INSIDE GOD’S SHED: MEMOIRS OF AN INTENSIVE CARE SPECIALIST
L. I. G. Worthley
Inside God’s Shed is a series of tales that describe the experiences of an Intensive Care specialist during his career working in two major Australian teaching hospital intensive care units (critical care units) and three private hospital intensive care units. The stories provide a portrait of the intensive care unit by taking the reader into the lives of patients, relatives, medical specialists, nurses, hospital administrators and even pharmaceutical industry ‘reps’.
The narrative breaks down the stereotypes often found in novels and TV shows about the care of the acutely ill patient with over-worked heroes and heroines who cure the incurable and operate on the inoperable. The accounts tell of the hazards of the medical industry, of unreliable information, the fallibility of individuals and the distance that sometimes exists between science and humanity. They also draw attention to the unique workplace repartee and banter between medical specialists and nurses, underscoring the esprit de corps in a well functioning unit. While the tales portray what can be achieved when a unified medical team manages a critically ill patient, they also describe the limits of acute medical care; highlighting the complexities and ethical dilemmas in the care of a dying and chronically ill elderly patient.
These stories are of true events, gleaned from notes and memories of cases in almost 40 years of an intensive care practice. Many of the names are either changed or are not included. Those people who are identified are already known and on the public record.