Unfortunately, not every patient endures critical illness. Death is stressful and a testing encounter to caregivers, nurses, physicians and relatives who were taking care of the patient (Maddrell & Sidaway, 2010). However, the situation is even worse when someone passes on in your presence. Though, while dealing with patients especially those suffering from terminal diseases one is psychologically prepared for the worse everyone keeps hoping for the best. I once experienced a friend pass on after a tragic road accident. After the tragedy, we rushed him to the nearby hospital, and the medical team worked desperately to stabilize his condition. In a short period, some of the relatives had arrived in the health center and looked devastated. Unfortunately, the person took his last breath holding his sister's arm and everyone in the room deprived the young man was no more.
Being with someone at the point of his or her death is a philosophical experience. At those times, the anticipation is mentally and emotionally exhausting. When death happens, the process is quick and unpleasant to witness as the victim takes his or her last long out-breath followed by a sudden silence. However, this is not always the case, as some will take several outwards gasps as their lungs and heart stop. Accepting that someone has passed on is difficult, and after the reality strikes, one feels angered by the situation, and at this moment, you end up having so many unanswered questions. Those who are religious seek divine intervention and at this period despair is evident.
The grieving period is characterized by depression and disbelief and lasts until one accepts the loss. At times if relatives of the deceased lack enough support to overcome their grief, as a friend or even a caregiver you may end up having a harder time to carry on with your normal life (Domrose, 2011). Among the responses to counter this difficult period is to spend time with people and express your feelings. Those who hold it in, later have trouble with their personal relationships and may develop some problems helping people in similar conditions. Lastly, as a nurse, one should assist the family members and friends to accept their loved one is dead. However, they should also learn how to deal with their feelings of loss and sadness.
Domrose, C. (2011). Good Grief: Nurses Cope With Patient Deaths. Retrieved from https://www.nurse.com/blog/2011/02/21/good-grief-nurses-cope-with-patient-deaths/
Maddrell, A., & Sidaway, J. D. (2010). Deaths capes: Spaces for death, dying, mourning and remembrance. Farnham, Surrey, England: Ash gate.
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