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Honouring ICU Nurses as Healthcare Heroes

An Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Nurse is a highly trained specialised registered nurse who delivers vital care to seriously ill or injured patients in ICUs of hospitals and healthcare facilities.

They treat patients who have suffered strokes, heart attacks, or undergone invasive surgery and, more recently their role in the treatment of COVID-19 patients has been amplified as coronavirus presents unique treatment challenges.

While the duties of ICU Nurses would include evaluating the patient’s conditions, administering treatment and providing constant support during recovery, COVID-19 has plunged these healthcare professionals into a different dimension of physical, emotional and mental anguish.

Coronavirus patients are isolated and often in a room with the door shut. This isolation, coupled with the anxiety of whether or not they will recover, is translated to the ICU nursing team who face the added challenge of not being able to communicate with patients as they normally would.

The absence of family and friends at a patient’s bedside intensifies the patient’s emotional dependence on ICU Nurses who are their primary source of comfort and who, in countless instances, hold the hand of a COVID-19 patient as they pass away. 

Healthcare professionals customarily bear a heavy emotional burden, more so now in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. Despite this pandemic, it is also not uncommon for ICU Nurses to experience high rates of post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Yet, the prospect of patient recovery and watching someone who has received medical care and who eventually leaves a hospital, instills hope in ICU Nurses each day. This is what encourages these healthcare professionals to continue caring for patients as they do – always at the expense of their own health while also sacrificing precious time that they could be spending with their loved ones.

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Click here to nominate a health professional discipline for Aspen’s Healthcare Heroes Campaign.

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