Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Death comes easy

I've seen patients whom I knew were going to die and I've seen patients who died after I was in contact with them, but recently, I saw, for the first time, a patient die in front of me. I'm not much of an emotional person, but I thought that it would affect me more. Instead, it felt like nothing. I suppose it could have been the fact that I never got to know the patient (she had been in cardiac arrest for a while before I saw her) or that it was pretty busy in the room with people performing multiple procedures and shouting various orders or that no one else seemed especially moved. Maybe I was too concerned with not messing up the small part I was given to save this person's life. Either way, I suppose a certain amount of detachment is necessary to efficiently (and rationally) treat the patient. I just didn't think that I would reach that state of detachment without even trying.


  1. That's interesting. I've sort of wondered what that's going to be like when I get to that point. I guess defense mechanisms are alive and well.

    But wait. Aren't you on radiology? Dude, if patients are dying on your watch on radiology, I think you might be doing something wrong. :-)

  2. heh, no i finished radiology a few weeks ago. I was just spending a night in the ER.