Clinical Nurse Educator, Cardiac Care Unit
The Sutherland Hospital
“We had a patient in intensive care who came in with an out-of-hospital arrest. It didn’t look good, he had a long down time. All his family was there, quite a large family, really lovely people. We had to have a family meeting and a conversation where the intensivist had to tell them to prepare for the worst. It’s really devastating.
I’ve gone back into the patient’s room and after not responding for more than 24 hours, I asked him to poke out his tongue and he did! I was so excited! We got all his family back in. In intensive care you only have two people at a time – we had about 15. Everyone was crying and it was a beautiful moment. And he went home.
I still see his family around. He doesn’t remember me, but the family does. I don’t think that is something that ever goes away. It’s such a fine line in nursing and medicine, where you don’t know if patients are going to pull through or not. We always try to look after worst case scenario. But then when it goes right, it’s so amazing.”