Do you recall attending your first sporting event, especially if it was a professional one? At six years of age, my father took me to my first major league baseball game. Upon arriving, we stopped by the concession stand before locating our seats, which were along the first base side—only the second row behind the dugout! As we settled in our seats and I observed the people in front of us, I glanced over to my father and said, “Dad, I wish you had gotten those seats in front of us, so I could have put my drink on the dugout!” I had NO idea that my unmet desire was actually truly a blessing in disguise.
How frequently do we encounter unmet expectations here in the ICU?! Like my father, we understand this “ballgame.” We know each others’ positions and collaborate our efforts as a team. We comprehend the different medical processes and procedures and how to make them work effectively. Furthermore, we understand the variety of choices regarding medical interventions and the outcomes that emanate from them.
However, the child in the scenario can best represent the families. Upon their loved one’s arrival to the ICU, they usually can feel very overwhelmed by their environment and may become anxious by the sights and sounds surrounding their loved one lying in the bed. They do not comprehend the “rules” here in the ICU nor all the positions that we all play.
So, how do we bridge the gap between these two levels of comprehension? Well, using the analogy of attending a ballgame, we not only play in the positions pertaining to our expertise, but we also serve as ushers and coaches. We guide them through this massive territory, including locating the family lounge and the cafeteria. In the midst of critical points in the “game,” we coach the families and patients by offering advice and explaining the various “plays” that are drawing near.
Now, what role do you see as the umpire? That’s right—the Lord. He always makes the final call. As we serve in our assigned roles as well as coaches and ushers to those whom we serve, may we always remember to seek and draw upon the wisdom of the One who leads us through every minute of living!