I am a nurse who was born and developed in an ICU.

In this time of work, I have understood that these units are small “Islands” within the hospitals, and despite the crisis in health (independent part of the world in which we find ourselves) intensive units tend to have better staffing personnel, a little more of resources and a bit more warmth in the attention of users and their families.

A week ago I received a call to attend the emergency service of a public Hospital as partime. With much fear I decided to say yes; I could probably write long pages of that experience, but then they would not reading the post, so I will write it in 2 parts!

The shift began with a very ill patient, who did not meet criteria to be admitted at ICU (though clearly needed a mechanical ventilator), surrounded by their families in a state of denial against the impending outcome of dying.

His breaths were becoming increasingly more spaced and white seized all of his skin. Meanwhile, a “small screen” covering the middle of the scene.

I googled the doctor quickly, I sought him 3 repeatedly receiving as answer … “I am coming”.The cries of those who accompanied him invaded the place and the pain of loss (still not confirmed medically) covered the environment.

While this was in a small room, intended for users hospitalized at emergency (for which there are no beds available in the hospital services) other patients tried to “ignore” what happened, attitude that is also replicated in some members of the health team.

My head was filled with questions and my heart with pain…

Do routine takes workers to the extent that no situation surprises us?

Do we live with death, understanding it as something natural and unimportant?

Is there anything more important than Human dignity?

And finally, one thing that until today has me thinking:

Could we actually do something?

Veronica Rojas