Keeping a diary for I.C.U. stay at the hospital is said to be powerful tools to help patients recover from hallucinations experienced while in the I.C.U. and to alleviate symptoms of post-traumatic stress. This is an easy way to get patients to work through any trauma experienced. It can be healing for families as well. Christina Jones, a British nurse-consultant and psychologist, found that at three months I.C.U. patients with pronounced symptoms of PTSD reported the most relief if given diaries, compared with those who were not. “For a lot of relatives it’s a document that says, ‘This is what she went through, and look where she is now,’ ” Dr. Jones said. It is a strong motivator to look at the medical accomplishments instead of letting these experiences overpower patients lives.
In the pediatric intensive care unit at St. George’s Hospital in London, makes age-appropriate story books with line drawings for her young patients. The diaries aid parents in later explaining the ordeal to their children, she said. Parents can also suffer from post-traumatic stress and these diaries can help everyone make sense of this delicate experience.
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