August 29, 2011

First trip to the morgue

Yesterday I helped with the admission of a middle aged woman. She was crying in pain. Specifically her legs, her back, and her head. She had multiple tests done. All came back normal. I felt so helpless and didn't know how to help her.

Today, she went downhill fast.  She was actively dying and was a DNR.  All we could do was keep her comfortable. Her very large family was all present and stayed with her the entire time. A Catholic priest was called at the request of the family. We all held our breath and prayed that the priest would make it in time. She passed away within a minute of the priest arriving.

After the family left, I helped the nurse's aide wheel her down to the morgue. I must say, seeing it was not like what I expected. Not at all. Just a very small room with a metal table and scale. A walk in cooler that was big enough to fit only 2 stretchers inside. Small hospital, small morgue I guess. What happens if you have to take a patient down there, in the middle of the night, and the cooler already is at capacity? What am I supposed to do with the body? Nobody could answer my question. They all say "Oh, that won't happen".

Murphy's Law: It will happen to me. In the middle of the night. When I'm fresh off of orientation.

3 comments:

rnraquel said...

That is actually a good question. We are a pretty good sized hospital, but also have a small morgue. Security has to meet us there to open it up for us, but one time the nurse did not want to wait for Security and just left the poor person's body in the hallway.

NP Odyssey said...

Now it will happen.
If it does call the night supervisor and tell her you will use the kitchen walk-in cooler if she does not do something.

Searching for myself said...

hhhmmmm...never thought of that...our morgue doesn't hold very many at all and sometimes it is a few days before a body is picked up due to various reason....it is an interesting thought...where do they put them when the morgue is full??? lol