ICU and Oncology
So, this sassy therapist (me) has been getting into the hang of acute-care. I enjoy the challenges of fitting in a therapy session with a patient's busy schedule, I like the population I have been working with lately- mostly general medical, some low back surgeries and a few strokes. However, I walked into work last week and was given the schedule for the ICU and Oncology floors.
I was mentally preparing myself for my day; trying to remember all of the lines and monitors of the ICU, and reviewing the charts of my patients.
I totally wasn't ready for my first patient of the day. I walked into her room, which was completely dark. She was awake on the bed, in obvious distress. She said to me, "I can't do therapy today, because I have to pick a day to die." This patient had been told by her care team that she wasn't going to get better. Her medical treatments were ineffective and there wasn't much time left. I had no idea what to do or say, and I felt like a completely insignificant speck. I sat on her bed and did my best to console her, but I still left helpless when I walked out of the room. In reality, I really was helpless, and this was just part of the circle.
It's situations like that which remind me of how lucky I am, how futile my petty problems seem. Later I asked my step-mom for some advice, who told me the best thing you can do is reply to the patient, "Do you want to talk about it? What can I do to help?"
My question for you is the same- What would you do in a situation like that?