Most of us entered nursing to heal, to help, to try and save lives whenever we can. There are some people in our field that have joined for all the wrong reasons. One such person is Niel Högel.
I came across an NPR article (click to link to the story) about a German nurse that was serving a life sentence for two murders… They believe he may be responsible 97 more. NINETY SEVEN.
He said he did it for the thrill. He enjoyed the feeling of being the hero after resuscitating the patient. Unfortunately he wasn’t always successful. Patients lost their lives for a thrill.
As a nurse and former EMT, I will say providing care in the most critical time does give you an adrenaline rush. You get to a point of functioning on sheer instinct. That sense of accomplishment can really make your day. However, I have never craved that feeling so much that I thought of harming a patient to achieve it. I don’t know what brings someone to that point. When reading his story I wondered, did he become a nurse to pseudo-save lives or did this need develop as his career progressed? Were there warning signs in his outside life? Were there warning signs at the bedside? How many lives could have been saved? I just can’t wrap my head around it.