In my 8 years of working in care homes and within hospitals during my stint as a Student Nurse there I can honestly say there are only a several occasions that I have come near to emotional wreckage.
In fact as awful as it sounds there are only 3 instances that come to mind (to date) . And I find myself asking myself, is it because I am professional or just damn right hardhearted when it comes to my job?
The latest happening within the last 12 hours of this post.
On going to do some personal cares on a client, my colleague and I went into the elderly mans room to find he had passed away quite unexpectedly. As awful as it sounds I was not phased by his passing. It had been expected (he was in his 90’s and was ill), but not so rapidly. We went through the correct procedures. Ambulance, Police officers (Due to it being officially unexpected as there was no DNR or palliative nurse in place), all the correct procedure.
What started to phase me was the fact that we had to inform his devoted 90 year old wife, who visited everyday for most of the day over a telephone conversation, when there was a member of staff willing to go to her place of residence to tell her, so she didn’t have to be alone.I am so thankful it was not me who had to make that call, and to this day have never had to make any type of phone call informing someone of a loss of a loved one.
But what really had me choking back the tears, was when his wife came to the home to see him (and me being made to take her to his room – which in my opinion the Manager should of done.) She very almost collapsed as she saw her husband laid there, and so did my heart as I watched this frail lady say her quick goodbye as she couldn’t bare to be in the same room as him. (can you blame her)
The conversation keeps playing through my head.
Mrs: Was he alone when it happened?
Me: I’m afraid so, I’m sorry.
Mrs: I understand you have an awful lot of things to do. I had no idea he was that ill.
Me: Nor did we, it was so sudden.
Mrs: Am I awful for not wanting to see him like that? You know its funny, before leaving him today I went back just to look at him. I don’t know why.What am I going to do?
Me No your not awful.
And on the pair leaving I gave each of them a hug and a kiss and gave my sympathy.
They both thanked me for looking after him, and said they will miss seeing us.