A co-worker died today.....

  1. I am both sad and angry as I write this post. About 60 days ago, our facility hired this woman as a Q.M.A. She frequently worked my hall, mostly because I didn't criticize or complain about her to the supervisors. She had multiple health problems: respiratory, high blood pressure, severely morbidly obese, and would fall asleep any time she would sit down. If she was on her feet, she worked like a dog, never took breaks and helped out by doing anything and everything she could for all her co-workers, nurses and cna's alike. When she would fall asleep, I will admit it could be quite embarrassing for she would snore sometimes so loudly that it could be heard down the hall. But I understood her medical situations and she was on more medications than I can even begin to remember. As long as her snoring did not get out of hand, I often let her sleep for a few minutes, because it was not unusal for her to pull 16 hour shifts four or five days in a row. When the snoring became inconvenient, I would gently tap her on the shoulder and tell her to go take a walk and wash her face to help her wake up. Since I felt she was doing her job, I saw no neglect of residents here and I, as the charge nurse decided to handle it with compassion rather than disipline for sleeping on the job. She was about my age, 45. Had a very tragic and stressful home life. She left early from work on night, drove herself to the hospital and collapsed when she walked in the door. At that time they told her in one more hour she would have certainly been dead. I worried about her coding constantly and I tried to shelter her as much as I could. She didn't ask to be this was and I liked her very much. At times other staff members would make jokes about her and I only took it for a short time and I gave them a nice long lecture on being kind to those with problems and actually said I was very disappointed in them that they acted this way, especially in our profession. They settled down, at least when I was there. Well, I've been on vacation and found out that not only have I lost two of my residents but a dear co-worker too. There was even talk of firing her and I quickly pointed out that this was obviously a disability and I'd watch my step if I were them. I'm just very sad, it breaks my heart. She was a good lady and even though I didn't know her long, I really cared and tried to watch out for her. I will miss her very much. Sorry, I just needed to vent.
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    About duckie

    Joined: Jan '04; Posts: 0
    BSCN peds/nicu


  3. by   l.rae
    Duckie..so sory to here this....what a shame...what happened to this lady...did l miss that in your post?.....l don't know why people are so callouse(sp).....you should find comfort that you made her life a little more bearable while she was here...do unto others....thanks for sharing, my thoughts are with you....LR
  4. by   WalMart_ADN
    (((((duckie))))))) :angel2:
  5. by   Brownms46
    DUCKIE...I'm VERY sorry to hear about your friend and co-worker! From your post it is very apparent, that you have a loving, and caring heart! I would count myself blessed to work with you, and I'm sure she did too...!
  6. by   duckie
    Since I am currently on vacation, I only know what a co-worker said when he called my husband because he knew I would be upset and didn't want me to find out tomorrow, my first day back. The part that makes me very angry, is that she had gone to one of the best hospitals in our area and was sent home, and died just hours later. You only had to be within feet of her and listen to her breathing to know she could have at least benefited from some breathing treatments. The last night I worked with her, I checked her B/P and it was 240/150. I begged her to go to the hospital right then but she refused saying she couldn't afford it. I don't know how she died but I surely wish I would have or could have done more to help her. This whole thing just makes me sick inside.
  7. by   dianah
    Duckie, your kind heart and sensitivity obviously made allowances for this person as a real person, not just a "fat lady" whom no one took the time to understand and consider as an individual. Will you attend any services for her or mourn privately? A sincere and warm "Thank you" to you from me, and a hug, too. -- D
  8. by   slinkeecat
    Ahhh Duckie....
    Do not weep, remember her with a smile.....
    You were such a blessing to this lady and she will surely tell God of your kindness. You are a jewel, Duckie.
  9. by   prmenrs
    Thank you, Duckie, for seeing past the disability to the person inside. I'm glad she was able to work w/someone who could see her worth. And I'm glad you stood up for her, too.

    Blessings! and prayers.
  10. by   thisnurse
  11. by   Sleepyeyes
    ((((duckie, you're a true friend))))
  12. by   Love-A-Nurse
    originally posted by brownms46
    duckie...i'm very sorry to hear about your friend and co-worker! from your post it is very apparent, that you have a loving, and caring heart! i would count myself blessed to work with you, and i'm sure she did too...!
    i agree. (((((duckie)))))!
  13. by   kaycee
    I lost a co-worker and friend 2 yrs ago. She was 52 and was found dead at home. She had no significant health problems so it was quite a shock. I know how you are feeling. My thoughts and prayers are with you. {{{{{Duckie}}}}}
  14. by   ERNurse752