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Where Night Is DayThe World of the ICU$
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James Kelly

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451683

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451683.001.0001

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One More Day

One More Day

(p.52) 4 One More Day
Where Night Is Day

James Kelly

Cornell University Press

In this chapter, the author describes what a typical day is like in the intensive care unit (ICU). He first reflects on the history of medicine and how it progressed to a sovereign profession, to a position of cultural authority, economic power, and political influence. In particular, he talks about how the hospital metamorphosed from a place of dread and exiled human wreckage into a citadel of science, from a sleepy domicile for the deserving poor into a bastion of scientific medical care. He recalls the times when doctors had no diagnostic skills beyond what they could see or maybe touch, cure was rare, early hospital records often failed to record a diagnosis, and nurses were drawn from recovered patients. The author also narrates how he became a nurse and says being in the hospital, in the ICU, makes you almost forget the outside world. He concludes by focusing on different kinds of people one can find in the waiting room of the hospital, including the families of the patients.

Keywords:   intensive care unit, medicine, medical care, doctors, diagnosis, nurses, patients, waiting room, families, hospital

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