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Do You Have a Nursing Ghost Story?

June 30th, 2010 by – Marijke Durning

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, we’ve all heard stories from nurses who do – or who didn’t but then experienced something that made them believe. Do you have a ghost story to share? I do.

I’m not sure what I believe when it comes to spirits – I do believe that some spirits don’t leave the earth right away, for a variety of reasons. I think there are too many things that remain unexplainable to the average human.

My story happened a few years ago. I worked nights in a palliative care residence. It was a stand alone facility that had nine rooms for patients and then lots of space for the staff and families and friends of the patients. Only two of us worked overnight, usually a registered nurse (RN) and a licensed practical nurse (LPN) – so when (and if!) one took a break, the other was alone with the patients. Our breaks were taken in the residence, so we were never completely alone, but it was still usually pretty quiet for the one on duty.

The nursing station was just at the top of the hall, across the foyer from the entrance, which had a little reception office right next to it. During the day, a volunteer receptionist would sit there to welcome people and allow them to come in. Everything was locked up during the night.

One night, As my coworker was taking her break, I was sitting in the nursing station, either doing some paperwork or reading, and something made me look out in the hall. It wasn’t quite a noise, but something got my attention.

I stuck my head out the nursing station doorway and looked down the hall towards the patients’ rooms to be sure nothing was wrong. Then I looked up the hall towards the reception area. All of a sudden, the office chair began to move side to side in the way that these chairs do when someone gets out of them quickly.

I checked – no windows were open nor was there anything that could have caused a breeze to do this. Everything was silent, except for the slight creak of the chair as it moved from side to side, slowing down after a few seconds. No truck had rumbled by, no tremors had come from the earth’s crust. There was also an odd feeling in the air – as if someone had just walked past me.

Imagination? Maybe the odd feeling in the air, maybe the “noise” I thought I heard – but what about the chair movements? Nothing else was moving – not the lantern with the candle that hangs by the door, not the decorations on the ledge, nothing.
I do believe it was a spirit. Considering the number of people who passed through our doors and into death, if there were spirits, this was a place they would be.

What about you? What do you think? Do you have stories to share?

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Posted in Work-Life Balance

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