I'm a staff nurse in an intensive care unit - ask me anything!
Nurse15 · 22/07/2018 11:41
Let the questions commence (though I'm not sure if anyone will be interested!!)
MyBearIsCalledTeddy · 22/07/2018 18:05
Is it adults or paeds?
Are patients unusually unconscious in ICU? What sort of things do you do?
I spent 5 weeks in ICU when I was 2 in a medically induced coma.
goingroundandround · 22/07/2018 18:35
Are unconscious people fed by tube?
And if they are really overweight do you give them a smaller amount of food to reduce their weight to aid recovery?
Do unconscious people poo? I’m not a poo troll honestly, just wondered if some functions stop?
SneakyGremlins · 22/07/2018 18:38
Thankyou for what you do
If people are in ICU for several months do you cut their hair or fingernails? Do you talk to them?
MyBearIsCalledTeddy · 22/07/2018 18:53
How common is it for people to leave ICU and return again? I was in for 5 weeks and returned 3 times I think.
CoreyTaylorsMask · 22/07/2018 18:55
I spent 10 days in intensive care, don't remember much of it but just wanted to say thank you for what you do
SluttyButty · 22/07/2018 18:59
I've been in icu in a coma. Do you chat to us even though we can't reply?
I have to say, the nurses who looked after me were fantastic. You guys are all incredible.
LascellesMoustache · 22/07/2018 19:06
What's the best good news story you've ever had at work, if you can say without it behind identifying?
Do you worry about getting your sums wrong and giving the wrong amount of drugs etc, or is it double checked?
Do you ever get afeeling what the outcome is going to be, good or bad, and are you normally right?
jellyandsoup · 22/07/2018 19:07
Firstly I'd like to thank you, my dad was in critical care and the care was amazing. My question is if a woman comes in unconscious do you check for tampons? I have no reason but have always wondered this.
TitsalinaBumSquash · 22/07/2018 19:08
Do you ever get terrified of the pressure of looking after multiple people when they're critically ill? I always find ICU a bit scary as a visitor.
Helspopje · 22/07/2018 19:11
Are you as retentive aboit untangling lines as the stereotype?
Does this spill over into everyday life eg organising Christmas lights, storing garden hose?
Nurse15 · 22/07/2018 19:21
teddy adults only - from 14 years old and anything above! We are a medium sized general hospital who has most specialities and is a trauma centre. Lots and lots of sepsis, lots of post surgical patients, some trauma and at the moment a fair amount of overdoses. Every day is different which is lovely!
Nurse15 · 22/07/2018 19:22
Oh and some patient are unconscious however research shows the less sedation the better generally so we only sedate lightly most of the time. Most patients are rousable and able to respond to questions appropriately.
Nurse15 · 22/07/2018 19:25
goingaround yep all tube fed usually by NG - every day in icu is comparable to a marathon calorie wise and so we feed all patients more calories than what we would give someone not in icu. We definitely do not treat overweight people differently - same rate per kg based on what their calorie burn is estimated to be by the dietician on the unit in order to prevent muscle wastage.
Tara336 · 22/07/2018 19:27
Can the patient hear you and take in what is being said? I sat with my father in law in intensive care and talked to him but it worries me that he heard the awful things my sister in law shouted from the end of his bed
Nurse15 · 22/07/2018 19:27
Lots and lots of poo - patients tend to not go for a while after admission then get given laxatives and go LOADS! most of the patients are on several antibiotics so that makes everything loose
Yep we cut all fingernails, hair on head and sometimes other areas if required. Men are shaved as they would be at home or if required for lines etc. We talk to all our patients all the time even if they can't hear us. Call us crazy
Crunchymum · 22/07/2018 19:30
How many patients do you have room for?
Are you usually at capacity?
What are your shifts?
How often do you have a patient die?
Nurse15 · 22/07/2018 19:30
There are targets for icu readmissions so the doctor's tend to be overcautious and keep patients a tiny bit extra - until the SHTF and we need the bed for another patient anyway. Unfortunately bed pressures have been bad over the past year and so patients may be sent out sooner than the doctor's would like - sometimes they end up readmitted but actually not very often.
Wowzel · 22/07/2018 19:33
Do you shave their armpit and leg hair if they have been in a long time and came in well groomed?
Crunchymum · 22/07/2018 20:41
Also not a poo troll but how do you deal with the poo issue?
Deux · 22/07/2018 21:18
What % of patients die in ICU? Reason I ask is my DH spent 9 weeks in ICU.
It took me a while to realise that the relatives I’d been chatting to in the waiting room and then I suddenly didn’t see again was because the patient died.
The nurses cried when my DH went back to visit them after he could walk again. It was a very emotionally charged moment.
FranksBobot · 22/07/2018 21:25
I've just found out this evening a very dear friend of mine is in icu after an attempted overdose.
I don't live nearby anymore but have made arrangements to visit in the next few days.
What shall I do whilst there? Do I take anything? What do I say to them?
Friend is currently being kept in an induced coma.
Seeing this thread this evening has been quite spooky if I'm honest.
EddieVeddersfoxymop · 22/07/2018 21:31
My sister was in ITU after a double suicide attempt. What would the nurses have reported to the police? We were not allowed into her house to feed her cat until the nurses spoke to the police. We couldn't get in for 3 days.....thankfully a lovely local policewoman took pity on us and went in to feed her for us.
Nurse15 · 22/07/2018 21:40
moustache we have lovely stories all the time. The best ones are the ones that stay ages and are told they are unlikely to survive and do well and get home. One patient we had stayed 4 months over Christmas one year, wasnt expected to survive however did really well and went home. She came back to visit and that was amazing to see. You get a gut feeling when someone comes in how well they'll do but it's by no means always right!! Unfortunately it's usually the really sick ones you suspect won't do well and you're usually right. All our drugs are double checked by two nurses so unlikely to be wrong!!
Nurse15 · 22/07/2018 21:44
Thank you to everyone commenting to say thanks - it's amazing to hear and means the world!
Jelly good question, we do a full body check on admission and would check for a string etc, however if sepsis and no source can be found then gynae do vaginal swabs and an examination so would be found then. We have found a few forgotten coils when this happens (don't do it - sepsis is no fun!)
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