From now on you will also find more blog posts from our sister site http://intensivecarehotline.com/ a resource and support website for Families who have a critically ill loved one in Intensive Care. You get a straight link to the webiste by clicking on our Resources& Education link.
How we can help you MP3
How we can help you
In today’s blog I want to welcome you to INTENSIVE CARE HOTLINE and my goal is to provide value to Families and Friends of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care.
My goal is to have the best blog and the best website for Families and Friends of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care. INTENSIVE CARE HOTLINE really wants to provide resources, information and support and also show you action steps how you and your Family can instantly improve your life if your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care. We also aim at giving you a ‘behind the scenes’ insight of what is really happening in Intensive Care so that you know and understand how politics(yes, hospitals and Intensive Care Units in particular are highly political environments) may impact on your loved ones care and on your loved ones treatment. We aim to clear the fog for you so that you can clearly see what you are dealing with, whilst your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care and we try and leave no stone unturned.
We will also show you that you are making mistakes whilst your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care and how, more often than not, those mistakes are holding you back on improving your and your Family’s situation whilst your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care.
Whilst I believe we can provide massive value, we also need your support and your feedback whether you find what we are doing here is useful for you. So please leave your comments, questions or suggestions below or email us at [email protected]
After having worked in Intensive Care as a Nurse for more than 13 years, I have found one common theme. No matter how great the staff in Intensive Care are and no matter how great the Intensive Care team is in looking after your critically ill loved one, the support that often falls short is the support for Families of those critically ill people in Intensive Care!
One thing that I say from a nursing perspective in Intensive Care, is that once the clinical things are under control and taken care of, the next big task and challenge is usually looking after the Family of a critically ill Patient. This can sometimes be a difficult undertaking because we are managing strong emotions, strong feelings and sometimes difficult family dynamics. We are also managing what I would like to refer to as ‘fish outside of water’ or people that are massively out of their comfort zone. Life usually changes for critically ill Patients and their Families in an instant, whether the reason for admission to Intensive Care is a Motor vehicle accident, a heart attack, elective surgery, pneumonia and the list goes on.
Health professionals in Intensive Care, doctors, nurses, Physiotherapists, Respiratory therapists etc… are usually like ‘fish in water’ and they are usually totally in their comfort zone when dealing with critically ill Patients in Intensive Care. That’s what they are here to do, they are usually very good at it and they generally love it! They generally feel a strong calling to something that’s bigger than them.
Having said the very skills and the very tasks that makes them very good at what they are doing and is unquestionably saving lives and improves people’s lives, doesn’t necessarily make them good or proficient at taking care of the other side of the spectrum, which are often the Patient’s families.
In Intensive Care I far too often here things such as “the Family has been difficult”, “the Family doesn’t understand”, “the Family can’t let go” or “the Family is inappropriate”. I am very frustrated by such statements and I personally think that there are no such things as “a family being difficult” because they have every right in asking questions and feel apprehensive about the situation that they find their critically ill loved one and themselves in.
Those are statements frequently used by doctors and nurses in Intensive Care when referring to Patients Family’s and it really makes me angry and frustrates me when health professionals in Intensive Care speak about Families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care like that. Once again, health professionals in Intensive Care are like ‘fish in water’ and Families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care are like ‘fish outside of water’ and that’s the bottom line. Their live has just been turned upside down and they are dealing with the unknown and the focus tends to be on the clinical side, in order to get critically ill Patients better. Once that has been achieved then we might start thinking about the Family, who in the meantime understands that it’s not an easy ride. A total lack of control, fear, frustration, vulnerability and other strong feelings and strong emotions start to pour in and besides the explanations at the bedside from doctors and nurses in Intensive Care, there are still a lot of black holes and rabbit holes that Families would have to crawl into, in order to really understand what they and their critically ill loved one are in it for.
Here at INTENSIVE CARE HOTLINE we crawl into these black holes and rabbit holes so that you can get comprehensive advice and support so that you can fully understand the implications of your and your critically ill loved ones situation so that you can start managing yourself and your family, but we also want you to start managing the doctors and nurses in Intensive Care. You can only do that if you have the right knowledge, advice and insights about Intensive Care.
Sincerely, your friend