The Inspiration Behind INTENSIVE CARE HOTLINE

After more than 13 years Intensive Care Nursing experience, in a variety of Intensive Care Nursing settings across Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany, which included Trauma, General, Cardiac, Neurology, Paediatrics, as well as providing Intensive Care Nursing for long-term ventilated Patients and their Families in their own home, Patrik Hutzel has gained valuable and tremendous insight into the world of Intensive Care and Critical Care. Not only has Patrik gained insight and experience from a Clinical and a Nursing point of view, but he has also gained excellent insight about the frustrations, the limitations, the pain, the suffering, the difficulties and the patience, Families and their critically ill loved ones in Intensive Care are usually dealing with, as they are generally dealing with the unexpected and often life threatening situations that are changing Families and their critically ill loved ones life in an instant.

Patrik also had to deal with death and end-of-life challenges in his own life, having lost an uncle in Intensive Care at the age of 51 and Patrik also struggled through the experience when being present in hospital at his Grandfather’s death. The combination of dealing with death in his own family in a hospital and Intensive Care environment, as well as being a critical care nurse and knowing and understanding the pain, the struggles, the frustrations and the fear he has gone through in his own life when dealing with critical illness, as well as knowing and understanding what Families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care are going through, gives him valuable insight and more importantly strategies how to effectively deal with those challenges and help people in need.

Patrik has developed a passion, not only for Intensive Care, but also in helping Families who are struggling and who are feeling overwhelmed by the challenges that this often ‘once in a lifetime’ situation is throwing at them, when they find that their loved one is Critically ill in Intensive Care.

Knowing and experiencing the struggles, the challenges, the fears and the frustration Families and their critically ill loved ones are going through, not only from a Critical Care Nursing perspective, but also from a personal perspective has given Patrik the passion and the drive to not only personally overcome those challenges, but also helping Families of critically ill Patients to work through their challenges, their fears and their frustrations by giving them effective strategies that work.

Patrik has also gained plenty of valuable insight about the politics and the dynamics in a highly stressful, sometimes volatile and highly charged Critical Care environment, where people, whether health professionals or Families of Patients in Intensive Care feel very often challenged, overwhelmed, vulnerable and frustrated. But it is also an environment where egos of health professionals tend to thrive. In an environment where egos thrive and where politics are at play, this can also be detrimental to Patient and Family centred care. The knowledge and the experience around politics, dynamics and the ‘behind the scene’ insights in Intensive Care are crucial, in order to give Families insight and an edge in what might be going on ‘behind the scenes’ that might impact on their critically ill loved ones care.

Nevertheless, Intensive Care is also a wonderful environment, usually with lots of great and committed people working there, who want to make a difference in other peoples lives!

Within such a challenging, stressful, highly charged and volatile environment, where hope, fear, death and life are closely aligned, there is always room for improvement. Communication is paramount in such a stressful, high pressure and usually highly charged environment such as Intensive Care and sometimes- due to time and resource constraints- communication is less than optimal and all but perfect, in order to get Families’ questions answered in a Critical Care environment- despite the usually marvellous efforts of Health Professionals in Intensive Care- for a number of reasons that are listed below and we hope that with this website, we can offer useful, instant and result oriented advice that not only answers some of your questions, gives you effective and proven strategies and also gives you perspective and helps you and your Family to deal with your challenging situation more effectively and gives you answers instantly.

