Most nurses have at least one patient that they’ll never forget. We were interested to find out which patients were most memorable to you, and went to our Facebook page to find out your best stories.
As you’d imagine, we got some great ones! We laughed and we cried at these. Here are eight great stories, though we could have listed many more. If you would like to share your own story, write it in the comments below (without violating HIPAA, of course)!
1. This couple. Man had Alzheimer’s and could remember very little except their relationship and her. Every night she would read him their story, which they wrote down at the time of diagnosis. Real-life The Notebook…pass the Kleenex!
2. When I could sing “Shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your booty” and get our lady sundowners to dance with their walkers and all of the sudden, a male patient who never spoke a clear sentence, let alone more than two words due to dementia and strokes, screamed “DO IT AGAIN! AGAIN!” and started clapping. He hadn’t smiled in months.
3. A patient who was a nurse prior to getting sick and having dementia on top of it came running out of her room when a Code Blue was called. She demanded to take part in the code; it was so sweet, she cried when couldn’t be a part of it. Broke my heart. Guess once a nurse, always a nurse.
–Patricia Wright-Kopp Duckham
4. Doug had not spoken for years. He’d had multiple strokes and was paralyzed on both sides. One night, a confused Alzheimer’s patient crawled into bed with Doug looking for warmth. Doug couldn’t move or speak to shoo him away. The man died curled next to Doug. When the MD arrived to pronounce death, he asked Doug what happened? No answer. No response, as is his normal. The doctor, clearly annoyed, loudly proclaimed “There’s a dead man in bed with you!!” Doug spoke for the first time in THREE YEARS … “I didn’t do it!”
5. I remember one man who tried to alienate everyone, doctors, nurses…he was a prisoner, no one would claim him. He died a miserable death with no one to care…it tore me up inside and has changed forever the way I look at patients. This was more than 25 years ago. My lesson…no one is beyond redemption and I am not their judge.
6. I’ll always remember the patient who hugged me on my first night back to work after the death of my infant daughter. She had lost her son recently, and we both cried together.
7. My first patient who died; I was more upset by her rapid demise than her husband, and while I sat on her bed crying, trying to figure out something, anything to save her, her husband said, “Honey, we aren’t prolonging her life, we are prolonging her death. Let my sweetheart go.” Still gives me chills, but I will always remember that patient and her family
And finally, one from the other side:
8. I’m not a nurse, but every patient has one nurse they will never forget too!