Gregorio Marañón: “The best things of the world always have been made by the diletanttis, who make things by delight, love and not by obligation or routine.”

This week, in the Gregorio Marañón Hospital, the project of humanization in which we have been working since last October has been made official. Nearly a year of work has gradually been growing and taking shape until reach its coming-out. It has been exciting. We have started our program of open visitation policy (only available in Spanish), and it hasn´t been easy.

The humanization of health care is critical to the well-being of patient and familis – this blog is full of examples-. The main novelty for our unit is the reorganization of the visiting hours, making it more flexible and broad, increasing the time of permanence of the family with the ill person.

This learning is a significant personal effort, but, on the other hand has one of the most rewards: the satisfaction of having filled the lives of many people of that time, long time allowing accompany, encourage, relieve and soothe many ill people in their long periods of recovery, or while allowing to leave calmly from their loved ones when death is imminent and inevitable.

As you can imagine and many of you have experienced it, the humanization of the ICU still collides with many traditionalists, routine, suspicious, obsolete and selfish views. We have put all our efforts to implement this measure and we are nervous, restless, as before a very important exam.

Of course that there are thousand details in this process of humanization which we are living. Health care professionals are not prepared for caring the invisible. That touch that goes beyond mere professionalism, and that permeates every aspect of our work, and why not, also personal life. In this process of putting the H to our ICU, we have awared that when we humanize the care of the patient, also humanize the relations and work with our companions.

We are eager to see how this change fits in the unit. There will be problems, certainly, but we are convinced and defending that “open the ICU doors” is the best for our patients and families. But, in addition, we believe that it is good for the staff, because this humanizing power is a way of living the profession in a special way, intense and epidermal to practice critical care.

Managers (supervisors and heads of service) must humanize management: take care of the staff, so they, in turn, can care as well as possible to patients and relatives, because the humanization is a process also of exposure and must provide their people with the necessary tools to ensure that they are not damaged.

Fifty years later, and the Hospital named with the illustrious medical is just open the ICU doors for Love. From this #benditalocura (holy madness) that is the IC-HU Project, we come saying insistently that there is much love in the waiting rooms of ICU and that is time of letting pass it inside, because love, perhaps does not cure, but as less relieves.

But love is not only outside, in waiting rooms. It´s also inside the ICU, in each one of the professionals we strive every day to bring forward our patients. Auxiliary personal, nurses and doctors who love our profession and carry out our work with dedication to service, with the desire for improvement, with the hope of recovery and of giving the best of ourselves to provide the best care to our patients.

We are fortunate to have a great human team, with goodwill, and excellent in the performance of their duties. We strongly believe that, both personal and professionally, our reward is huge. That time invested in the lives of others makes us better people every day, and allows us to assess our time. Many people cannot say it.

This is a long way, and together the road becomes short. This large family is creating more deep ties, because we share unique moments that are repeated over time, making an enjoyable ICU to work, more effective, more… human.

This is an initiative within the ICU, but stems from the wishes of our patients and their families. They have asked it for us, and we must facilitate this desire, even just by making them spend some time less agonizing, less dramatic, less painful and more emotional, because emotions are energy, the energy that moves our hearts, a handful of diletanttis hearts.

Cristina Díez y José Manuel Gómez García
Nursing Supervisor and ICU doctor.
IC-HU of
Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón. Madrid