unke liye ye acceptance bahoutttt hi mushkil h’. Kisike jaane ke baad aap unke liye kuch nhi kar sakte it’s better ki jab tak wo h tab tak aap unke liye har wo chiz karo jo wo deserve karte h aur jo kabhi unki ikkshayen thi.
this profession gives us the opportunity to serve people and we get emotionally attached to our clients,sometime it brings smile to our face and at other moment sadness!
Nurses are present while taking first breath and last breath. Though first breath brings joy but during last breath nurses need strong heart in order to bring comfort and continue their work.
Emotional control and sharing of emotions helps nurses to regain the energy to work with same passion!! Many a times, Patients give blessings for all the care nurses provide, despite they r in dying phase. RIP. Technology grows, but can’t find wer does life go!!!!
The irony of life ,you do not know how it works,but definitely you can as a nurse ,stand in between life and death.