Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Deceased Patients

The majority of my posts is recipes or book reviews, but I sometimes need to use this blog as an emotional outlet too, so I apologize in advance for the sad subject.

My hospital has a system set up to notify any provider who's taken care of a patient in the past two years if the patient has passed. While I appreciate the knowledge, it pains me every time I see one of these notifications. Today I received one on a patient I helped care for several months ago. At that time I knew the prognosis was poor, but looking at the patient, I only saw hope. The patient had made so much progress, the patient had good spirits, and I could only hope this patient would be the one who defies the odds. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

I appreciate knowing the ultimate fate of the patients, but it pains me every time I receive one of these notifications. I think about how their lives were cut short. I think about how their parents and families have an amount of grief I can't even imagine. I think about how life is unfair. I think about what I learned from each patient and how I can carry that with me. I remember their names, their smiles, their pain.

I don't understand why horrible things happen to people, and I don't think I ever will.


etta said...

It's always tough to hear when former patients die. I work as a CNA in a nursing home (on the rehab-to-home wing) and get pretty close to many of my residents. It's sad to open the paper and find former residents in the obituary section. All we can do is comfort ourselves with the knowledge that we provided the best care possible when they needed it.

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