Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM , where we INSTANTLY improve the lives of Families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care, so that you can have PEACE OF MIND, real power, real control and so that you can influence decision making FAST, even if you’re not a doctor or a nurse in Intensive Care!
This is another episode of “YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED” and in last week’s episode I answered another question from one of our readers and the question last week was PART 2 of
You can check out the answer to last week’s question by clicking on the link here.
So, therefore in today’s episode of your questions answered I want to answer PART 3 of
“My Mother is in ICU after her heart stopped! We believe that the Intensive Care team is keeping her sedated & paralysed for longer than necessary, what should we do?”(PART 3)
Just come back from our meeting. Mum’s doing well. There could be a small issue with her heart, but those investigations will be developed in the cardiology ward.
The meeting went as well as could be expected. I prepared carefully having researched the legal objections to our presence and had a strong case to refute these. They made no further objections on these grounds as they couldn’t disagree.
However, they said we got in the way and the only reason they had allowed us to stay at times was to avoid confrontation. That’s poppycock. When the nurse we had faith in was with Mum we told him if he needed space we’d move (as we could see he was trust worthy), but he assured us he WANTED us there, and he regularly made this assurance. There was no way he was just trying I avoid confrontation – although this may have been the cases with some of the other nurses. I hope we didn’t get the good nurse in trouble! Will be writing to the top bosses at the hospital to commend him and try and back this up with evidence of why his approach works.
In any case I don’t care why we’re allowed to stay as long as we are. The doctor admitted he’d spent more time with us than other families, so clearly your strategies which we have adopted work. He said they couldn’t bend the rules as they’d have to do it for everyone, but then said they had bent the rules for us.
I understand they have a duty of care to all families and need to balance that, but our duty of care is to our family and we’ll maintain the pressure.
I suggested the best way to reduce our questions and challenges was to work as hard as they could to make Mum better and to demonstrate that by involving us fully. I also acknowledged that this family consensus style was unusual for them and probably made them feel uncomfortable, but it was our duty to make them question their practices. They said no icu in the world could operate with open transparency (have you got examples which refute this I could share with them?). Obviously, they’re busy and policies aren’t going to be rethought in a week, but perhaps the experience they are having with us, coupled with some evidence that other units are more open might make them rethink things in the long term.
My explicit goal is to get my Mum better as quickly as possible, but it is also starting to become being a champion for the powerless and trying to push for change.
Thanks again and best wishes
Thanks again for sharing and also about shedding some light about how the doctors and/or Intensive Care team are seeing this situation.
It’s good to see that you have researched “the legal objections” to your presence with the Intensive Care team at the bedside.
You see, this is something that I have found over and over again in more than 15 years Intensive Care nursing in three different countries, where I have literally worked with THOUSANDS of critically ill Patients and their Families that whenever there is a perceived issue or conflict with Families that the Intensive Care team is going back and is referring to the legalities and/or policies around family presence in Intensive Care.
Sure enough, staff safety is just as important as Patient and family safety and even though I have also seen my fair share of situations where staff have been verbally and physically threatened as well(including myself) by aggressive family members, this doesn’t negate or exclude the fact that most families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care are peaceful and not threatening.
Having said that, the Intensive Care team(doctors as well as nurses) are quick to point out in handovers, that they are “dealing with a difficult family”. That in Intensive Care language means that they are asking too many (difficult) questions and they are generally speaking “a pain in the arse”.
That’s how the Intensive Care team perceives those situations and it still amazes me how anyone can think that way.
Now, from my perspective, no family in ICU is difficult, unless they are verbally or physically threatening.
Everything else is just a matter of communication and also about showing empathy and compassion towards their situation.
Does that include work and effort? Yes, it does and I think that’s where it’s often falling down.
As I have written in my “INSTANT IMPACT” report, Intensive Care teams are like “fish in water” and Families and Patients are like “fish out of water”.
The Intensive Care team is within their comfort zone most of the time and they don’t like to leave that comfort zone. It’s very easy for them to just refer to policies, procedures and basically implicitly or explicitly refer to the “rules”(made by the ICU team) and refer to their “perceived power” and “perceived authority” status.
Families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care are not meant to question this approach.
If they do, they upset the status quo and frequently they run into trouble with the “perceived authority” and the “perceived power” and most of the time Families back off, because just like you have eluded to in one of your emails, you were worried that the Intensive Care team might get “prejudiced” against you.
Yes and they often will get prejudiced, but just as I mentioned to you previously, “it’s none of your business what other people think about you” as long as you are ethical and on moral high grounds.
The approach of getting Families of critically ill Patients involved works, because Families all of a sudden have PEACE OF MIND, control, power and influence!
It’s nothing the Intensive Care team is interested in and as I regularly publish in my blogs, there are too many things happening “BEHIND THE SCENES” in Intensive Care that the Intensive Care team has no interest in sharing any power or control with Families of critically ill Patients.
The power play, the dynamics, the politics, the competing interests, the intrigue, the psychology and the hidden agenda in Intensive Care is all driven by the “all powerful” Intensive Care team.
There is no room for genuine Family input.
One way to protect the Intensive Care team’s interests is to, once again, implicitly or explicitly refer to the “perceived power” or “perceived authority” of the Intensive Care team.
A frame of mind that is working most of the time, as Families, even in this day and age(in the 21st century!!!) tend to buy into this behaviour and perception. They are afraid of repercussions for their sick family member if they don’t buy into this outdated behaviour.
Therefore the approach the Intensive Care team is taking is working for them most of the time.
This is even more concerning because many of the most challenging situations in Intensive Care involve issues such as critically ill Patients being
- very unstable and in a very critical condition
- in a life threatening situation
- In a situation where the Intensive Care team suggests a “withdrawal of treatment” or a “limitation of treatment” as being “in the best interest” of your critically ill loved one
and yet, those are exactly the situations where the Intensive Care team is extremely guarded and is not willing to be transparent for reasons I mentioned before.
