I stumbled on this blog post written by a nurse, framed as a letter to the family of her ICU patient. I think it speaks well to the ups and downs that medical professionals, and ICU nurses in particular, go through daily. It also illustrates the tension between families and medical providers in the especially tense ICU setting.
The excerpt below is just the tip of the iceberg but sets the tone of the entire post.
Working in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is an experience that can’t quite be put into words. It’s fast-paced, intense, and the stress of some situations can even occasionally make my own heart rate go up as high as one of our trauma patients.
Some people love us. Some people hate us. I can promise you that you do not want to be a patient in my unit. If you are then that means you’re really sick. But I can also promise you that if you end up here you will get stellar care by a team of the best health care providers available.
Often times we may act a little wacky though. We may seem rude at times. Maybe you catch us acting totally inappropriate for the situation at hand. Maybe you’ve even thought, “how can they act that way with all this going on with my family member?”
Well, we have our reasons.