    •  There is usually a big discrepancy or a gap in knowledge and experience that Health professionals in Intensive Care(mainly Doctors and Nurses) bring to the situation and the knowledge and experience that Family members of Critically ill Patients in Intensive Care bring to the situation. INTENSIVE CARE HOTLINE’s aim is to narrow and bridge that gap so that you as a Family member of a Critically ill loved one can communicate effectively with Health professionals in Intensive Care
    • INTENSIVE CARE HOTLINE wants to ensure Families’ needs and Family support are sufficient whilst their loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care
    • The power dynamics in Intensive Care tend to be one sided, leaving Health professionals generally in charge of decision making, where you, as a Family member of a critically ill loved one in Intensive Care, has little input on decisions and that can be due to you not having enough information at hand, in order to influence that decision making process. INTENSIVE CARE HOTLINE is striving towards educating you and your Family quickly so that you can make informed decisions in the best interest of your critically ill loved one
    • Having a loved one critically ill in Intensive Care is usually a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience for Patients and their Families, which usually throws both, Patients and their Families, out of heir comfort zone very quickly. INTENSIVE CARE HOTLINE thrives to deal with these challenges more effectively and also quickly, delivering different points of view and ‘behind the scenes’ insights that will deliver instant insights that you and your family can apply to have more control, more power and so that you can influence decision making. Those insights can be applied instantly and give you results for you and your Family so that you are better equipped when dealing with Health professionals and decision makers in Intensive Care
    • Intensive Care is an environment with lots of grey areas, where communication is very open to (mis)-interpretations for a number of reasons. The main reason for mis-interpretation is the volatile and unpredictable nature of Intensive Care and therefore Health professionals tend to be over cautious in not giving you false hope, especially if your loved one is critically ill
    • Communication is also dependent on values, cultural or religious backgrounds and those factors need to be taken into account when a dialog between Health Professionals and Family members of a Critically ill Patient is taking place. The gap between your Families and your critically ill loved ones values, culture or religious believes might not align with the values, culture and other believes health professionals might have. Therefore the communication process might be extremely difficult to begin with, where health professionals may only focus on the clinical issues at hand. The clinical issues are important, however Patient and Family care should be holistic and should therefore consider individual values, cultural aspects and religious believes
    • People, whether Critically ill Patients, Families of critically ill Patients or Health Professionals have very different outlooks on life. People may be optimists, pessimists and they may or may not hold firm beliefs about life in general. Once again these different ‘realities‘ that people live in, have a massive impact on the communication process on both ends of the spectrum and INTENSIVE CARE HOTLINE strives to offer you insights and perspectives so that your ‘reality‘ is just as important in the communication and decision making process as the ‘reality‘ of Health professionals. The different perceptions of ‘reality’ can be aligned by communicating clearly what is important to your critically ill loved one, to you and to your Family
    • The time and resource constraints in Intensive Care- more often than not- leave Families of Critically ill Patients with limited support in order to deal with the challenges that are thrown at them effectively and instantly. In reality, hospital support services such as crisis workers and social workers are often not available when Families need them the most. INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM is bridging that gap by giving you instant effective and proven strategies so that you and your Family know what to do so that you have control, power and influence
    • Often, support mechanisms in Intensive Care Units have not been structured well and they are often ‘one sided’, based on the limited resources available, but they can also be based on the limiting beliefs and the culture prevalent in an Intensive Care Unit
    • Communication is based purely on ‘Clinical paradigms’ that may or may not serve the Family of a Critically ill Patient in Intensive Care well. Different views of the situation, outside of a clinical paradigm, are usually left out of the communication process and therefore limits the options, views, coping strategies and beliefs that may help a Family who is traumatised by the challenging situation to deal effectively and instantly with their and their loved ones ordeal
    • Especially unexpected End-of Life situations, but also expected End-of- Life situations throw even more unexpected challenges towards Families of Critically ill loved ones in Intensive Care. Coping strategies and good communication skills in those situations are even more important. INTENSIVE CARE HOTLINE gives you proven strategies that work so that you have control, power and influence and so that you know how to deal with these situations more effectively, whilst giving you more perspective on how to approach, cope with and view those challenging and painful situations
    • Furthermore, perceived Quality of Life and/or perceived Quality of-end-of Life in Intensive Care are difficult concepts to understand(even for health professionals), and once again people, whether Health professionals or you, your Family and your loved one who is critically ill in Intensive Care have very different views, needs, values and perceptions around Quality of Life and/or Quality of-end-of Life issues. In order to give you perspective and have your views heard, INTENSIVE CARE HOTLINE helps you clarify your views so that you can make them heard throughout the communication process
    • Last but not least- the Internet is an infinite source of information, however most information on the Internet regarding Intensive Care or Critical Care is designed for Health Professionals. INTENSIVE CARE HOTLINE believes that 99.9% of the information on the Internet about Intensive Care/ Critical Care is designed by Health Professionals, for Health Professionals. INTENSIVE CARE HOTLINE therefore strives to be very different in that respect- and we want to be a resource just purely for Families, attending to their needs only

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