Humanizing in private

Last Friday, the XVII Edition of ICU Nursing Course was held at Hospital Madrid Monteprincipe. On this occasion, it was focused on humanizing, and there I was, providing the best I can, and trying to convince and report about the benefits that humanization has, exactly open the ICU doors

The course had the suggestive title: “Humanizing the ICU. Necessary and unstoppable.” A brave title, shocking, but real.

Humanize our units is necessary because our patients and their families are asking us to do it.

It´s necessary because we need a refreshing air of styles in the ICU, forms, and views, ending with markedly arbitrary, segregationist, and closed, models that increasingly dissatisfied us.

We must recover the encounter with our patients and their families, and this sincere, supportive, and emotional meeting is a virtue that characterizes our profession, is the flame of our soul, which after digging in the layer of shallowness created by stress, work pressure, physical and emotional fatigue, lack of recognition, poor salaries and contracts , etc., appears bright. 

And also the humanization is unstoppable. It is unstoppable because this movement engages and excites.

It is unstoppable because each day we deal, discover and share emotions, feelings, desires, fears, and feelings that arise from inside.

Is unstoppable because it never stopped, it was always running, only, now, what we want is to make it more visible.

Is unstoppable because it is good, positive and enriching for everyone: patients, families, professionals, and institutions.

And there, in Hospital Madrid Monteprincipe, there was the need and desire to all this. I was perceived in the questions, in the debate, in the desire to know and discover that humanization is something that works, that we should power, that is discovered and generates satisfaction and positivism. I finished the course very happy, because at the end of it, in the debate, Mar, a long experience ICU nurse, said: “I have come with many questions, doubts and reservations, and I want to thank you because all, because, really, you have clarified them to me”. I felt calm, because it is true that change the paradigm and confront the change raises questions that become barriers, but it is our work, overcome these barriers with communication and example.

The values of HM Hospitals Group, include sensitivity, and that: sensitivity, is not another thing that HUMANIZING. Because humanizing is to have sufficient sensitivity to engage, be loosened, and connect with the needs of our patients and their families. It is to develop the uniqueness that gives us our health vocation to discover, meet and mitigate the feelings and situations of vulnerability experienced by our patients and their families.

It´s thankful that in private health institutions, which unfairly, sometimes, are designated as patronage, working on aspects “so not very profitable from an economic point of view” as it is humanization, and don´t refuse to cope with budget changes that invest in well-being, comfort and satisfaction for patients and their families. It must be a firm path, and become an example for other institutions.

My thanks to José Eugenio Guerrero, head of the HM Hospitals Group ICU by having the IC-HU Project as a guide in this journey. A big hug for Luis Córdoba, ICU Coordinator, for making me feel that in the HM Hospitals Group, change is possible, and supporting this to make it effective. And many thanks to Cristina Nicolás, nursing supervisor, by her sympathy and manners, and above all, for her enthusiasm in work on humanizing ICU of the group, and by being an authentic convinced of this Copernican shift to an ICU more friendly, flexible, close, cohesive and warm.

Because we have to take care to our patients, their families and all those who work inside, to help them to overcome moments of tremendous difficulty.

Dr. José Manuel Gómez García.
ICU physician and IC-HU Research Project member
Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid.