Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Today as I was admitting a patient, she passed away. I literally watched her die. I've never really watched someone die before. Usually I get there right after. It was very peaceful. First, she stopped breathing, and I took a pulse, and it was rapid at first, like 100 beats a minute, but then it slowed down considerably, and soon her heart just stopped beating. She was 94 years old.

I realize I don't talk much about work on this blog. Many people, if they just joined, don't really know what my job is all about. I basically, for a living, help people die. Not in a euthanasia/Kevorkian way...but to help them control their symptoms using both pharmacological and nonpharmacological methods to the point where they can comfortably leave this Earth and transition into another life. And also to help the family grieve.

Why, you may ask, makes this occupation so attractive to me? It's low-tech, stresses holistic nursing, creativity, spirituality, and it's unconventional. Plus, I've always enjoyed working with this population, where you can focus on the actual person, and not the IV machine, ventilator, unit of blood, chemo drip that becomes that patient's identity on a medicine floor. I love working in the homes, and since the nurse to patient ratio is always 1:1, it's not overwhelming at all. Also, it's not hard to be around the patients and their families. I get to be nice to people for a living.

Being there, with that patient this afternoon, I could not think of anywhere else I wanted to be. It was an absolute privilage, and I was glad to do it.

Irony: Old Woman - Oct 7-8, 2003. Me old man - Oct 10, 2003. Got to watch it live and in person. I'll always wonder if THIS Forest George could have handled it better than THAT Forest George.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?