Monday, September 28, 2015

Trauma Workers Find Solace In A Pause That Honors Life After A Death : Shots - Health News : NPR

NPR: ""We had worked on this patient for hours, and the chaplain came in and kind of stopped everyone from leaving the room," Bartels recalls.

"She said, 'I'm just going to pray over this patient and then you all can leave,' " he says. "And I watched it and I felt ­— it was the act of stopping people that really inspired me."

Jonathan Bartels, an emergency care nurse at the University of Virginia Medical Center, recognized early the value of "The Pause." The practice is now part of the curriculum at the university's nursing school, and has begun to spread to other hospitals across the U.S.

While the prayer wasn't totally comfortable to Bartels, because he, like many at the hospital, is from a different religious tradition than the chaplain, the act of pausing to pay silent respect and acknowledge the loss felt right.

"So the next time we worked on another person who didn't make it, I decided to be bold and stop people from leaving," he says. "I just said, 'Can we stop just for a moment, to recognize this person in the bed? You know, this person before they came in here was alive — they were interacting with family, they were loved by others, they had a life.' "

The team did it. Standing together silently, they stopped — just for a minute.

"When it was done, I said, 'Thank you all, and thank you for the efforts that we did to try and save them.' People walked out of the room, and they thanked me," Bartels says. "And they thought it was really awesome."

The idea of taking a moment of silence together after a death began to spread to other teams throughout the hospital — other emergency workers picked it up, as did an anesthesiologist and a surgeon. What's come to be called The Pause is now being taught as part of the curriculum at the university's nursing school. Emergency medical technician Jack Berner says it helps him handle the toughest cases.

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Trauma Workers Find Solace In A Pause That Honors Life After A Death : Shots - Health News 

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