You also mentioned that the Intensive Care team has referred to that they“only allowed you to stay is to avoid confrontation”.
I call BS for all of that as they, one way or another, felt that you were different and that they realised that they were dealing with a powerful family.
Good on you for standing your ground and not backing off!
- THE 10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ARE HAPPENING BEHIND THE SCENES IN INTENSIVE CARE THAT HOLD YOU BACK FROM HAVING PEACE OF MIND, CONTROL, POWER AND INFLUENCE, WHILST YOUR LOVED ONE IS CRITICALLY ILL IN INTENSIVE CARE!
- THE 10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW DOCTORS AND NURSES ARE TALKING ABOUT IF YOUR LOVED ONE IS CRITICALLY ILL IN INTENSIVE CARE, WHEN YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE NOT PRESENT AT THE BEDSIDE!
- INTENSIVE CARE’S HIDDEN SECRETS AND MYTHS BEHIND THE SCENES, THAT THE INTENSIVE CARE TEAM KEEPS AWAY FROM YOU AT ANY COST AND OTHER FAMILIES OF CRITICALLY ILL PATIENTS HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT THOSE HIDDEN SECRETS!
I think it’s rude of the Intensive Care team to say to you “that you’ve got in the way”.
That is condescending from my perspective.
Why “did you get in the way”? To stop them from doing what? Did you stop them from carrying out their duty of care? Hardly so, therefore ignore.
You have also referred to the Intensive Care team saying “that they couldn’t bend the rules as they’d have to do it for everyone, but then said they had bent the rules for us.”
Again, this is BS from my perspective and they operate from a frame of mind, that this is how it’s always been and we don’t want to change.
Change however is exactly what is needed and Intensive Care teams are scared of change for reasons I have mentioned before!
And if they felt that they have “bent the rules for you”, keep in mind it was their rules, not yours. Therefore re-writing the rules and not bending down to “perceived authority” and “perceived power” is critical in those situations!
By now, you know what’s possible if you make up your own rules.
Again, the “fish in water”(the Intensive Care team) is too complacent to deal with basic instinct needs such as PEACE OF MIND, control, power and influence from a Family’s perspective.
It’s the latent and persistent “we know what’s best” approach by the Intensive Care team that doesn’t look at how they can genuinely cooperate with Families of critically ill Patients.
Again Trudie, you have referred to your duty to make the Intensive Care team question their practice and they are telling you that “no icu in the world could operate with open transparency!
And that’s probably true and that’s also why our platform INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM is so popular and in demand, because we make the information that the Intensive Care team is trying to hide away from you and trying to hide away from other Family members in Intensive Care transparent.
That’s also why I can’t give you any examples of ICU’s who are fully open and transparent.
The financial interests, the bed management pressures, the staffing issues and interests, the medical research interests and the natural and/or artificial hierarchy in Intensive Care often take prevalence before Patients and Families interests.
Again, if you look at documents, white papers and research studies done about Intensive Care, the focus is on medical research, it’s all about how great they are, it’s all written in a language that’s from health professionals for health professionals.
Research papers, document and white papers are not even remotely designed for Families of critically ill Patients, that’s also why there is little to no evidence as yet that a different approach, where Families have more and direct involvement in the care and treatment of their loved one would actually work.
I just wanted to share more light on this and explain things in more detail and the bottom line to me is that you will probably be one of the few Families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care who “will do whatever it takes” to have PEACE OF MIND, control, power and influence.
Other Families will continue to back off at the first signs of resistance from the Intensive Care team, they will continue to feel intimidated by the Intensive Care team and they will continue to be passive bystanders and witness an event but not fully participate in it, without understanding what’s really happening and they will wind up with no PEACE OF MIND, no control, no power and no influence!
Our platform INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM continues to be a strong voice and advocate for the Families of the critically ill in Intensive Care, but as the old saying goes “you can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make them drink”, it’ll be up to Families just like yours to assume PEACE OF MIND, control, power and influence!
How can you have PEACE OF MIND, control, power and influence whilst your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care?
You get to that all important feeling of PEACE OF MIND, CONTROL, POWER AND INFLUENCE when you download your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” report NOW by entering your email below! In Your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” report you’ll learn quickly how to get PEACE OF MIND, real power and real control and how you can influence decision making fast, whilst your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care! Your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” Report gives you in-depth insight that you must know whilst your loved one is critically ill or is even dying in Intensive Care! Sign up and download your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” REPORT now by entering your email below! In your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” REPORT you’ll learn how to speak the “secret” Intensive Care language so that the doctors and the nurses know straight away that you are an insider and that you know and understand what’s really happening in Intensive Care! In your FREE report you’ll also discover
- How to ask the doctors and the nurses the right questions
- Discover the many competing interests in Intensive Care and how your critically ill loved one’s treatment may depend on those competing interests
- How to eliminate fear, frustration, stress, struggle and vulnerability even if your loved one is dying
- 5 “killer” tips& strategies helping you to get on the right path to PEACE OF MIND, control, power and influence in your situation
- You’ll get real world examples that you can easily adapt to your and your critically ill loved one’s situation
- How to stop being intimidated by the Intensive Care team and how you will be seen as equals
- You’ll get crucial ‘behind the scenes’ insight so that you know and understand what is really happening in Intensive Care
- How you need to manage doctors and nurses in Intensive Care(it’s not what you think)
Thank you for tuning into this week’s “YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED” and I’ll see you again in another update next week! Make sure you also check out our BLOG section for more tips and strategies or send me an email to [email protected] with your questions!
This is Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM and I’ll see you again next week with another update!