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I watched him die.

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Anonymous User

Posted by Anonymous
on November 2nd, 2012 at 1:41 AM


I am a nurse at a very well known nursing center in the town I live in. We had a resident there who choked on food one time. Just once. The day time charge nurse called his doctor and over-exaggerated the event, and he gave an order to give him no more food, water, or medication by mouth. I didnt believe he was that bad off, so I did try once, when he was yelling out for water, to give him some. He took a very big sip, and began coughing. I never tried again.

Looking back, he was probably so anxious to be getting the water, that he did choke a little.

Over a week later, he was still yelling for food or water. No one so much as attempted to help him, not even me. I sat back and told myself that it was for the best. But, when I would enter his room, he would be looking at me, his eyes begging me to help him. He was 95, and still mentally sound, and he knew as well as I did that he was starving to death.

2 weeks after the order was given, he died. And I still go in every day, and still put on my name tag, and still smile to families, and thank them when they tell me that I am a great nurse, but I see his eyes in my mind, and those eyes thought anything but how great I was.

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4 Comments (add your own)

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  1. saxgurl212 - 13-15 years old - female

    Posted by saxgurl212 on November 2nd, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    I read this, and started crying. My mom's a nurse and she comes home almost everyday in tears, you have no idea how much I respect you and how amazing I think you and all other nurses are. I couldn't do it. I'm not emotionally strong enough for it. You guys do what I couldn't. It's inspiring.

    ~Emily and my alters; Cecelia, Angela, Jenette, and Jesse

    Reply | 1dislike | Flag

  2. MarikoStTherese - 31-35 years old - female

    Posted by MarikoStTherese on November 2nd, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Why didn't they add thick-it to his pureed food? I can imagine the guilt you must feel, you can't hold it against yourself. There should have been other ways to treat his choking, & if there weren't, it may have been because of something you're not aware of. If your superior or the man's MD were really that shady, lazy, neglectful - what have you - file a complaint with the state or the nursing home's director. You may not shed these horrible feelings, but at least then you'll have an action to counter them with when they occur. Just a thought.

    Reply | 2dislike | Flag

  3. Hyacinth12 - 16-17 years old - female

    Posted by Hyacinth12 on November 2nd, 2012 at 6:26 AM

    Issues of neglect and abuse of the elderly seem widespread. They went through WW2 to be treated like this?! The whole system needs an overhaul, with legislation that is enforced to ensure their regular appropriate care, such as random/routine thorough inspections, surveillance, food and living standards enforced, etc. All we ever hear about is gay rights and bullying, when the government should be onto more immediate concerns.



    This is third-world treatment of our elders, but some of those third-world countries have actual customs that state that it's our duty to care for our elders. We have a long way to go before we can say we are civilized. And don't get me started on animal rights.

    Reply | 1dislike | Flag

  4. dingo3497 - 41-45 years old - male

    Posted by dingo3497 on November 2nd, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    My wife is a nurse and periodically works part time at nursing homes and rehab centers. You are not alone, my wife has told me terrible stories. She told me that if I ever put her in a home she would rather kill herself then stay there. They are terrible places.

    Reply | 1dislike | Flag

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