ICU


Yesterday was a usual busy weekday in our unit. I work in adult Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as a nurse. I was going through my day, almost-without-intention or effort pacing in the halls from one end to another. I was logging 8 to 10,000 steps a day in my Fitbit. Well, that is not all I do, of course.  I help other nurses and patients grabbing things, getting supplies, pulling meds for others, until my first my patient arrives from surgery.




In the background, we have chair alarms, patient call light sounds, bells and whistles for our various types of equipment (monitors, different pumps, and machines). All sounds differ in volume and pitch. It is usually noisy. Besides, we had two loud alarm codes in our unit alone, not to mention codes that got overhead-paged in the whole hospital that ICU team had to attend as well. The patients get pushed with their beds in and out of the unit with staff to go and have procedures done, etcetera, some as we are bagging them to breathe. Picture those. This is our norm.

As I was busy doing work, one of the family members of a patient next door came out of the hallway and looked at me as I leave my room to get some medicine for my patient on a ventilator. She raised her hands up looking so overwhelmed.

"I don't know how you guys do this. This is real. This is not Grey's Anatomy on TV. You guys are living this."

Without thinking, I replied, "Yes, this is our life, our typical day."

I was too busy to explain, but I really did not have time to stop to talk to her longer. I should have said that things are okay. We are okay. Our patients are fine. I hope she is okay.

To the people not working in the hospital, our routines can be too overwhelming to watch. But somebody's got to do this jobs. I love working here. This is what I know how to do, and I love making a difference in my world and in the patient's lives. Our primary goal is to get our patients well enough and see them leaving the ICU to graduate to a step-down unit, or better yet to go home.

Intensive care unit is busy. Emotions, conditions, and situations can be intense. There are tears, as well as smiles. There's a lot of unintentional pain and fear in our unit. There's also a lot of hope, and comfort that we offer as a team.  I am proud to be an ICU nurse working with my wonderful team.


Comments

  1. Carin, you really are an INSPIRATION to us all.
    Many years ago I saw first hand on an ICU ward.
    My nephew was seriously injured in a RTA, in which
    his grandparents and his best friend died, he was
    fourteen at the time, now forty two years of age
    and still is traumatised, nightmares and certain sights
    and smell makes him relive the trauma over and over.
    All those years ago the ICU doctors and nurses worked
    night and day to mend his broken body, which they did
    but nobody could forsee the further trauma he would
    go through right through his life.
    He has a lovely wife
    and 7 year old daughter and I secretly believe they are
    his 'raison d'etre'.
    Great post, thanks for sharing your world with us, I'm sure
    your family and friends must be very proud of you.
    Best wishes,
    Di,
    ABCW team.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ICU scene is traumatic. In flu season like now, children 17 and below are not allowed to visit. I am glad for that because some children do not need to see their loved ones in that condition, especially if temporary. It is traumatic for adults but much more for children.

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  2. Well Carin, you have m total admiration, I could never handle that kind of stress!
    Thankfully we are not all the same...
    Keep up the good work!!

    Have a nice ABC-day / -week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)
    http://melodymusic.nl/20-i/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankfully we are not all the same and most have their own specialty. Paul works in the world that I don't understand--the digital "cloud" and softwares world. I am glad for technology as we relay on it so much in the hospital for information, etc.

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  3. You are INSPIRATIONAL. I DO watch grey's Anatomy, and I know I don't have the.. well, anything for this


    ROG, ABCW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I watch GA too. My unit is lacking the romance part of the show, at least to the extent. We do had three couples who are married. Thankfully, they are still married unlike the show.

      Delete

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