Thursday, April 17, 2014

I'm no longer a virgin

I'm shell shocked speechless

I had my virginity taken away from me....

One of my patients died. While I was working. Anytime I've taken care of a dying person, they've always died after I've had them. Or before I come onto shift then I have to do the death rites. But this time it was different.

Sort of anyways.....

Between my first shift and me coming on for the next shift my patient's O2 needs increased ALOT.... as in 2L to requiring 50% O2.

He lasted on 50% for 2 hrs then went up to 60% for an hour then needed 100% via a non rebreather mask in order to simply maintain him at 90% - and I had the vitals machine hooked up to his toe so that if I or any of my colleagues went past his room we would know what his sat was (BTW ALL his other vitals were awesome)

I did my last rounds at 0645hrs - I get off at 0730hrs so that left me enough time in order to complete my documentation.

At 0730 hrs I gave report on 4 of my patients - then was about to go into THAT pt's room when my colleague decided she wanted report on the other patient first - I said alright and we went to the room next door (door ways are not next to each other tho) and gave report.... took about another 5 minutes total.

When we went into Mr. X's room, he was gone. You could tell just by looking at him. Clearly he had just passed because he was still warm. My colleague and I just looked at each other completely shocked. He was NOT expected to pass! At least he was a DNR so we didn't have to do anything to him but man was I shocked. I couldn't believe he had died.

Stats state that people die most often at change of shift - go figure!

I feeel a bit of guilt - maybe had I gone in there another time he wouldn't have died. You coudl tell that he knew he was dying because he took off his oxygen mask. It was sitting in his hand. So maybe if I had gone in there again it would have stayed on his face, helping to keep him breathing.

When I informed his doctor that he had died he was shocked as well. No one expected this guy to die. I mean, 2 days previously he was on the rehab unit!!!! He was on his way to getting better (he was a previous patient on our unit and I had taken care of him when he was with us before - so it was kinda surreal). So because he wasn't expected to die there was no order on his chart that indicated that the nurse could pronounce so we had to wait to pronounce til the doctor made it to us.

I felt bad for his family as well because they didn't get a chance to say their goodbyes. When I called his family I was only able to say that he was doing poorly and that they needed to come now (charge nurse told me not to tell them that he had died). Sucks. His family was shattered that they didn't make it in time to say goodbye. So of course they're going to feel guilty that they didn't get to the hospital faster. UGH. I would seriously be pissed or feel guilty if that sort of thing happened to me let me tell you!

I left my patient's death rites to my colleague but I did all the documentation associated with his death. May he rest in peace!


  1. I am so sorry for your loss. I know that he was your patient, but as nurses, we care for people in very intimate situations. Therefore, we develop attachments really quickly and when they pass we experience the loss. Be careful of the shoulda-coulda-woulda's, they will get you every time, but only if you let them. To me, however, it sounds like you did everything that you could have done. I pray that you find comfort in the days to come.


  2. Thank you - I feel bad that he died alone. I know that I couldn't have helped that because frankly he wasn't expected to die. I know that nothing I did caused his death I just think that everyone should die with someone around them. Thank you though for the uplifting words