A gentleman had been sick for 2 weeks but because of Christmas he had postponed coming into his doctor. He was so sick the Monday after Christmas that he was transported to the ER via ambulance. He was stabilized in the ED. Shortly after his transfer to 2A, he experienced a cardiac arrest. Cynthia Delfin and Diane Marston both nurses on the floor knew the patient’s wife personally. Cynthia immediately went into the room to be with her. Diane supported her from the desk.
Throughout the entire 20 minute code, Cynthia stayed with the patient’s wife and told her everything that was going on. Explaining the strips on the monitor, answering her questions about why they “just don’t shock him?” and explaining what the medications were and why they were being given.
The patient regained a heartbeat and was transported to ICU. Diane took over Cynthia’s team to allow her to go to the ICU to be with the patient’s wife. Shortly after he arrived there, he arrested again. The wife was in the waiting room and Cynthia went out to get her and bring her into the room, again telling her what was happening. After he had been coded again for about 20 minutes the doctor looked to the wife and told her what no one wants to hear, that their efforts were not being successful and did she want to continue. She was not able to make that decision at that time and the code continued for 12 minutes longer. Again the statement that their efforts were not working and she had to make the decision to let her husband go.
Cynthia remained next to his wife the entire time. The wife states that she would not have made it through this ordeal without Cynthia’s support and explanations. Cynthia was there to hold her tight each time the bad news came and help her to work through it.
The patient’s wife shared this: “Diane thank you and thank Cynthia so much for everything you did for me. I was very impressed how well everyone worked together and how you guys were taking care of me too.”
It is particularly difficult when a patient dies and the nurse walks the family through what is going on. It is extremely difficult when you personally feel that pain, yet you are able to be there for the family, offering them information and support through one of the worst times in their lives.