student nurses learning………the hard way

There was a night that I was working with Jasmine, a girl from my class.  I cannot recall if she was a Brit or had come from another country to train.  I believe that there was a more senior student (we were 1st year student nurses) on duty that night and a nurses’ aide.  Our superior had gone for a break and left the aide to guide us.  The aide was an older lady who had been working there for many years.  Jasmine and I decided to do rounds.  So with a flashlight in hand we started to go from bed to bed to check on our sleeping patients.  Halfway through our rounds we noticed an older woman who was not a healthy colour.  I believe that I felt for her pulse and could not find it, nor detect her heartbeat.  We both declared in a whisper that she was dead.  We both headed away to get the aide.  As I was closing her curtain, the patient let out an enormous breath.  Poor Jasmine and I shrieked, but mindful of an open ward full of sleeping women, we somehow shrieked very quietly.  I think this poor woman was probably dying, because there was no emergency, no code for a cardiac arrest.  The aide showed us how to clean and prepare a dead body for the mortuary.

The poor woman died all alone in the night…

A sobering night for Jasmine and me…


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