Next up is another article I’ve seen recently on the challenges faced by patients during and following their ICU stays. I’ve reported on this in the past here at the Nursing Show and said that I would continue to follow up on this topic as the research continued to come in. Now critical care experts are talking about the need to understand the impact of Post-ICU Syndrome (PICS).

Critical Care ICU PTSD Patient Education

ICU ptsdThe report was made at a recent gathering of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM). Nurse and former SCCM president Maurene Harvey said nurses and others need to educate themselves and raise awareness with family members and patients about PICS.

According to research, seventy-five percent of patients who were hospitalized in the ICU and on a ventilator have significant problems performing normal activities of daily life up to a year later. This can have a significant impact on the patients and their families both emotionally and economically as the patient can no longer contribute to the family in the ways they could before their ICU stays.

Long Term Effects of ICU Stay

Maurene urges nurses and other healthcare professionals to actively refer ICU patients to additional follow-up services like counseling, additional home care visits and assessment for other physical ailments related to PICS like impaired pulmonary function, dyspnea, difficulty swallowing and other issues. Patient education is the key and that means it falls to the nurses to help teach the patients and their families what to expect and who to talk to when they perceive a problem that might be PICS-related.

Check out the article for more on this and I will be following up with more as I find the articles and research in the future.


Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Patient Simulation in Nursing Education and Episode 385.



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