I See You: Patient Centred Care in the Intensive Care Unit


The intensive care ward is where we manage our sickest patients. Patients are frequently incapacitated, either secondary to their medical issues or as a result of medical interventions. This renders them totally dependent on the hospital staff and family members supporting them. Family and friends can easily become overwhelmed and intimidated by this foreign and highly specialised medicalised environment. How do we, as medical students and soon-to-be junior doctors, support patients and families as they navigate this difficult experience? How can we meet the complex needs of these patients, beyond their immediate survival? Hear from an intensivist, critical care nurse and ICU patient advocate as they share their experience of the ICU and discuss what it means to provide patient centred care in this unique environment.


Professor Peter Morley

Prof Peter Morley is the Director of Medical Education and Senior Specialist in the Intensive Care Unit of the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He is Professor and Clinical Dean at the Royal Melbourne Hospital Clinical School. Prof Morley is an ANZICS representative on the Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC). He is also the Chair of Australia Resuscitation Council, and representative on the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR).

Michelle Spence

Michelle is the Nurse Unit Manager at the Royal Melbourne Hospital ICU. Here, she leads a large team of over 250 nursing, technical and clerical staff to provide an exceptional level of care for their sickest patients. She is a passionate supporter of her team and a lifelong advocate for patient-centred care.

Val Simpson

Val is a regular ICU patient and an ICU consumer representative for the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Bringing her wealth of experience, she assisted with the design of their new 42-bed ICU in 2018. She offers a unique perspective on critical illness and what the treating team can do to improve the patient experience.