Can you truly prepare for your first patient dying? Corissa & I think no.
But in OncoPT, this is absolutely something we could experience & be a part of.
While we may naturally want to avoid this topic altogether, it’s critical that we lean into the discomfort. By having these conversations ourselves, we can open the door for our patients to have these conversations. Ultimately, this could help them make more informed decisions around their care, live their last days better, & spend quality time however & with whomever they want.
And that’s how I’d want to go. Don’t you?
Experiencing your first patient death
While we might learn how to deal with the logistics of a patient dying, the actual experience can be a bit like baptism by fire.
Corissa’s first patient demise was quite dramatic & traumatic. However, it provided a valuable learning experience – as Corissa put it:
“Sometimes I wish that my first experience with a patient death had been different, but then other times, in a sense, I’m honestly very grateful for it because I feel like it prepared me for anything in the fact, like very early on in my career, it’s that the initial picture of what you get with your patient can change truly at any minute & you always need to be prepared for things to go south because you never know when something is going to happen & how severe it’s going to be. And it was some really good lessons learned.”
For more on our conversation about death & dying, listen now!
Corissa Decker, BSN, RN, is a registered nurse practicing in an outpatient oncology clinic. Her LinkedIn bio describes her as a “Dynamic registered nurse bringing over five years of experience treating patients and coordinating care with multidisciplinary healthcare teams. Proven history of leveraging critical thinking, analysis, and medical knowledge to deliver superior care in high-pressure environments. Expert multi-tasker capable of prioritizing clinical and operational tasks in fast-paced, acute care settings.”
Her sister describes her as Wednesday Addams mixed with Alexis Rose. She loves spending time with her 2 cats, Morrie & MiPenny, dog Sam, & husband. She is also the co-host of The Riveting Rosies Podcast.