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Interview 08

Age at interview: 50
Brief Outline: Was admitted to ICU four times between 1994 and 2004 because of heart attack, angina, pneumonia and heart failure. In 2004, heart failure and chest infection led to a stay in ICU of about 10 days. Sadly, he died in February 2006.
Background: Occupation: teacher. Marital status: married. Number of children: no children.

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He was concerned about the experience of nurses on the ward and said mistakes were made with his...

He was concerned about the experience of nurses on the ward and said mistakes were made with his...

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Intensive Care is exactly what it says on the tin. It's, if you're really ill, they'll look after you till you can be looked after in the ward. And in fact the transition, that's the worst thing, is the transition back to the ward because you've gone, because when they say Intensive Care it really is, there's someone there all the time. And you get back on the ward and you might not see a nurse for hours. And at the beginning, it was, of course, it can be worrying. And also I, maybe wrongly, but I also worry about the competence.  

I know that in Intensive Care the people are extremely competent, extremely professional, just by their manner and how they go about things, it's not because it's Intensive Care, it's, through the experience of being there, the people are wonderful. It's not true in the ward. They made a mistake with me this last time which actually caused me to go into Intensive Care, on the ward. A drip was allowed to run out. Now that shouldn't have happened and things like that wouldn't happen in Intensive Care. I don't blame people for what happened because of the pressure people work under but it's worth bearing in mind. 

There's a certain age group of nurse, who've been nurses possibly for about twenty years, who've just had it and they don't, they're not good. They have no, they'd see the patient as enemy, for some reason, that's how I looked at it. They were someone to be dealt with as quickly and as abruptly and as curtly as possible. But then there's a whole new breed of nurse and a whole new breed of doctor and a whole new breed of consultant, too, that was my biggest relief. The consultants are now human beings, rather than golf club members, who want to get back to their private practices. They're completely different now, because I've suffered under their old school of consultant. But the ones I've had and the ones I've seen now are just wonderful. About thirty years younger than consultants I'd seen before. 

Look on the whole, quite humanist all of them, that they look at it a holistic way which people hadn't been doing, it's taken a long time. 

 

He advises people not to be afraid of intensive care because the nursing care and treatments are...

He advises people not to be afraid of intensive care because the nursing care and treatments are...

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So I suppose on that score my advice is don't be afraid. It's [ICU] about the best place you could possibly be because you've got, as I've said before it's what it says on the tin, it's intensive care. There's someone there all the time. And if you are really ill that's literally true. There's someone sitting at the end of your bed all the time. So if anything changes, anything goes wrong, they're there. So you couldn't be in a better place.  

I mean, I think some, perhaps older people get scared by all the equipment, but it does a lot of good, medicines, absolute banks of equipment everywhere. And because everything in there's so high tech... there's, you know, wheeling these big machines and the x-ray machine comes in and you're not sure what it is and you think, "What are they going to do with this thing?" When all it is an x-ray machine. Things like that.  

When you're ill, I think, and you're not used to them, could be off-putting. But it's, also try and relax, I think. I think I've always, I've been always, well every, after the first experience I've always been very grateful that I've been taken to Intensive Care actually because I know I'm going to get better.

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