Work in the ICU


A story about a healthcare worker in Thailand put together by Tayida Chaiyakiturajai, a member of Tales of Thailand (@talesofth on Instagram, make sure to check them out!)


Pikul is currently fifty years old and works as a private nurse. Pikul has always had a love for looking after patients, and it was only recently that she moved out of a public hospital to focus on older patients at their homes. At a young age, it was almost as if looking after other people was destined for her. Pikul was tasked with caring for people from a very young age. As she was growing up in Chiang Rai, Pikul was chosen out of four other siblings to look after her sick grandparents. During this time, Pikul would routinely provide them with their prescriptions, and would cook healthy food for them. Many instances in a her life also prompted her with the experience of coping with her emotions. As Pikul was away in Bangkok, her grandfather passed away. Around this time, her brother also lost his life in a motorbike accident. These two events pushed her to do her best in her career.


Throughout her time at the same hospital, Pikul loves her colleagues. All of them were willing to exchange shifts when a visit to Chiang Rai was necessary for Pikul. On top of this, Ella Pikul was able to develop friendly relationships with patients from all walks of life whether they were reserved and experienced adults or innocent and loud toddlers. It was clear Pikul prioritized the environment around her more than financial incentives even when she was presented with the opportunity to transfer to a luxury hospital. Despite how Pikul enjoys her work life, she also notes the ongoing challenges hospitals like hers face: resource immobility.


Especially while she was assisting at the ICU department, getting medical equipment from the storage room or the pharmacy meant multiple signatures on multiple papers and letters. By the time resources got to the surgery room, it was often too late for most patients.





At the age of 48, Pikul decided it was time to retire and head back to her family. As she watched her parents spend time in the fields, Pikul knew her passion for taking care of others couldn't just stop there. After a short year and break at home, Pikul moved back to Bangkok and searched for homes that were hiring a caregiver like her. Shortly after, Pikul was hired to look after a sick grandmother. The grandmother and Pikul became close friends, and the developed relationship made it especially difficult when the grandmother eventually passed away. Pikul recalls back to the time she lost her grandpa and brother in order to help her move on with this sorrow. Pikul enjoys her work, taking care of patients and the elderly, as she gets to listen and ponder on the experiences and lessons her patients like to tell her about. Over time, she hopes to continue this career and passion of hers.


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We hope that this short story about a healthcare worker inspires many of you who desire to go into the field, especially in the importance of the role in our day and age!


Kia :)

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