As other many Spanish Hospitals, in the ICU of the Hospital Universitario de Bellvitge we have shown that family of the critically-ill patient is subject of care. However, this attention depends in many cases of individual predisposition of each nurse. Therefore, generally, the family is considered as an alien part to the unit and the patient. This cause dissatisfaction of some of the needs (adequate information or proximity with your loved one) increasing their anxiety, embarrassment and stress.

In different forums of health professionals, one of the most important concerns to deal with this problem is how to implement the recommendations regarding the care of the family in a systematic way without dying in the attempt.

To remedy this problem and as a result of the study of my Doctoral Thesis “Improving nurse intervention with the family of the critical ill patient: an  qualitative, participatory and knowledge in action approach”, a group of nurses in 3 ICU of the hospital, following a methodology of participatory action research, have observed their daily practice and have thought about it as opposed to the evidence posted in order to specify and prioritize the issues that need to be addressed.

Finally, we have defined a list of strategies to overcome them and thus, to improve nurse interventions directed to the family on the basis of the evidence on the subject, the characteristics of their context and the feasibility to carry them out.
One of transversal priority problems to be able to implement all improvement strategies has been the awareness, motivation and training all staff in the ICU.

For this reason, and as a first strategy to perform, next November 17th and 26th will take place a multidisciplinary course, aimed at staff in 3 ICUS of the Hospital, in which renowned experts, mostly members of the IC-HU Project, addressed the following topics:

The fact to respond to the training needs of health professionals (which have been described through various studies and repeated constantly in informal discussions) is seen as the first and essential step to establishing, progressively, a change of culture for re-humanizing intensive care.

Finally but a not least important aspect, I think that it is an illusion that these professionals are involved in the change without a participatory approach in which, recognizing their knowledge, experience and opinion, are themselves who, based on the evidence, adapted the process of change to their context and situation. 

Together we add more!
Laura de la Cueva

This activity is carried out thanks to the collaboration of the following entities: Hospital Universitario de Bellvitge , Department of Fundamental Nursing of the Universidad de Barcelona and the Master of Nursing care to the critically ill at the Universidad de Barcelona.

The study Improving nurse intervention with the family of the critical ill patient: an  qualitative, participatory and knowledge in action approach has been endorsed by Colegio Oficial de Enfermeras y Enfermeros de Barcelona (COIB) and by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad co-ordinated with the European Regional Development Fund (“A way of making Europe”)