Have you ever gone on a first date that went so well that you ended up spending three or four hours just speaking to this person over some coffee? When you walk away from that interaction, although it’s the first time you met the person, you feel like you know so much about them already. This is analogous to how I spend my days with my patients.

As an ICU nurse, I spend 12 to 13 hours a day with, on average, just two patients. This means I am able to spend up to six hours with each patient. There is no other discipline of medicine or health care professional that spends this amount of time with a single patient. This gives me plenty of time to understand the depths of my patient’s needs emotionally, physiologically, socially, and economically.

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