The medical Pause is a practice implemented after the death of a patient.

This practice offers closure to both the medical team and the patient. It is a means of transitioning and demarcating the brevity and importance of this moment. Through silence this shared event is able to be honored and marked by a multicultural medical staff. Silence allows individuals to personalize their practice while not imposing onto others. This act is a means of honoring a persons last rite of passage. To bring an element of the sacred back into a profane world of medicine.

Any member of the team can request a Pause.

In an attempted resuscitation situation, it is preferable to perform immediately after death is called. This allows for all involved in the care to be present and share in the practice before leaving room and becoming dispersed.

After an expected death it is also preferable to be done soon after patient’s death has been identified.

If circumstances do not allow for an immediate Pause, this can be done at a later time. (Preferable to include all team members involved in care).

If family is present, by all means allow or invite them to be present during the practice. This increases the shared experience and is a way to acknowledge their own loss.

Anyone can ask to do this following a code/death. At first it may feel awkward because we are standing in a vulnerable place and asking for a moment of respect. After it is done, it becomes easier to repeat because everyone involved understands how important it is.

“Could we take a moment just to Pause and honor this person in the bed. This was someone who was alive and now has passed away. They were someone who loved and was loved. They were someone’s friend and family member. In our own way and in silence let us stand and take a moment to honor both this person in the bed and all the valiant efforts that were made on their behalf.”

45 seconds to a minute of silence.

“Thank you everyone.”

Reblogged from The