Clinical placements

Death of young patient hit us all hard during an emotional shift

It was my second shift on an acute under-12s’ children’s ward. Handover began and I could tell by the look on the night shift nurse’s face that it had been difficult.
Sad nurse

It was my second shift on an acute under-12s’ children’s ward. Handover began and I could tell by the look on the night shift nurse’s face that it had been difficult.

My mentor was asked to go immediately to be with a young patient requiring intensive one-to-one care. The patient – I will call him Oliver – had been admitted to the ward the previous day. He had underlying genetic abnormalities and was just 14 months old. He had spent most of his life in hospital on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and had always been fed via a nasogastric tube. He had been home a matter of months before returning.

As I entered the room with my mentor, his small, bare body lay unresponsively on the bed. I stroked his face and rustled my fingers through his hair. Oliver had been diagnosed with sepsis, was in

...

Want to read more?

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Nursing Standard
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs