Death is an inevitable part of a nurse’s career. It occurs not only in hospice care settings where death is an expectation but in many other healthcare settings as well. The circumstances surrounding a patient’s death, the level of experience of the nurse, and their coping strategies are all factors that can affect a nurse’s emotions in profound ways.
Patient Death Affects Nurses
A study published in 2021 surveyed 160 nurses across four hospital units—emergency department, internal medicine, surgery, and intensive care unit—to assess the impact patient death has on nurses.
My most treasured middle school memories begin with the intense aroma of habanero peppers and pineapple. For most, comfort food equates to mac and cheese or hamburgers, but for my father and me, a touch of homemade hot sauce was a taste of home.
I had memorized all the basics to impress him with my knowledge of spicy foods: where everything landed on the Scoville scale when the best time to harvest peppers was, and what lingers in the membranes of the seeds that create that sweet burn on your tongue.
Kate was brought up in a cult that didn’t allow medical intervention. She is a person with lived experience who has had suicidal thoughts. For Kate, a big contributing factor to this is her strict upbringing and the conflict that comes that resulted from severing ties with a religion that holds you hostage but also is the only life you’ve ever known.
Do: Listen. Let them voice their emotions. Ask if they would like to make a list of the things that they need, both large and small. Do something on it right away. It will make them feel both cared … Read more...
Dear Mom, I am so hurt and destroyed by your actions, especially in the last few years.
I don’t understand when one of your children tells you how they feel and how destroyed they are that you can be so cold and heartless. I spent my whole life feeling not good enough and never ever being able to make you happy. When I tried so hard. I just wanted you to say one time something was good or “good job” or to feel like I finally did something right.
There is no putting lipstick on that thought to make it pretty. And denying it won’t make it not true. I drowned in guilt over this for years. And it has resurfaced after a dream in which the phone rang incessantly and I woke up in a cold sweat that something awful had happened.
It had of course. In 2015, my son had taken his life. Why was this coming up now?
Right after he died, I was obsessed about that last phone call.
Trigger Warning: Strong emotional content and suicide method referenced. If you are in crisis, text “help” to 741-741 or call 988
by Dave Snell
About five years ago I read a speech Wil Wheaton gave concerning his dealings with Chronic Depression and Generalized Anxiety. More importantly, it was about how he is not ashamed of admitting that he lives with those diagnoses. What troubled me though was he only focused on a couple of particular types of mental illness. Like cancer, there are many types of mental illness, but we seem to focus on a few of them. I have … Read more...
My first three psychiatric hospital stays were involuntary.
I was forced in against my will. However, the last seven stays up until 2019 were voluntary. I walked into the emergency rooms, head held high, turned to the intake nurse (with a loved one present) and said, “I need to be here, or I won’t be here. I am thinking of suicide.” Each stay was vastly different while simultaneously feeling the same. The difference festered … Read more...
My name is Andrea and I am an addict in recovery. My addictions were speed, narcotics, and alcohol. Because of my addictions, I’ve lost friends, significant others, housing, and my dignity. But since getting clean and sober, I have gained family, home, companions, and Mercy.
My mother gave me this rescue pitbull puppy which was named Angel. After realizing that the rescue dog rescued me, I renamed her Mercy.
Mercy came to me just 2 days after I became free from addiction
My clean/sober date is January 29, 2014, and I received Mercy on … Read more...
Late last year, I spoke to a class of high school students locally. The teacher said she had been a friend of Charles’s which shocked me. How did she get to be the teacher? Wasn’t she too young? I couldn’t speak for a few seconds. The teacher even shared old pictures I had not seen.
You see I have Charles frozen at age 20.
All those who went to school with him are kind of frozen in my mind, too. I do see his friends, I get that they’ve graduated from college, some have married and his best friend had … Read more...
Almost everyone can mark the day their innocence walked out the door and harsh reality took its place. It’s that day when your vision of what the world is, where it’s going, and how you are moving through it changes course. Can you remember yours?
Awareness had been stalking me for weeks but had successfully been shoved out of the spotlight by denial, leaving it panting at the periphery of my conscience, anxious to break in and give me news I didn’t want to hear.
My naive mind didn’t want the pieces of the puzzle to fall into place but … Read more...
And success is made up of a bunch of lessons learned from failures.
The screw-ups, break-ups, surgeries, traumas, illnesses, natural disasters, losses, and accidents, are all woven into the tapestry called life. They are not events we want to happen but they do. And the best way to come back after any one of them is to learn and grow from it, not bury the feelings that go with these experiences.
Because if your feelings are covered up and buried, you get stuck in a really raw place for a lot longer than you need to.