we found out we lost a patient today. it wasn’t one of mine, but it was still one of the team’s. truth be told, this was one of the patients i actually saw the least, as they were only with us for a couple of days and we were off on the 4th as med students so i think i saw them a total of 2 times briefly during rounds and didn’t know much about them. but man. the mood in the room immediately plummeted after the news. i could see our upper level and the AI who took care of that patient looking things up in the chart and wracking their brains for a couple of hours trying to figure out what could have happened or if they’d done anything wrong or could have somewhat prevented it. and i know that even when they were taking care of the other patients they had, it kept going on in the back of their minds. especially our upper level. as much as he kept reassuring the AI that medically, they’d checked everything out and they’d done right and all they could have given the circumstances, i know it was still eating at him inside.
as for me, i’m not sure how i feel. is it bad that i don’t seem to be feeling much at all except sympathy? i don’t really know much about this patient, and maybe that’s partly why. but i did notice they looked pretty down when we saw them at the last round session, and i remember having a fleeting thought of wanting to talk with them and see how they were doing. but in the course of all the other things we had to do and learn, i ended up not thinking much of it. but maybe… maybe that could have made a difference. i don’t know.
the strange thing is that yesterday, i’d mentioned in passing the team/AI that i’d had a dream the previous night that one of their (other) patients had passed away. and it was a pretty bad dream, so i woke up pretty disoriented, and had to reassure myself that it wasn’t true before going in. but i remember thinking it was a little odd, as the patient i’d dreamed of, or thought i’d dreamed of, was smaller in stature than that patient in real life. so maybe i was actually dreaming of this one instead.
anyway. feeling kind of weird. partly feeling odd that i’m not more upset about the fact, partly wondering if i’m just still in shock/denial, and partly wondering if this is a normal reaction/defense mechanism when you don’t know the deceased personally, or whether the jadedness of medicine is already starting to hit. if the latter, it would be pretty bad, as i’ve only been on the wards for 2 weeks.