What is intensive care?

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“In intensive care we take care of the most critically ill patients in the hospital. Working with people who are seriously ill is a privilege, you gain an increased understanding of the fragility of life,” says Doctor Cathrin Hällström.

What is intensive care?

"At Intensive Care we take care of the most critically ill patients in the hospital. Some come directly from the emergency room, while others may be patients whose condition has deteriorated while receiving care on the ward."

What type of care do patients in the Intensive Care Unit receive?

"Patients in the Intensive Care Unit receive more advanced care than on the ward. For example, patients may need closer monitoring, medicines to raise their blood pressure, respirator care for breathing problems, or continuous dialysis for kidney failure or liver failure."

Can relatives visit the patient?

"Relatives are always welcome, they may be here around the clock. We feel their presence on the unit is extremely important."

How would you describe a typical day at the Intensive Care Unit?

"A typical day can be rather unpredictable, with new patients who are admitted, or a patient's condition may suddenly worsen. Usually the day begins with a report from the doctor who was on call during the night shift. Then the patients are examined, we have rounds and meetings with specialists and attending physicians from the ward. Patients receiving care in the intensive care unit always have another doctor who is responsible for them from the ward to which they were admitted. During the day, we continually assess the condition of the patients, and we may need to insert central venous catheters, arterial needles or intubate a patient. The day ends with a turnover report to the on-call doctor who comes in for the next shift."

What's the best part about working in the intensive care unit?

"It's really three things. First, working with people who are seriously ill is a privilege, because you gain an increased understanding of the fragility of life. Second, we always work in teams around the patient with doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, physical therapists and social workers. And third, you also have daily contact with colleagues in other specialties – which means you get 'free' continuing medical education."