Wednesday, August 3, 2011

American Honey

A song that makes me think of innocence, youthfulness and a simple life is 'American Honey' by Lady Antebellum.

This song fits my night last night because while I have been a nurse for two years, I had never had a to face a patient's death head-on.  Yes, I have had patients that I have taken care of pass, but it has never happened under my watch.  Last night was different.  I was getting ready to go into one of my patient's rooms with some medication and on my way their call light went off.  As I walked into the room and greeted the patient's family who had arrived since the last time I had been in the room  I asked what I could do for them since the light was on.  While asking this question I realized that something was clearly not right with the patient and while the family had been feeding the patient just moments before, the patient was no longer breathing.  I won't go through the details, but this patient died.  Thankfully the patient and their family had previously made the decision to make the patient a DNR/DNI (do not resuscitate/do not intubate) and the patient was able to go peacefully and very quickly.

My innocence as a nurse, and as a person, has been lost.  I knew that the day would come when a patient of mine was going to pass while under my care - in this profession it is inevitable - but I would never have guessed that it was going to happen yesterday with this particular patient who had had me laughing the whole day.  Thankfully, it is a situation in which I can know with my whole heart that there is nothing that I could have done to have changed the outcome and I can believe that it truly was their time to join the Lord.

I grew up with a simple, naive life.  I have lost loved ones.  I have now witnessed a man take his last breath.  This first 'hands-on' experience with death will be one that I do not forget.

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