I deal with death more frequently than the average person. I have no problem with dead bodies. I am respectful when doing post-mortem care. I've learned to cope with the emotional aftermath. But this is the first time in my career that I, the RN taking care of the deceased patient, not only pronounce death (with another RN verifying), but I am also the person who calls the loved ones and notifies them of the passing.
I count myself as a good communicator, with more-than-adequate interpersonal skills. But I have to tell you, awkward doesn't even begin to describe the first such conversation I had with a deceased patient's family member. The only things that were in my favor: the death was expected, and the notification was over the phone, as the patient's son lived out of state. I am already mortified (no pun intended!) just remembering the phone call. The thought of having had that conversation face-to-face...?
Well, I try to look at it as a learning experience, and an opportunity to grow more skills in my field. Also, looking ahead towards the end of my career, I'm leaning towards hospice nursing. So I guess any experience is good experience?!
What do you think?