Dear friends:

Hospital San Juan de Dios de Córdoba has just reached 80 years.

Hospitality is the supreme value of the Orden Hospitalaria de San Juan de Dios around the world for centuries. Hospitality includes quality, respect, responsibility and spirituality. The concept of hospitality translates into a virtue or quality which consists of treating well and with kindness to others. The term, which provides from the latin “hospitalitas”, gives assistance and care for all who need something from us.

To celebrate this event and with the title “80 years taking care of you”, next Thursday December 10th, we are going to held a scientific conference arround the essence of the order of San Juan de Dios: “The center of interest of all those who live and work in the Hospital, is the assisted person”.

The first topic is titled “The humanization in the management of care”, and the second: “The patient as the main focus of Medical activity in the 21st century”.

In this second session, I will have the pleasure of giving a talk entitled “The humanization of care in the Intensive Care Unit”.

When we opened the ICU one year and a half ago, there was something that began to call attention powerfully with the passage of time: the ideas that occurred to assistants and nurses on patient care.

Yes, I know… It is not new… I have seen in other ICU throughout my career: some professionals with a great humanity and communication skills. But here, the number of people with ideas and above all, the naturalness with which everything seemed possible called my attention.

A curious fact: the most of these professionals (who were previously formed for ICU) came from Palliative Care (a vocation to care which always had this Hospital, founded in 1935 with the alms collected by the brothers of San Juan de Dios, to build a place where care for children with consequences of poliomyelitis and other disabling diseases).

Perhaps that was an unexpected success…

They began to make us propositions: morning call the family to simply say if the patient had gone well overnight, going for a walk out the ICU with the patient who could tolerate it to our terraces overlooking Sierra Morena, trying that visits lasted hours and hours, getting the patients had televisions… within a Box of critics! Putting their favorite singer music although they were sedated and intubated, finding a room to families who come from villages, letting them food their patient… And the talks.. these curious and lively talks that kept with patients and relatives whenever they had time for it.

Do you know one thing? You can educate someone who comes from a Ward of palliative care and it may lead an effort for trainer and student. But it is also true that it has great advantages to achieve a more humane ICU.

I recognize that sometimes some intensivist (myself) had to stop them… Good… That´s is better that than the opposite… isn’t it?

In fact, that spirit is contagious… This is a fact (all repeated human behavior spreads to greater extent). And you also end up informing many more times a day, that one single time in the morning. And asking if we could not leave that family have free entrance… Or you are suggesting a Sunday afternoon… “Hey: and Pepe… Why do not give a stroll by the hospital to see the field?”

That happends! If one of my old and hard teachers see me now…

The issue is that when we started to hear about IC-HU, I thought how many things we were already doing. How many little things that add and add and how much more we could do to this project.

The Orden Hospitalaria de San Juan de Dios has been awarded a few days ago with the Princess of Asturias Concord… precisely to bring centuries humanizing.

Humanization, the human dimension that we breathe in this Hospital… let us to accept with simplicity and enthusiasm put in place measures of this kind in our ICU (while the patient-professionals ratio is consistent… of course).

I hope a great talk the day of the event. And tell everyone that IC-HU is written with H of humanization. That the caring of the invisible acquires a dimension in the critically ill patient and the family. And that Medicine is “Science and Art of healing”.

So, my dear friends: do not despise the part of Art. Remember that this belongs to the branch of the Humanities.

Dr. José Carlos Igeño
Head of Intensive Care Unit

Hospital San Juan de Dios de Córdoba