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What happens when a patient passes away?

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Aaron’s Answer

Hi Hanna,

I worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in a nursing home that cares for the old people for 1 year. I have never had a patient pass away during any of my shifts but I learned the procedure is two nurses have to be present and they have to listen to the patient’s heart with their stethoscope which is an instrument they use to listen to different sounds in the body such as lung sounds when people breath. I am not sure how long they listen to their heart but if they don’t hear a heartbeat for within so much time then they first notify the patient’s family that they passed away and then they notify the patient’s doctor and they pronounce them dead. The doctor is the only one who can pronounce someone dead not the nurse. The CNA then performs post mortem care where they clean the body and put cloths on to make them presentable for the family when they come to view them for one last time before the funeral home picks up the body. Hope this helps.

-Thank you,