The Pulses: A Short Story

Decent Essays

I heard the sound of his walker hitting the ground, followed by a thump, and silence. I just happened to be standing outside of his apartment with a coworker when we both stared at each other with that sensation of terror, knowing this was not the occasional fall of a resident in an assisted living facility.
I ran into the room to find Joe face down, on top of his walker, and lying in the corner between his bed and the closet. In the moment, all I heard was “Is he breathing? Start CPR! Call 911!” coming from my coworker. As she was calling for assistance from the nurse, the first thoughts going through my head were that Joe was a “do not resuscitate” patient. We cannot perform CPR nor can we call 911; only hospice should be called. In this moment of panic, I was trying to stay calm and determine if I could feel his pulse. I could feel my heart pounding in my feet and my hands were vigorously shaking to the point that I could not maintain a firm grasp on his walker when I kneeled down beside him. I had never been in this situation before; I had never witnessed a deceased human outside of a casket in a funeral home before. I placed my fingers on his throat to feel his pulse. I felt a pulse however, to this day I still cannot determine if it was his pulse that I felt or if it was mine. After a brief ten seconds and a few deep breaths, I …show more content…

His death was personally tough since in my training, he was the first resident I was taught how to care for. I always considered Joe as my first resident. He was also my first resident to be placed on hospice. I watched his mind and body mentally and physically diminish in front of my eyes from the first day I started working with him until our last. While I had been preparing myself that one day he would pass on, I was expecting a phone call from a coworker to tell me that he had passed away. Little to my knowledge, I was the one calling coworkers concerning his

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