… people didn’t know what to expect watching someone die. Providing end-of-life care, in fact, is among the most stressful human experiences. Emergency calls are often a way of coping with that stress, especially when a patient’s symptoms change suddenly for the worse.

“We are not born into this life knowing how to die or knowing how to care for someone who is dying,” Waldrop says.

And first responders are not trained in end-of-life care, yet Waldrop says they do a lot more end-of-life care than anyone gives them credit for.

“They have to,” she says. “They’re usually the first medical personnel on scene.”…

These calls are low frequency, but high intensity. Events happen quickly. First responders assess the patient, family and environment, identifying relationships to establish who might be serving in a decision-making capacity. The emotional intensity of the environment also raises safety concerns.

“The death of a loved one can bring out the worst in people,” says Waldrop. “Emergency personnel have to be mindful of the scene.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a first responder who is called out to an end-of-life scene.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your experience with a person who is dying. Examine your emotions and reactions.

Art Prompt: End of Life

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a dramatic story about first responders.

Photo Credit: Vectorlie on Free Digital Photos

2 Responses to Prompt #1539 Responding to Death

  1. diedre says:

    He said “I’m in trouble,” his face as white as the pillowcase beneath his head.
    “No,” I whispered. It couldn’t be. I can’t be the one, they won’t understand, I thought with desperate certainty.
    “I’ll call the family,” I assured him as I left his side.
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