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Update in intensive care medicine: Critical patient safety
Available online 9 April 2024
Caring to care: Nurturing ICU healthcare professionals’ wellbeing for enhanced patient safety
Cuidando para cuidar: Fomentar el bienestar de los profesionales sanitarios de la UCI para mejorar la seguridad del paciente
Emilio Rodriguez-Ruiza,b,c,
, Martina Maria Cornelia van Mold, Joseph Maria Latoure,f,g, Kristina Fuesth,1
a Intensive Care Medicine Department, University Clinic Hospital of Santiago de Compostela (CHUS), Galician Public Health System (SERGAS), Santiago de Compostela, Spain
b Simulation, Life Support & Intensive Care Research Unit of Santiago de Compostela (SICRUS), Health Research Institute of Santiago de Compostela (IDIS), Santiago de Compostela, Spain
c CLINURSID Research Group, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
d Department of Intensive Care Adults, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
e School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK
f Curtin School of Nursing, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
g Department of Nursing, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
h Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Ismaninger Str. 22, 81675 Munich, Germany
This item has received
Received 14 December 2023. Accepted 27 February 2024
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Table 1. Causes of work-related stress in the ICU.
Table 2. Interventions to support wellbeing among ICU professionals (Adapted from Latour et al. Crit Care. 2022;26(1):218.80).
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Healthcare professionals working in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) care for patients suffering from a critical illness and their relatives. Working within a team of people with different personalities, competencies, and specialties, with constraints and demands might contribute to a working environment that is prone to conflicts and disagreements. This highlights that the ICU is a stressful place that can threaten healthcare professionals’ wellbeing. This article aims to address the concept of wellbeing by describing how the stressful ICU work-environment threatens the wellbeing of health professionals and discussing how this situation jeopardizes patient safety. To promote wellbeing, it is imperative to explore actionable interventions such as improve communication skills, educational sessions on stress management, or mindfulness. Promoting ICU healthcare professionals’ wellbeing through evidence-based strategies will not only increase their personal resilience but might contribute to a safer and more efficient patient care.

Critical care
Intensive Care Units
Health care professionals
Patient safety

Los profesionales sanitarios que trabajan en la Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos (UCI) cuidan de pacientes que sufren una enfermedad grave y de sus familiares. Trabajar en un equipo de personas con diferentes personalidades, competencias y especialidades, con limitaciones y exigencias, puede contribuir a crear un entorno de trabajo propenso a conflictos y desacuerdos. Esto pone de manifiesto que la UCI es un lugar estresante que puede amenazar el bienestar de los profesionales sanitarios. Este artículo pretende abordar el concepto de bienestar describiendo cómo el estresante entorno laboral de las UCI amenaza el bienestar de los profesionales sanitarios y debatiendo cómo esta situación pone en peligro la seguridad de los pacientes. Para promover el bienestar, es imperativo explorar intervenciones viables como mejorar las habilidades de comunicación, sesiones educativas sobre gestión del estrés o mindfulness. Promover el bienestar de los profesionales sanitarios de la UCI mediante estrategias basadas en la evidencia no sólo aumentará su resiliencia personal, sino que podría contribuir a una atención al paciente más segura y eficiente.

Palabras clave:
Cuidados intensivos
Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos
Profesionales sanitarios
Seguridad del paciente


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