Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
Today’s tip is about family meetings in intensive care. Now, if you have a loved one in the intensive care, the Intensive Care team might ask you for a family meeting and they might often ask you for that last-minute or they might ask you to come in tomorrow at three o’clock or whatever the case may be and you often wonder what’s this family meeting all about because the Intensive Care team rarely shares what the family meeting is all about upfront.
It’s often they frame it as I’ll give you an update of what’s happening and so forth. Now my tip today is really if you do get invited or ask to come to a family meeting, get the agenda of the meeting in writing first and then you can prepare. I can tell you from experience after having been in hundreds of family meetings over the many years I’ve worked in intensive care, the intensive care team usually uses a family meeting to deliver bad news and often asks you to agree to withdraw treatment or withdraw life support.
It’s very rarely just to give you an update. So family meetings are really designed to push through the Intensive Care team’s agenda and not look at what you want. So, therefore, it’s critically important that you get the agenda of a family meeting in writing upfront so you can actually prepare. If you’re not prepared, the Intensive Care team will have the upper hand and will deliver the bad news that they know what to say. They know how to say, they know when to say it and they know what not to say so you need to be prepared and you need to have a strategy.
That’s the downfall of most families in intensive care, they don’t have a strategy and they don’t know what’s happening because your biggest challenge is that you don’t know what you don’t know and therefore you must get the agenda of a family meeting in writing upfront.
And once you’ve got the agenda in writing for the family meeting, please contact us at support, send email to [email protected] or even better, call us on one of the numbers on the top of the website at intensivecarehotline.com because we can help you in family meetings and because we are professional consultants and advocates for families in intensive care, and we know and understand patients’ rights and family’s rights inside out and you often don’t know those rights.
So that’s my tip for today. This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com and I’ll talk to you in a few days.