It makes it worth it

Today I was along with two ICU nurses were invited to speak at a patients experience day for East Sussex Healthcare Trust, with an audience of about 80 people.

We spoke about the difficulties that relatives experience while patients are sedated and the trauma patients suffer with vivid dreams, nightmares and when brought out of sedation the hallucinations and fears that nurses are trying to harm them, something that 75% of ICU patients experience, they are then sent to another part of the the hospital to continue their recovery often still very weak, with most ward staff unaware of where they have come from or what they have been through, our aim was to make ward staff more aware of what ICU patients suffer by relating my own experience of ICU and my transfer to a ward.

We also promoted our patient & relative support group (ICUsteps Hastings) and we believe our pioneering project of a community outreach support program offering ward and home visits from our (to be) trained volunteers to any ICU patients that request it, along with our 6 weekly drop-in meetings.

I very pleased to say we had a very positive response from our audience, with many varied offers of support to help our project become a success, helping the needs of ICU patients & relatives.

4 Replies

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  • That sounds really encouraging, well done to you both.

  • Well done and so educational for the nurses and other clinical staff....good to put the patients perspective over.

  • Fantastic...wish this was something that could be picked up elsewhere.

    How was it instigated?

  • Hi Karen

    I'm very lucky to have a good relationship with the staff of the ICU that I spent 3 months in as a patient 2 years ago, late last year I was asked to do talks along with 2 of the ICU nurses to ICU staff and HCA's, they were then approached by the director of nursing for East Sussex Healthcare Trust and asked if we would do a presentation about life in ICU and my personal experience, the feedback I've received via the 2 nurses has been amazing and raised the profile of ICU patients and how difficult it can be long after discharge from hospital.

    It encourages me to continue with our local support group helping others through that difficult time when they feel know one understands what they are going through, and for me it's a sense of giving something back which is a truly great feeling.

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