The draw to medicine was always there for Amanda Benson — even in her childhood. Physiology fascinated her and she enjoyed reading about the inner workings of the human body and how all the various organ systems functioned within. Her interest then expanded to the personal side of medicine.
“As I got older, I discovered I really liked the interpersonal aspect, and being able to help people was really gratifying,” she said. Those initial interests in the medical field manifested itself into Amanda becoming UPHS – Marquette’s ICU Medical Director, an Intensivist and Anesthesiologist. She works in both the ICU and Operating Room.
What is a typical day like for you?
A day in the ICU can be long. We typically start by seeing patients in the morning. We do multi-disciplinary rounds and try to involve all the teams taking care of the patients as well as all of the patients and their families and making the plan of care for the day. Often, there are unexpected things that come up throughout the day, which may include procedures that we do or have to help coordinate with other services and following up with families and helping to plan their clinical care and making sure we’re focused on the individual patient’s goals of care, which come up commonly in critically ill patients.
How did you find yourself working in the ICU department?
ICU was something that I never imagined that I would be interested in. But during my medical training in anesthesiology, I had a lot of exposure to intensive care and discovered that I really liked working with the patients and the fast-paced kind of environment where quick decisions are needed. And the critical thinking involved with taking care of these patients, how the different organ systems interplay and how dysfunction in one area can lead to dysfunction in another and how to correct it.
What is the key to being able to multitask in the ICU?
I think sometimes you have to remove yourself from the situation a little bit and take your own emotions out of it because the environment can be stressful with patients and cases because they’re so critically ill. And so just focusing on the tasks that are most important and prioritizing is the most helpful.
What are some of your interests outside of work?
I love spending time with my family. We have a lot of family in this area, so we spend a lot of time with them. I love outdoor things, which is part of drew my husband, Bradley Benson who is a podiatrist at UPHS – Marquette, and I back to this area. He’s from here, and I have family in this area as well. We like hiking, fly fishing and really doing any outdoor activities. Skiing in the winter.
What is your favorite part about working at UPHS?
I think the people that I get to work with are pretty special here. The ICU in particular because it’s a higher-stress environment and it’s very dependent upon teamwork. It becomes more of a family than it does just a workgroup. And that’s something that I really value in terms of my work environment.