Death. Everything a Registered Nurse should know.

This article is written by a Nurse who has seen death for more than 20 years. Death is a difficult subject, nurses doctors and all of have to deal with it. We are all programmed to die. Here’s how to deal with it.

Death and Dying – Nursing Issues.

Death is not easy subject to deal with. It difficult for the dying who is dying, and those around him/her. This article is written by a registered nurse with more than twenty years experience who has witnessed many deaths. There is no predicting when death will strike or whom it will strike next. Could be me, could be you. Just like taxes, it is real. Is has always happened, is happening and will continue to happen until at least the end of my life.

Picture A. Sudden Death in a young person is more traumatic than the death of an elderly person with chronic disease.

Issues discussed are death, fear of dying, insurance, next of kin, structured settlement, legal, death insurance, last rites, funeral insurance, funeral home

People who are dying have a life and are living it. As long as they are alive they have all the emotions, feelings and wishes that all of us have. This article is based on lengthy lonely talks sitting with dying patients on the night shift.

The night time is the most difficult time for the dying patient. The fear of death is real. Many Nurses will give the patient prescribed medications and say their “good night” and “will see you in the morning”. This is standard care, the medication is expected the patient to sleep. All family members are told to go home and get some sleep. The reality is very different. Patients cannot sleep, the fear of death is real. Switching off the lights, it’s like switching off life. In my experience, many patients have requested the light to be left on and I have not had any problem. Of course, I as a nurse, was subjected to the usual pressure from my bosses who would give me a lecture on how the quality of sleep is not so good when the lights are on. I have had many lengthy talks about “fear of dying” with many patients. As a Nurse, please respect the patient’s wishes, the fear is real and I will talk about it in the next paragraph.

Many patients fear of dying. The fear of dying is because many patients feel that death is preceded by pain. Death is not painful to many patients. The process of dying is usually the result of pathological disturbances which first alter blood chemistry which alter the level of consciousness of the patient. When the LOC (level of consciousness) is decreased the patient is not in pain and is not aware when the last breath will be. Pain can be controlled effectively by medications. Medications must be administered correctly. Please see: Administering Oral Medications (PO) Correctly

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  1. Do you not have anything better to write?

  2. Dear M. Smith,

    We need to have people who can care for us even when we are dead. Human death is surrounded by many rites, rituals and ceremonies. In terms of caring for the patient, the end is just as important as the begining.

    I am sorry to note that you feel negatively about this topic. Believe it or not, we all have to come to terms with the death of close ones and eventually our own.

    It is a sad truth.

  3. Thanks. Fascinating first hand experiences. Death is No.1 on the list of upsetting topics, but no one escapes it.

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