Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 446–447 | Cite as

“Not out of the woods”—a wife’s perspective: bedside communication

  • Julie Vermeir
  • Anthony HolleyEmail author
  • Jeffrey Lipman
From the Inside

My silent journey started on 17 July 2010 when my husband was involved in a motorbike accident (MBA) and given less than a 1 % chance of survival by the attending doctors. On that day, without any warning or training, I became the matriarch, a single mother, a carer and a lonely victim. It is obvious that all the attention is focused on the patient and not much consideration is given to the families, who are left to deal with their own emotional and psychological trauma. Along this traumatic, yet amazing journey, I met some incredible medical staff who exhibited exceptional emotional intelligence, but I also met some thoughtless individuals who lacked what I call “bedside” communication skills. These are the skills crucial to any situation, but so important in the intensive care unit (ICU) where the families are desperate for meaningful information.

My struggle started in the ICU of a large tertiary trauma centre where Darryl was rushed to the operating theatre without stopping in the...


Intensive Care Unit Emotional Intelligence Good Communication Skill Critical Care Nurse Numerous People 
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Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ESICM 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie Vermeir
    • 1
  • Anthony Holley
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jeffrey Lipman
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Intensive Care ServicesRoyal Brisbane and Women’s HospitalBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Burns, Trauma, and Critical Care Research CentreThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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