View Full Version : What we face


sue-rn
06-26-2007, 10:43 PM
I know you all will understand ... had an infant arrest today. we only worked him 30 minutes ... but the aftermath filled the next 4 hours ... dealing with mom, pastoral care, postmortem xrays and photos, and interviews with the medical examiner. we're one of the hospitals that encourage family presence during resusitation attempts. mom's whaling and pleading and crying are haunting me tonight - she is one tough lady, i hope this doesnt break her!

Anyway ... i'm thankful for the encouragement and understanding that we can bring each other ... i've gotten my courage back so many times by reading from other bloggers out there (Kim!) and knowing that we're all together in the battle. Hang tough y'all ...

geenaRN
06-27-2007, 12:05 PM
Actually I cannot even begin to understand how difficult that was :( Hopefully some of the ER nurses that post here can provide you with some better commiseration.

As a nurse, I often hear, "I could never do what you do." I see plenty of heartache, but what you describe is beyond heartache. So as a nurse, I just have to say... I could never do what you do.

KimRN
06-28-2007, 01:07 AM
Oh Sue! {{{{{}}}}}}

I've taken care of some pretty sick infants/newborns but my youngest code was six years old.

That has to be one area of our specialty that we never, ever get used to.

MyOwnWoman
06-28-2007, 09:20 PM
Some things will never leave you. I think some incidents you will remember until the day you die. I will tell you one thing that I have learned; each and every time you feel low and saddened about what has occurred, you've grown in nursing. All these things will work together to make you a stronger, better, and more compassionate nurse.

Lilies grow in the vallies; not the hill tops.

TofuLou
06-28-2007, 11:15 PM
i can't imagine... but, think about it this way: how sad would it have been if you didn't feel sad? thank goodness you've still got feelings! but, sorry to hear about the code... <hugs from me to you>

sue-rn
06-29-2007, 05:11 PM
thanks folks ... tofu .. had the same thought ... just being glad that i still cared and could still shed tears .. nice to know i'm not entirely hardened!

P/J
07-01-2007, 11:43 PM
Doing research over the University Holidays. One of the projects is on how nurse cope with death and dying in the ED. Any ideas what should be asked in a questionare to get some good productive answers, so that measures can be put into place to support staff.

Thanks.

MyOwnWoman
07-04-2007, 02:29 PM
I don't know if this is appropriate or not, but during an arrest when the family is not present; I find myself singing. I don't sing vulgar or obnoxious songs, but they aren't always gospel hymns either.

After the arrest, if the patient has expired, I raise the head of the bed 30 degrees to get the blue hue to leave the face and cover the patient with a heated blanket. I cover the whole body but especially the hands where the family members are more than likely to want to touch. I know it's a silly ritual, but I'd like them to feel the warmth of their loved one. They have a life time to deal with the cold reality.

I don' know if that's a question, but it's just one of the ways I cope.

Marachne
07-04-2007, 03:30 PM
PJ,

Having recently completed a course about designing survey instruments, let me just say that it's a pretty difficult thing, requiring some very specific knowledge to design a reliable, valid measurement tool.

Julie
07-04-2007, 03:34 PM
PJ maybe you would be better to do a small piece of qualitative research where you ask people about their coping mechanisms. As Marachne says the whole survey thing can be tricky, and you could put in lots of work and get a poor response.

KimRN
07-04-2007, 04:43 PM
Some things will never leave you. I think some incidents you will remember until the day you die. I will tell you one thing that I have learned; each and every time you feel low and saddened about what has occurred, you've grown in nursing. All these things will work together to make you a stronger, better, and more compassionate nurse.

Lilies grow in the vallies; not the hill tops.

Great quote - and it's true. Growth is sometimes painful and nursing is no different.

KimRN
07-04-2007, 04:51 PM
Doing research over the University Holidays. One of the projects is on how nurse cope with death and dying in the ED. Any ideas what should be asked in a questionare to get some good productive answers, so that measures can be put into place to support staff.

Thanks.

How much time are you given after the death of a patient before you must begin caring for another patient?

You express emotion after the death of a patient. Are you given support or expected to "suck it up" and move on?

What would be the best way for your unit to help you after your patient has died? Time away from the unit? Permission to cry? A chance to ventilate to someone?

I'll try to think of some more....

KimRN
07-04-2007, 05:15 PM
I don't know if this is appropriate or not, but during an arrest when the family is not present; I find myself singing. I don't sing vulgar or obnoxious songs, but they aren't always gospel hymns either.

After the arrest, if the patient has expired, I raise the head of the bed 30 degrees to get the blue hue to leave the face and cover the patient with a heated blanket. I cover the whole body but especially the hands where the family members are more than likely to want to touch. I know it's a silly ritual, but I'd like them to feel the warmth of their loved one. They have a life time to deal with the cold reality.

I don' know if that's a question, but it's just one of the ways I cope.

I do the same thing - especially with the warm blanket. I want the family to see the patient looking as normal as possible. It's amazing how many family members need to know it is okay to touch their loved one after they have died.

KimRN
07-04-2007, 05:17 PM
PJ,

Having recently completed a course about designing survey instruments, let me just say that it's a pretty difficult thing, requiring some very specific knowledge to design a reliable, valid measurement tool.

I'm all ears - hopefully we will get a topic of for academia or back-to-school nurses and I need to learn these things.:) Any tips on how to actually phrase a question?

kate loving shenk
07-14-2007, 09:16 PM
we have many women come to our hospital for inductions for babies who have died in utero.

many times the babies are born alive. sometimes they live for several hours or days.

this is quite intense and beside keeping a therapeutic and caring atmosphere for all concerned, the arrangements with funeral homes, pastoral care, picture taking, and mounds of paperwork is quite overwelming especially for new employees.

PTSD is an outcome i have seen in others and in myself.

so tears and caring are one side of the equation. but how do we help those who actually are experiencing the effects of PTSD?

i've brought this question to our bereavement committee. we still are working on the best way to help.

Wendy
08-03-2007, 11:19 PM
Dealing with death is the worst thing about our job, with babies and kids it is even worse. I always wondered if it would get easier, it doesn't. I realize that if it would get easier it would mean I was becoming callous and uncaring and then I wouldn't be the nurse that I strive to be.

Julie
08-04-2007, 04:07 AM
One of the things for me has been that as I have got older and had more life experiences, then the more I can personally identify with the situations. When you are a young nurse it feels sad but, once you have had healthy children of your own it hits home harder.